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Yet another method of ejecting stuck CD/DVD media Desktop Macs
I had a DVD in my iMac that would not mount, and would not eject. After Googling around and trying various methods, I ended up calling Apple Support, and got this tip that I had not run across in my searches:

Boot the iMac while holding down the Option key to get to the boot menu, where the start up drives are displayed. Press and hold down the Eject key on the keyboard, and the stuck disc should eject. This tip worked great for me; I hope it's helpful to others.

[robg adds: The topic of stuck media has been quite popular here in the past. In an effort to turn today's tip into a one-stop reference for all the potential solutions, here are the methods covered in past hints:
  • Power up the machine and let it sit [hint]
  • Use Open Firmware [hint]
  • Use FireWire Target Disk Mode [hint]
  • Use disktool and System Profiler [hint]
  • Grab it with the shutter from a floppy disc [hint]
  • Put your Mac in a cool location for a few minutes [hint]
  • Sleep then wake the Mac [hint]
  • Flip the machine upside down [hint]
  • Zap the PRAM [hint]
If none of the above methods work, it may be time to break out the screwdriver and begin disassembly! If you've got a method that's not covered in the above alternatives, please post it in the comments...though what's possibly left, I can't imagine.]
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Yet another method of ejecting stuck CD/DVD media | 20 comments | Create New Account
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Yet another method of ejecting stuck CD/DVD media
Authored by: asteryx on Feb 10, '10 07:41:59AM

There's always the tried-n-true, Apple recommended, hold down the mouse button during boot. This has been used with all versions of OS X.



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Yet another method of ejecting stuck CD/DVD media
Authored by: beepotato on Feb 10, '10 07:53:03AM

Indeed, I was surprised not to see it mentioned in Rob’s list.
As far as I can remember, it has been used with all versions of Mac OS, even way before it was officially named Mac OS. Of course, back then it was mostly used to eject stuck floppy disks…



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Yet another method of ejecting stuck CD/DVD media
Authored by: leamanc on Feb 10, '10 09:06:19AM

The idea was not to eject stuck floppy disks per se, although it probably would have worked. The idea was you usually had a floppy disk that had your OS and a set of apps that you wanted to run, since you didn't have a hard drive. Using the mouse-button method, you could eject your last used floppy of OS+apps and put in another.

For those not old enough to remember how this worked, you could "put away" a disk containing your OS to put in another floppy with an app you wanted to run, with the OS loaded into RAM. Now if some Mac OS routine you suddenly needed was not in RAM, it would pop out your floppy and ask for the OS disk back. This was one form of the dreaded "floppy shuffle." The other was, of course, in copying from one floppy to another that you had "put away."

Yay for Snow Leopard bringing back the "put away" command, although it obviously is only needed for actually putting things back into the folders from where they came from, which was only half the function of the classic OS's "put away."

Edited on Feb 10, '10 09:07:26AM by leamanc



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Yet another method of ejecting stuck CD/DVD media
Authored by: robogobo on Feb 10, '10 03:24:36PM

I could hear the sound of floppies ejecting while I read that. Thanks for the memories.

hey, btw what's with the captcha? I'm logged in.



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Yet another method of ejecting stuck CD/DVD media
Authored by: miker71 on Feb 10, '10 07:53:41AM

That's the method that has served me well in the past. However, that was with cabled mice. Now I have a MagicMouse on bluetooth, not sure this would work ... still, I seem to rarely use optical disk media nowadays, more a USB memory stick user.



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Yet another method of ejecting stuck CD/DVD media
Authored by: Coumerelli on Feb 10, '10 07:48:56AM

Rob,

I know that in it's inception, the goal of this site was to avoid documented hints as much as possible. But this hint might lead the new Mac user to think that your note is [nearly] exhausted. Some other very simple options are:

1) Drag the disk to the trash.
2) Reboot; on the boot chime hold the mouse button down until the disk ejects (Note: make sure your volume isn't muted before you reboot).
3) Same as 2, but use the Eject key (or F12 if there isn't one on your keyboard).

---
"The best way to accelerate a PC is 9.8 m/s2"



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Yet another method of ejecting stuck CD/DVD media
Authored by: asmeurer on Feb 10, '10 08:14:41AM
Ot if your Mac has a tray, put a paperclip in the little button that force ejects the disk.

Some of the older slot drives even had these. I wish Apple would include them in all drives.

Some of those old hints are funny. Maybe you could powerup the machine and let it sit in the refrigerator upside down, then grab the CD with a floppy shutter while zapping the PRAM.

And what about drutil eject?

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Yet another method of ejecting stuck CD/DVD media
Authored by: asmeurer on Feb 10, '10 08:18:18AM

Also, the comments of the old hints give about a dozen other methods.



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I agree, drutil should be in the list
Authored by: lullabud on Feb 10, '10 10:16:15AM

drutil should be listed instead of diskutil because it's optical-drive specific.



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Yet another method of ejecting stuck CD/DVD media
Authored by: Anonymous on Feb 11, '10 08:49:28AM

Why just if it has a tray? Slot loading drives also have mechanical force-eject buttons. You just have to search for them. Don't use a paperclip until you found it though. While hunting, you should use something like a chopstick (not a disposable one from a restaurant) -- pointed, but non-metallic.

Why am I being captchaed when I'm logged in?



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Yet another method of ejecting stuck CD/DVD media
Authored by: asmeurer on Feb 11, '10 12:43:49PM

Are you sure about this? I have never found an eject button in my slot loading drives, except for the in the old CRT iMacs. And how can you fit a chopstick in such a small space? What I really need is a good way to pull apart the foam at the entrance so I can get a good look at what's inside.

I'm also wondering about the captcha. It's kind of annoying to have to enter it twice, once for preview and once for submit. And recaptcha would be better :)



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Yet another method of ejecting stuck CD/DVD media
Authored by: everkleer80 on Feb 12, '10 10:03:11AM

Good to see an attempt to stop all the comment spam that's been coming in. Turns out you don't need to enter it for the preview.



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Yet another method of ejecting stuck CD/DVD media
Authored by: ctierney on Feb 10, '10 09:19:29AM
Assuming the stuck disk is not writable and that the drive can write disks, you can try:
hdiutil burn any_image.dmg
Since the disk is not writable, it should be ejected.

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Yet another method of ejecting stuck CD/DVD media
Authored by: asmeurer on Feb 11, '10 12:46:18PM

I wouldn't recommend this one. I have had a CD drive attempt to write to a non-writable CD before, which renders the CD unusable. Yes, it should check first before writing, but considering that your CD drive is already not working correctly, why would you assume that it would in this case?



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Yet another method of ejecting stuck CD/DVD media
Authored by: everkleer80 on Feb 12, '10 10:00:37AM
I'd assume this effectively does the some thing (assuming the disk is non-writable and the drive recognizes that there is not writable media in the drive as mentioned in the above reply) as drutil tray eject which should probably be used instead. I have used this command many times and it has worked great and this will also work if it is writable media.

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Yet another method of ejecting stuck CD/DVD media
Authored by: fltman on Feb 10, '10 10:33:11AM

Yet another method...
when starting themachne, insert a pice of cardboard into the cd/dvd-slot and twist it slightly which prevents the cd/dvd from spinning. This in return will cause the cd/dvd-unit to start a diagnostic test which includes trying to eject the cd/dvd. Work everytime, even when there is no connection between the cd/dvd-unit and the computer.



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Yet another method of ejecting stuck CD/DVD media
Authored by: robogobo on Feb 10, '10 03:08:23PM

yikes.



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Yet another method of ejecting stuck CD/DVD media
Authored by: jeaginsky on Feb 10, '10 09:14:50PM

left mouse clik hold (on laptops clik hold) after reboot?

Edited on Feb 10, '10 09:16:01PM by jeaginsky



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Yet another method of ejecting stuck CD/DVD media
Authored by: petpirepete on Feb 19, '10 10:35:22AM

I have a hardcore solution... Remove the slot loading dvd from the mac, cut the case and put a tray loading dvd in it... I did this on my powerbook and it work fine!



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Yet another method of ejecting stuck CD/DVD media
Authored by: apraetor on Aug 01, '12 01:51:34PM

Hold down the mouse left-click button while powering on the computer. The disc will eject before the computer continues booting. This works on even the most recent mac desktop and laptops -- even with the multitouch trackpads.



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