CD Stuck in Slot-Loading 20″ iMac (Intel)

Posted by on Jul 6, 2009 in General, Technology | One Comment

A month or so ago we checked out some CDs from the library and popped them into the kids’ slot-loading iMac at home. The first CD didn’t eject. It has some sort of metal security strips affixed to the top, and is covered with a thin layer of clear plastic to keep the metal strips down. On top of this are also some other library labels. Bottom line: it’s too thick to come out of the optical drive on its own. There’s no manual eject button, and the usual means to trigger an eject “work” but fail to provide enough force to eject the CD. The powered eject mechanism inside the drive just isn’t strong enough.

What to do? A trip to the Apple Store didn’t help. At the Apple Store they confirmed by fears that there’s no way to get it out short of removing the optical drive from the iMac and dismantling it to extract the CD. Apple doesn’t trust dismantled optical drives to be put back together (can’t say I blame them) and so charges for a replacement optical drive. In the end it would cost around $300+ to get the CD out and have a workable optical drive. Ugh! I asked the Apple Genius about getting the thing apart and mentioned my success with a Mac Mini and the “putty knife method.” He let me know that it was much more complicated than the Mini and involved… wait for it… suction cups. Yes, suction cups.

Stupid library CDs.

After the success of my MacBook Pro upgrade, I’m going to attempt this repair myself. Don’t have much to lose. =) cNet has a great set of instructions on getting the iMac unit apart. I have all the tools ready, so it’s just a matter of getting the time. There’s also a brief video about the process.

1 Comment

  1. Cool Grafix | Blog » CD Removed from Optical Drive!
    July 12, 2009

    […] mention here, we had a library CD stuck in our kids’ 20″ iMac (Intel). You can see the previous post to get up to speed if interested, but the bottom line is that is has been removed. It took four […]

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