Previous 1 2 Next 15 Replies Latest reply: May 15, 2012 12:07 PM by Ronda Wilson
Bruce A Level 3 (685 points)

Good afternoon.


This G4 iBook came to me with a CD stuck in the drive.


It spins up at boot but nothing else (no eject by multiple methods, no icon on desktop, etc).


Can I physically remove the disc without removing the whole drive?


Thanks for your time!

iBook white 12" G4 800 mHz, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 (41,210 points)

    Have you tried holding down the trackpad button during startup? That will usually eject a disc.

  • Bruce A Level 3 (685 points)

    Yes, I have tried that.


    Drive doesn't seem to be recognized in "about this Mac."

  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 (41,210 points)

    From :


    For iBook models with slot-load drives, see Mac Help for your model of iBook.
  • ds store Level 7 (30,325 points)

    Was just about to say


    Carefully insert the end of a straightened paper clip into the emergency eject hole on the drive tray.


    I think you need the thicker kind of paper clip, not the really thin kind.

  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 (41,210 points)

    As far as I can tell, an iBook G4 has NO emergency eject hole. There is no drive tray on an iBook G4; its optical drive is slot-loading.

  • Bruce A Level 3 (685 points)

    Correct, this is a SLOT-LOAD drive.

  • oldmacman88 Level 1 (30 points)

    Go here,"" and follow the instructions. If this method fails,more than likley the optical drive has failed and will need to be replaced. The disk can be removed when the drive is out by removing the drive cover.

  • FranTer Level 1 (5 points)

    Give it up, it's a waste of time, if you need an optical disk drive get an external drive (on FireWire if you need booting optical disks) and even then you may get difficulties. That's what I finally did. But it's easier to change the optical drive in an external unit. Macs and optical drives seems to me to be a love&hate affair resulting in a lot of problems.

  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 (41,210 points)

    We don't get a lot of complaints here about non-functioning optical drives in iBooks.


    I had one in a MacBook that wouldn't accept CDs. It would take DVDs and play them just fine, but would spit CDs right back out at me. This happened while the MacBook was under AppleCare, and they replaced the drive for me.


    Other than that, I've had no problems with optical drives in any other Mac, and we've had at least fourteen Macs that I recall off-hand (and eight of them notebooks), but I believe the best assessment comes from the relatively few posts we see here in the iBook Discussions about failed optical drives. I've been posting here in the iBook Discussions since 2003, and posts about failed optical drives on iBooks are few and far between.

  • Bruce A Level 3 (685 points)

    RE: G4 800 mHz 12" iBook A1054


    Thanks for your reply.


    There is definitly a disc stuck in there, and the drive tries to eject the disc on startup - but doesn't.


    I can't insert another disc into the drive.


    I have tried all suggested methods of ejecting the disc.


    Have you ever had problems like this with an iBook combo optical drive?  If so, resolution?


    Regards from VT, where the leaves are colorful.

  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 (41,210 points)

    Nope. Never had such a problem. (Unfortunate for you because I have no solution for you, but I'm glad it never happened to me.)


    Just to be sure, did you try the Open Firmware tip?


    To eject a disc with Open Firmware commands, follow these steps:

    1. Restart the computer.
    2. Immediately after the startup sound, press and hold the key combination Command-Option-O-F.
      Note: The Command key has the Apple and () icons on it.
    3. Release the keys when you see a white screen that says "Welcome to Open Firmware."
    4. At the prompt, type: eject cd
    5. Press Return, then wait a few seconds. The disc drive should eject any disc that is present, and "ok" appears behind your command when the action is complete.
    6. Type: mac-boot
    7. Press Return.
  • FranTer Level 1 (5 points)

    As I told you trying is a waste of time.


    What happens, at least that's what I think happened for me, is that one busy day one wants to insert the disc fast without noticing that the iBook is in deep sleep, and something gets bended inside and the disc gets blocked. Some people manage to get it out again, or that's what they say at least, by inserting a stick in the right place. But as there are several models of those slotloading beasts, mine only got better stuck. I expect that I would be able to repair the drive if I got it out, but when I looked at the repair advices for iBooks I decided that I might not get the iBook together again. Also the exact model of slotloading drive isn't available anymore, and if it was, today it's as expensive as buying a Powerbook which is a lot more "screw driver friendly".


    If you look at affordable second hand laptops, Macs will often have problems with the optical drive while this is seldom the case with PCs.


    My iBook has a disc stuck inside, my Powerbook reads DVDs but won't read CDs and even my external FireWire drive didn't like most DVDs until I exchanged the inside with another that I pinched on a PC after upgrading the firmware on the PC.


    But although my iBook tries to eject the disc every time it gets started or comes out of sleep, I've been using it like that every day for several years and I even don't notice the sound anymore.


    If you really want to waste time, search the internet for advice, you'll find people having tried all sorts of things, sticks, credit cards, paper and glue, maybe you get lucky. But I'm happy that the days when I wanted to repair my iBook drive are well behind me.

  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 (41,210 points)

    Another thing to try would be resetting the PMU. It probably won't help, but it won't hurt.

  • lilbirdfly Level 1 (0 points)

    It's been a while since this thread was going, but I wanted to Thank you Rhonda! I was able to get my DVD out of the ibook with the Open Firmware commands you suggested.  I hope that this was just a fluke and my optical drive is not going bad. Just got this little ibook a few months ago—my kids watch videos and play games on this little it and I just replaced the keyboard...  Maybe I should have put my $200 somewhere else . . .  

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