MacBooks and Ejecting a Stuck DVD

Three times in the last two months I’ve had to deal with stuck DVDs in the MacBooks and MacBook Pro in the house.   Unfortunately, all of the macbook laptops/notebooks’ are slot-drives that do not have the pinhole that allows you to manually eject the stuck DVD/CD.  Why, oh why is there no pinhole?  I tried a number of things that I thought I would never do to a DVD drive.  Eventually I had to go to Google for my answer(s).  Macosxhints had some really interesting (dangerous?) suggestions.

In any event, two months ago with the MacBook Pro, I eventually had to take it into the local Genius Bar for repair.  They came back and said that the entire drive had to be replaced!  Fortunately, it was covered under my AppleCare support agreement.  (Note: Buy the AppleCare support when you buy Apple!  It will almost certainly pay for itself the first visit to the Genius Bar.)  They were able to get the DVD out of the drive as well – without any damage.

The next two incidents were with the MacBooks.  They didn’t require a trip to the Genius bar – as I didn’t have one around at the time because I was in vacation in Delaware.  I tried some of the suggestions in the Macosxhints link.  Nothing worked.  I then found out about this method.  Basically, reboot your machine and when you here the power up tone, press and hold the mouse button.  You may have to hold the button down for quite sometime (10-30 secs.)  Magically – the disc will eject.  Such a simple solution– makes you wonder what the heck is happening during the POST of the machine and the OS.  What does a holding the button down on the mouse do that you can’t plug into the eject button?  I’m sure it’s about some sort of software lock, etc.  But still…. I hate having to resort to mystical keystroke/mouse combinations in order to fix a Mac.

Anyway – I hope the trick is able to help someone else out.  Oh yeah – I did try the credit card trick on one of the Macbooks – didn’t work.  But after I tried the mouse button trick, I got my DVD out.  It came out with two very nice (burnt-in) rings along the data side of the DVD. Use these tricks at your own risk – you may end up losing your disc – or worst your drive.

-JT

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