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One fix for non-functioning SuperDrive Other Hardware
The SuperDrive on my MacBook Pro (circa 2007, rev. D I think), experienced a long, slow decline in its performance, and finally it stopped working altogether.

When I say 'stopped working,' I mean that it wouldn't recognize a disc: I'd insert the disc, it would spin around a little, make some chugging noises, but then spit it back out. I think it starting doing this for CDs sooner than it did for DVDs (more powerful laser?), but I can't recall for certain. I don't do much with discs, and since it's a 4.5 year old laptop, I never got it serviced, which predictably landed me in a bind.

Anyway, that's when I stumbled across a solution:

You take a clean cloth (like a lens cloth for cleaning eyeglasses), drape it over something slim like a business card or a smooth plastic gift card, and plum the depths of your drive in an attempt to clean the lens. Supposedly it's just inside the left boundary, but I plunged my improvised cleaner in everywhere I could, as deep as I could get it. I didn't use a brutal amount of force, but I wasn't particularly gentle either. Result: now my drive works.

Fair warning: I'm sure it's possible to somehow do horrific damage to something in your drive. If you have the time, patience, and money, I encourage you to take your non-functioning drive to a professional. But if you like to try to fix expensive hardware yourself, then this hint is for you.

All the credit for this goes to Anar's post here.

[crarko adds: I suppose as a last resort, if a drive cleaning kit doesn't help, you could try this. Just be careful.]
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One fix for non-functioning SuperDrive
Authored by: macavenger on Feb 14, '12 08:26:53AM

Why be careful? If you are considering trying this, your drive already doesn't work. What could you possibly do - make it blow up? Sure, maybe you could break it worse, but non-functional is non-functional, so what difference does it make if you do? :-)

---
Aluminum iMac 20" 2.4 GHz/3GB/300GB HD



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One fix for non-functioning SuperDrive
Authored by: johnsawyercjs on Feb 24, '12 11:44:01PM

You answer your own question: if someone isn't careful while using this cleaning method, they could break something in the optical drive and REALLY make the drive useless. If they're careful, they can sometimes make the drive work again instead of making it unfixable at all (at least not fixable in a practical sense).



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One fix for non-functioning SuperDrive
Authored by: PGB on Feb 14, '12 08:36:03AM
Good hint for the savvy owners of out-of-warranty equipment. (That should be plumb, not plum.)

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One fix for non-functioning SuperDrive
Authored by: slswift on Feb 14, '12 08:45:45AM

Holy Cow! My drive had not played DVDs for some time now. Compressed air didn't help. Just now it spit out a DVD, did one swipe with an eyeglass cloth, reinserted AND I'M WATCHING A MOVIE!

It is obviously a risky thing to do, but it was worth a try before buying a replacement drive at $100 for a very old laptop (2006 MBP).

Thanks!



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One fix for non-functioning SuperDrive
Authored by: fresler on Feb 14, '12 09:04:11AM

I had found this hint elsewhere (can't remember where) quite some time ago and it has served me well. Sadly, my SuperDriver eventually stopped reading disks altogether so I replaced it. But this hint definately made the drive usable for a few years after I first noticed the problem.



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One fix for non-functioning SuperDrive
Authored by: dudemac on Feb 14, '12 11:02:19AM

The DVD cleaner discs work well with dusty drives too. I have a Macbook pro that was in same situation. I put in the DVD cleaner and it started working again. The DVD cleaner disc actually has little bristles right on the discs surface that brush the lens as it searches the disc. But in a pinch I can see how this might work.



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One fix for non-functioning SuperDrive
Authored by: frin on Feb 15, '12 02:52:10AM

Thank you for the idea. I actually managed to clean my 1.5 year broken SuperDrive in early 2009 MacBookPro with glasses cleaning cloth and a business card ;)



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One fix for non-functioning SuperDrive
Authored by: poenn on Feb 15, '12 03:54:09AM

Nice to know, but I prefer to open up the drive and clean it this way. Of course itís a little bit more work, because you have to open your Mac, but you can directly clean the lens this way without fear of destroying the drive. Hereís a good example: http://muzso.hu/2008/08/17/how-to-clean-the-lens-of-a-slot-loading-optical-drive-a-macbook-pros-superdrive



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One fix for non-functioning SuperDrive
Authored by: pagaille on Feb 15, '12 02:56:54PM

I did this... I cleaned the lens using alcohol. Unfortunately it didn't helped at all. DVD's are still working but not CD's... Those superdrives are really a piece of junk. Mine stopped working after one year.



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One fix for non-functioning SuperDrive
Authored by: poenn on Feb 15, '12 03:01:33PM

I did this and everything worked fine afterwards. Before the cleaning it would neither read nor burn CDs and DVDs.



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One fix for non-functioning SuperDrive
Authored by: Sammo111 on Jul 26, '12 01:01:29AM

Worked first time. Many thanks.



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One fix for non-functioning SuperDrive
Authored by: grika on Feb 28, '13 03:25:20PM

Holy crap it worked. My mini would burn CDs under Lion and Mountain Lion, but then not recognize them. This trick is brilliant.



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