Macbook DVD drive won't open

lamigra00

Registered
I have a Macbook running 10.6.8 with this DVD drive, HL-DT-ST DVDRW GSA-S10N. I can not put anything in it and i know there is nothing in there. How do I get it to open up? Unlike the Tower or other drives, there is no visible pin hole.
 

DeltaMac

Tech
A slot-loading optical drive is always "open", unless there is something already in the drive, or the drive is not working (dead), or the slot is damaged - preventing any disk from being inserted.
What happens when you try to insert a DVD?

Does it simply eject automatically within a few seconds? Be sure to try a different disk, perhaps a music CD...

Or, does the disk slide in, but remains loose (and the edge is not "grabbed" to pull the disk all the way in?)

Or, does the disk refuse to go in to the slot at all? (Like something is completely blocking the slot, and the disk won't go past the opening?)
Sometimes the DVD slot is damaged. Look at the slot to make sure that the edges are parallel, and they don't look distorted, maybe even closing the slot. This can happen if too much pressure is applied from the top edge (for example, pushing down too hard with your hand in that area)
 

lamigra00

Registered
Its the third one, the disk refuses to go into the slot. Its like what ever is meant to grab the disk is stuck in eject mode, in that the disk can push in further on the sides of the slot than in the middle. What ever it is I can't see because the slot is covered by the protective outer covering.

Everytime I start up the Macbook it does make an ejecting sound, though. So it wants to work but for some reason it is stuck.
 

DeltaMac

Tech
If it feels like something is blocking the slot, then that's probably it.
MacBooks very commonly will reset the CD drive as you power on. That is NOT the same as eject.

Try a couple of different methods for forcing the drive to eject the disk that may be stuck.
Here's a long-time trick that may help eject a stuck disk on a Mac. (same trick worked back when Macs still had floppies :D )
Shut your MacBook off.
Press and release the power button to start up again.
Immediately (before the boot chime completes) press and hold the trackpad (or mouse) button. If there is something ejectable (in the right position, and not completely stuck), then shortly after the screen lights up, the eject should work. Watch the disk slot as it tries to eject, as it might be pushing something out, but failing. You might even see a brief appearance through the slot, and then it gets sucked back in. Sometimes you can grab the edge as it appears, and gently tug it on out.
Another possibility is that a CD or DVD is in the drive, but not in the right position. Sometimes you can get it to eject properly, by using a second CD disk to push firmly into the slot, which might get a disk back in the ejectable point. (sometimes works, sometimes not - but worth a try.)
And, finally, Macbook optical drives are not known for great reliability, so it's also possible that the drive has simply failed, or the eject motor is not working properly. Both have the same result, and the same fix (replace the drive, or use an external)
 

lamigra00

Registered
I took it to the Apple store and they said it would cost 50USD to repair since its out of warranty, but then they said, since its so old there is no guarantee that they won't do more harm to it trying to repair it, so probably best to leave it alone. I am buying a new Macbook next month, so i guess I will have to use other peoples DVDRW until then.

In the end, though, I am 99.9% certain there is no disk jammed in there. I think the eject tray is stuck and protruding out, but because its built into the case you can't tell without taking it apart. Thanks for the advice
 

lamigra00

Registered
I took it to the Apple store and they said it would cost 50USD to repair since its out of warranty, but then they said, since its so old there is no guarantee that they won't do more harm to it trying to repair it, so probably best to leave it alone. I am buying a new Macbook next month, so i guess I will have to use other peoples DVDRW until then.

In the end, though, I am 99.9% certain there is no disk jammed in there. I think the eject tray is stuck and protruding out, but because its built into the case you can't tell without taking it apart. Thanks for the advice
 

DeltaMac

Tech
Ah, the only "repair" is to disassemble your laptop, remove the optical drive, take THAT apart, and whatever is jammed in there can be removed. That's the only way that you would get a repair that cheaply. And, hearing your symptoms, I am pretty sure there is something in there. It might not be a disk, but that's the most common item that gets stuck in a DVD drive (other than children experimenting with miscellaneous junk that fits through that slot.) The OTHER common item is one of the mini-size (or oddly shaped) disks that you see sometimes.
The MacBook drive does NOT have an eject tray of any kind. It simply has an eject motor, with rollers that grab the disk, either to pull it in, or to eject it.
 
Top