How Do You Remove a Stuck CD/DVD?

Apple loves those recessed slot loading CD / DVD drives. They use them in MacBooks, iMacs, and MacBook Pros. While they look nice, what happens when a CD or DVD gets stuck in one of them? Its actually a very common problem and without some sort of manual release, it can be stressful. So, what do you do when you have a stuck CD in your MacBook / MacBookPro / iMac?

Is it Software or Hardware?

Stuck CDs and DVDs can either be physically stuck inside the drive or it could just be OS X that’s stuck. Usually in cases of a scratched, damaged or bad blank disc, OS X gets confused and won’t let go of it. This is the most common cause of stuck CDs and is also the easiest to fix.

First, Force OS X to Eject the Disc:

1. Shut down your Mac via the Apple Menu and choosing “Shut Down”.

2. Start up your Mac.

3. Immediately after hearing the chime, press and hold the Trackpad button.

4. Do not let go of the Trackpad button.

5. In about 10-20 seconds, the CD will eject.

If the drive tries to eject the disc but the disc doesn’t come out, move on to the next method.

Second, Give the Disc Some Space:

The slot-loaded drives (especially on laptops) tend to get squashed down a bit. This in turn blocks the disc from ejecting. You’ll know to suspect this if you hear the CD eject and it begins to, hits the wall of the slot-load drive and then goes back inside. Looking at the drive, you’ll even see the opening slightly curved rather than straight.

Note: This method is to be done gently and with extreme care. If you can’t do this carefully, find someone who can.

1. Find a good size flat-head screwdriver.

2. Gently place the screwdriver near the opening of the drive – Do NOT stick it inside.

Note: You are not going to be fishing out the disc with the screwdriver.

3. Put the screwdriver about an inch from one end of the drive opening.

4. Slowly and gently turn the screwdriver to slightly widen the drive opening. Do not use force.

5. Eject the CD by using the Eject button.

6. If the Eject Button doesn’t work, use the first method while gently holding the drive open with the screwdriver.

7. You’ll see the disc eject. If it stops, grab it with your hand and gently pull it out before the drive pulls it back in.

This type of stuck disc is caused by the opening being too narrow for the disc to eject. If this was the case, you will want to get this repaired. If it’s not repaired, it will happen again and again.

Third, Take it to an Apple Store / Repair Center:

If the disc is still stuck inside and you’ve tried both methods, there is a good change the drive itself is broken. In which case, I’d recommend either an authorized repair center or the Apple Store. It should be a warranty repair unless there’s signs of physical damage (dropped / cracks) or the disc itself is a non-standard disc such as a small size, square, triangular or star shaped disc. Never put a disc like that inside your Mac.

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