Macintosh Cd Rom

Robert Allen

My inbuilt CD reader fails to read CDs.

On insertion of the disc the mechanism can be heard to spool up but no icon appears on screen.

I have tried re-installing the CD driver and Finder software to no avail. The Mac can be force restarted from a Norton CD so it obviously can see CDs when made to.

No reference to the CD drive appears in the Apple system profiler list. Is this normal?

I somehow don't think a dirty lens is the problem.

Many thanks

Robert Allen.


Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
Which version of the Mac OS?

Also, which CDs is the drive having problems reading? Is it with burned CDs or normal pressed CDs (which is how most purchased software is made)?


Unknown information:
Mac model
System / MacOS X version.

If the CD is original to the Mac, then no CD drivers are needed to be reinstalled.
If the CD is not original to the Mac, then supply the manufacturer's name and web site URL; and, model number - of the CD drive; and, specify the CD driver you are installing - such as the web page where one can gather information about said driver.
Regardless of whether the CD drive is orginal to the Mac or not, as you state - it does accept CD's ('can be force restarted from a Norton CDcan be force restarted from a Norton CD'); therefore, the installed CD driver is working.

'I have tried re-installing the ... Finder software to no avail'?, what?!; again, my magic 8 ball failed to tell me which System / MacOS X you are running.
However, the hairs on the back of neck tell me - by you stating 'Apple System Profiler', ASP, and not 'System Profiler' you may be using System 9.2.2 or earlier.
If so (you are using System 9.2.2 or earlier's ASP), you must first insert a disc into the CD drive and then run ASP - and then click on 'Devices and Volumes', for the disc's information to be displaced. Otherwise, you must do a 'Command R' or 'Commands, Update Devices and Volumes' menu item selection.
Also, only the 'Where:' field is related specifically to the CD drive (itself).

'I somehow don't think a dirty lens is the problem.', you do not know the reason of the CD's failure to operate correctly; but, you already have deteremined - what you think, it is not.
I have removed CD and CD / DVD drives / burners (which recognized a disc or two, did not mount discs - onto the 'Desktop', or would frequently eject inserted discs), disassembled them, and then blown dust out of them (nothing else) - restoring them to normal operation.

Robert Allen

Dear Barhar
Many thanks for your reply - sorry I didn't mention the OS, it's system 9.1.

This problem didn't come on suddenly; it's been threatening for about three years. Every so often the drive would flag up an 'unreadable by this Macintosh' message on what was a perfectly healthy (burned) CD. Sometimes no message would appear at all, as is now the case. At other times the same CD would be read as normal. Do you think I should replace the drive, i.e. is it likely to be a hardware fault?
A clean reinstall of the system might eliminate software suspicion but this is an extreme move involving possible losses with no guarantee of success.


Mac of the SubGenius! :-)
You mentioned that this problem happens with CDs you've burned. How about regular software CDs that you've purchased or acquired? Do those come up OK or do they give the same problems?

I ask this because if it's only with the burned CDs then it could be the media you are using. I have seen this with some optical drives where they won't recognize the burned CD even though it works on another computer with an optical drive as well. Sometimes it's the operating system that doesn't recognize the format, and sometimes it's the optical drive that doesn't support the media.

BTW, you never mentioned what model Macintosh this was. Since you are running System 9.1, it sounds like it might be an oldie. Please let us know the model of the Mac so we can further help. Thanks.


While I cannot claim your 'over time' CD problem is physically related; but, since the 'possibly buying a new CD / DVD drive / burner' bug has been planted in your mind - why no just remove (disconnect both the data and power cables) the CD drive, remove the laser protective shield, and blow air (via you or a compressed air can) into the read / write head and other mechanical areas?

At this point, just place the laser protective shield back on (seriously, do not omit this step), and connect the data and power cables. Then give the CD drive a test drive with the discs that are not currently recognized. Burn some new ones, etc.

Should the above suggestion fail - well, the Mac is then already opened and ready for a new drive.

A Pioneer DVR-106D or higher, as well as, the Sony CD / DVD burner should be an easy, direct, replacement - for your existing CD drive.

Robert Allen

Thanks for your patience - you are right, it is an old Mac, a desktop grey G3 of 1998 vintage! You may well ask why I am still using it in these days of Tiger etc? The fact is that I have just bought an iMac G5 but it won't connect to the internet - either by USB or Ethernet modems. For this reason I have to rely on my old faithful to perform the necessary function instead. Few common wire connections exist between the two machines so transport has to be made by burned CDs. (Memory stick doesn't always work). You might then see how much of a pain it is to want to transfer files from the G5 to the G3 (for e-mail sending) only not to have them read!

This problem would be short circuited if I could access the internet from the G5 in the first place. I have exhausted possibilities here from all three agencies, Apple support,the ISP and the modem makers (Netgear). All three blame the others for the problem! My suspicions finally dwell on the ISP, Homecall who say they are a PPoA service whereas the Mac calls for a PPoE.