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Thread: iMac CD drive odd problem

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    493

    Default iMac CD drive odd problem

    Hello.

    iMac Intel, coming up to 4 years old.

    No previous problems with internal CD/DVD drive for reading or burning.

    Recently upgraded OS to 10.6.3.

    1) New Disc Utility shows the DVD/CD drive RATHER than the disc that's in it, although if you Get Info it does give info on the loaded disc. Bit of a nuisance, but no great sweat.

    2) The problem: pre-recorded discs go into the drive fine. Come up on iTunes, or wherever, and play. Previously used and wiped re-recordable CDs go into the drive fine, and are then burnable.

    But...

    Plain blank CDs get ejected! If you persist in putting them in over and over, occasionally they finally get 'accepted' and can be written, but 90% of the time they go in and come straight out.

    I have used a CD cleaning disc a few times, but didn't make any difference.

    Which all seems silly, and might well be me, even though I gave up the drink nearly ten years ago. Am I missing some preference somewhere? Any ideas would be welcomed.


    Thanks.


    Allen, London.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    on the landline, Mr. Smith
    Posts
    7,784

    Default

    Usually when optical drives spit out disks, it means one of two things:

    - can't read them (bad, too scratched, an unknown format, etc.
    - optical drive is bad.

    You might try some other blanks. If that doesn't help, could be the drive. As much as I like the Intel iMacs, one of their down sides is that they use skinny laptop drives which seem to be much more fragile/less robust, plus they are hard to swap and expensive.

    OK, that was 3 things.

    If you suspect a bad drive, an external unit is less sexy, but cheap, fast and rugged in comparison.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    493

    Default

    Thanks unclemac - I did try several blanks, and also tried them in an old Powerbook we also use. They were fine in the Powerbook, so pretty sure it's drive...

    Anyway, an external drive sounds good - and probably cheaper than an iMac repair. I take it you can burn to an external using standard OS (iTunes, for example). Are there any problems running system CDs from an external? And, as usual, have you any suggestions as to make/models suitable?


    Thanks.


    Allen.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    493

    Default

    So, I bought a Samsung CD/DVD read/write drive. Just plugs into USB slot.

    Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

    Could the iMac be somehow overwriting the external drive, i.e. defaulting to the internal drive rather than recognising the external one? Disk Utility sees the drive, but only when it's empty. As soon as I put a CD in, it stops seeing it.

    Are there preferences that I should have changed?

    About this Mac/More Info (i.e. system profiler) shows the new drive's driver in place, but when I plug it all together and restart the iMac, the external drive just sits there going bump .... bump ..... bump etc.

    Or, have I gone and bought a duff external!


    Help welcomed.


    Allen.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Virginia... where one Democrat CAN make a difference
    Posts
    2,929

    Default

    No the Mac will not default to the dead drive. if your new drive is intermittent I would suspect the USB bridge in the ext case is either wonky or there is a driver issue

    I have 2 external FW800 optical drives on my iMac, one in a Burly 4 bay box and one in a single bay box. The box's and the FW800 bridges all came from here at the Gurus. The SATA optical drives themselves came from other places. they have been rock solid and do not conflict with the internal drive.

    Maybe you could replace that USB bridge with a FW one?

    Also if you aren't planning to use the internal optical anymore that would be a great place for an SSD hard drive
    Damien,

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    493

    Default

    Thanks for the pointers, Damien.

    Funnily enough, it was a wonky, but in this case a wonky CABLE! Like most people I have a box of USB leads, and the one I'd used works fine normally, but when I tried substituting a different lead, everything with the new drive is back to normal.

    I've tried a couple of other USB leads, and they also work well - it's just the one that doesn't.

    Ah well, all working anyway. (Oh, and the internal drive isn't u/s, it just won't read certain thinner blank CDs (eh?), whereas the external one does. No, I can't really work it out, either)...


    Allen.

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