10 Replies Latest reply: Dec 31, 2009 3:27 PM by Rod Hagen
TwoRaleys Level 1 (0 points)
Any idea why my 17" MacBook Pro suddenly won't read all the same CDs and DVDs that it would before? Some load and read fine, others give the screen that says a blank disc has been inserted...then, loading those same discs into another Mac, they read just fine.

OS X 10.5.8

Hardware Overview:

Model Name: MacBook Pro
Model Identifier: MacBookPro3,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 4 MB
Memory: 2 GB
Bus Speed: 800 MHz
Boot ROM Version: MBP31.0070.B07
SMC Version (system): 1.18f5
Serial Number (system): W8723E58X94
Hardware UUID: 00000000-0000-1000-8000-001B639141BE
Sudden Motion Sensor:
State: Enabled

ATA Bus:


Revision: FBZ8
Serial Number:
Detachable Drive: No
Protocol: ATAPI
Unit Number: 0
Socket Type: Internal
Low Power Polling: Yes
Power Off: Yes


Firmware Revision: FBZ8
Interconnect: ATAPI
Burn Support: Yes (Apple Shipping Drive)
Cache: 2048 KB
Reads DVD: Yes
CD-Write: -R, -RW
DVD-Write: -R, -R DL, -RW, +R, +R DL, +RW
Write Strategies: CD-TAO, CD-SAO, DVD-DAO
Media: Insert media and refresh to show available burn speeds

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.8), Also: iBook G4 (10.5.5) and 3 desktops (10.4.11); AirPort Extreme
  • TwoRaleys Level 1 (0 points)
    Also did Permissions Repair...no change.
  • TwoRaleys Level 1 (0 points)
    Well, crap. That was easy. And it's a lesson learned that I want to share. In searching other topic lists, comments, etc., I found a reference to cleaning to laser lens. So...I went downstairs to my audio equipment closet, found an old Scotch CD Laser Lens Cleaner CD that I bought in 1994. I put it into my slot SuperDrive and lo & behold the thing works just fine. Every CD I insert now reads just fine...including those that wouldn't read ten minutes ago!

    So, if you're having similar problems...CLEAN THE LENS FIRST!
  • hfuss Level 1 (0 points)
    I've just had my MBP's superdrive replaced at the local Apple store and the new drive still rejects some DVDs that work fine on other Macs.

    I'm not sure what to do about it – a dirty lens can't really be the problem here, the drive is brand new. Will try ringing Apple care.
  • Rod Hagen Level 7 (31,985 points)
    What media are you using, hfuss?

    Different Macs have drives from a variety of manufacturers and some like one brand of media better than another.
  • Rod Hagen Level 7 (31,985 points)
    I wish everyone would follow your advice, TwoRaleys. It won't fix everyone's problems,but it will certainly fix a substantial percentage, though sometimes people may have to try the cleaner a few times before it does the job.


  • ChristianM19 Level 1 (15 points)
    It shouldn't matter what type of media it "likes".
    A drive is just that, a hardware component with a laser eye that reads, writes and rewrites.
    My other PC's can read and write any DVD you throw at it.
    But why must apple's be picky? Aren't we paying premium for these devices to "Just Work"? or is this just a gimmick to get us to pay more?
    Why excuse a company that has so many open threads about this same issue yet the moderators close it down without any reason whatsoever?
    And why is it that when, in my case, i go to the apple store, they are quick to offer me applecare yet this Macbook Pro is only 3 months old but has never read/write/rewrite a single CD/DVD/DVD DL? Now even apple's own software? Are you telling me that Apple's software are written on cheap DVD's as well?

    If you people have nothing better but praise a company and make it seem that we need to do something that will cost us money, for insignificant amount it may be, it isn't right. Just don't post. Apple is not giving you any $$ for your ******** responses, no matter how long you've been a user to these forums.
  • Rod Hagen Level 7 (31,985 points)
    If you have a two month old Mac which refuses to read or write any discs, as you say, Christian, then its drive will be replaced free under warranty. There is no need to have Applecare to obtain warranty service of this type during the first twelve months after purchase.

    As for the impact of the brand / type of media, it affects all brands of drives and computers, though some are more "tolerant" than others. Generally tray loading drives are more tolerant than slot loaders, but there is a lot of bad media out there that you can have trouble burning in anything. Unfortunately, too, there is a lot of fake media out there these days, especially in Europe where the poster I was responding to comes from, and even genuine media from the major brands may come from a variety of different manufacturers and therefore be of variable quality. If you want a better understanding of the impact of media quality on usability I suggest you read the FAQ at http://www.digitalfaq.com/reviews/dvd-media.htm

    For useful test results concerning different brands see also http://club.myce.com/f33/

    Given that you only signed up here today, I'm wondering about how you have come to the conclusion that the mods here are wiping threads about drive problems. Seems to me to be an abundance of discussion about such things here, some well informed, and some not so, and the only time I've seen threads pulled about such things have been when people have become involved in very abusive rants of one kind or another.


  • hfuss Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks Rod, that was useful information.

    From my past experience with DVDs I certainly wouldn't use them to store any valuable data. Regardless of what Apple or other hardware manufacturers put into their computers, I don't think DVDs fit into the "just works" scheme very well.

    Anyway, happy new year to all of you, let's see what the next decade brings in terms of reliable storage media.

  • ChristianM19 Level 1 (15 points)
    Abusive rants = problems not being solved or heard.
    So why not merge the threads instead of shutting them down for no reason?
    I've been paying close attention to this specific problem and others suggesting its the type of media one puts into the DVD-RW.
    So, if my 5 yr old PC laptop can read and write DVD's regardless of any brand just fine, why can't a mac that costs 3 times more not do the same?
  • Rod Hagen Level 7 (31,985 points)
    Which threads do you say have been "shut down", Christian?

    As for amalgamating threads , problems relating to burning or reading discs can have many different causes. It is hard enough as it is to sort the wheat from the chaff about such things in the long threads anyway. They are almost useless for troubleshooting purposes accordingly. In fact they tend to lead people to the mistaken conclusion that there must be one single "cause" of disc burning problems. This is is simply not true. If people actually want help with a problem like this they are generally far better off posting a new question, and providing as much information about their own situation as they can, rather than just adding a "me too" to one of the long threads. That way it is possible for people to make a better judgement of what is actually going on in their own particular case.