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Why won't my expensive MacBook Pro play ANY DVD's?

758 Views 14 Replies Latest reply: Dec 5, 2012 12:37 PM by steve359 RSS
Cobalt19 Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
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Nov 24, 2012 9:08 AM

I have a MBP 3 yrs old which has had extremely light use in that time - at home. I never have tried to play a DVD until now and guess what? NO DVD's at all will play - whether commercial (Region 2) or home-burnt. All I get is the alert message :  "The disk you inserted is not reradible by this computer".


Excuse my rant but what a joke - another Apple fail. Why is it that absolutely every PC I have ever owned with a DVD drive has played all DVD's and this Apple cannot handle it? I don't get why after spending £1800 this is the pathetic result. I expect it to work.


I want it to play my DVDs so please what is the answer? Is there some special set up procedure that only experienced Mac users know?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8), 2.8Ghz Intel, 4Gb DDR
  • sig Level 8 Level 8 (35,770 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 24, 2012 9:39 AM (in response to Cobalt19)

    Instead of ranting bring the unit to an Apple store or AASP. At least that way you'll get your answer.

  • etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (23,890 points)
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    Nov 24, 2012 10:04 AM (in response to Cobalt19)

    Cobalt19 wrote:


    Is there some special set up procedure that only experienced Mac users know?

    Yes. Take DVD, insert into slot. If it fails, take your machine and the DVDs that won't work into an Apple store. DVDs are just pieces of plastic with a thin optic film. That can and do go bad.

  • sig Level 8 Level 8 (35,770 points)
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    Nov 27, 2012 5:36 PM (in response to Cobalt19)

    Set up another appointment with a different genius or try a different Apple store. His conclusion sounds eroneous or he lacks experience and didn't want to deal with it further.

  • sig Level 8 Level 8 (35,770 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 28, 2012 5:32 PM (in response to Cobalt19)

    Backing up is standard practice prior to bringing your Mac in for service. It should be routine anyhow. However, the genius mentioned it so you're not awash when you get back a working Mac with all your files gone. They mentioned that to me just for a battery replacement. It's SOP. But do it.

  • steve359 Level 6 Level 6 (12,035 points)
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    Nov 28, 2012 5:37 PM (in response to Cobalt19)

    FWIW ... I would consider any service visit for my MBP to be the possible death of data on the disk.


    More to the point, any personal critical data (tax returns, bank account passwords) are now out of your immediate control and you may want to remove some personal data before taking it in (restore it later).


    Not that Apple Geniuses are dishonest, but it is "out of your control".

  • steve359 Level 6 Level 6 (12,035 points)

    SuperDrive is by reputation one of the less reliable types.  Too many just expect their SuperDrive will die before their goldfish die.


    As to type of external ... try for a good variety of drives.  The only consistent warning is that WD "combo sets" (WD drive inside an enclosure with its own powersupply) are unreliable.  This is not because the WD drive dies, but because the control cards between the drive an computer dies an can scamble the data on th disk as it dies.


    Good combo sets are LaCie or "enclosure plus drive" sets of the "OnTheGo" variety.


    Or you can buy an toaster enclosure with FW interface (I have this one: and a WD bare drive (stay in the "Black" version instead of "Blue" or "Green" in WD).  These toasters can use any 3.5 or 2.5 in drive you happen to find hanging around.


    Buy a drive that is 2-3x the data you will be backing up.  I suggest 2 TB for you since you are starting at 350GB.  That can take hours even at FW speeds.


    I suggest downloading CarbonCopyClone ( instead of TM for this backup.  It is a $40 download, but makes a bootable copy of your internal partition.  Bootable means you cn fire tha up if your internal is dead or erased, then "clone back" from external to internal.


    Get CCC, the extenral drive, then ask back if you have questions about making the clone.

  • steve359 Level 6 Level 6 (12,035 points)
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    Dec 5, 2012 10:13 AM (in response to Cobalt19)

    Only the SuperDrive seems to be the bad part.  But it is a thin "slide feed" device ad Apple is at the mercy of people who make thin drives that fit MBP.  Overall very reliable systems.


    "Red" is not something I am familiar with.  But I assume it has some optimizations for multiple-access instead of Black which is single-user-access.


    You can use CarbonCopyClone ($40 download) to copy entire partitions en-masse (worth the $40 IMHO).  NAS would I assume have a real USB or FW port to make transfer of the 500GB easy (except for the time involved).

  • etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (23,890 points)
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    Dec 5, 2012 12:28 PM (in response to Cobalt19)

    Cobalt19 wrote:


    I didnt realise until buying the Mac that there were so many regular issues across the machine.

    There aren't. It is just that Apple sells millions of machines so there are many reported hardware failures. People who don't have hardware failures don't report that fact.


    You mentioned the WD drives and their colours - I found a review on the 'Red' version which apparently is configured for NAS drives. I have the Synology DS209 NAS which has 500Gb drive and instead of getting the Toaster set up I could just buy a bigger disk - the trouble is (not for this forum I suppose) I would not know how to get data from the 500Gb drive to a replacement bigger NAS drive (say 2Tb).  Any ideas? Have you heard of WD REd?

    A NAS is just going to open up another can of worms. Buy a cheap external drive, plug it in, when it asks if you want to use it as a Time Machine drive, say "Yes". Wait 4-5 hours. You're done. The Time Machine backup is bootable and will allow you to restore from it in another few hours.

  • steve359 Level 6 Level 6 (12,035 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 5, 2012 12:37 PM (in response to etresoft)

    TM is bootable now?


    Just curious.


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