10 Replies Latest reply: Jan 25, 2013 7:44 PM by Jeff
Dusty Ayers Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I splashed out, 12 years ago, and bought the above iMAc model.  It still runs, though very slowly, and I'd like to donate it.  I'd like to reformat the hard drive to clean off personal info and old data, HOWEVER, the optical drive is jammed and won't release the disk currently in the drive (so I cannot boot from the OS disc and do the DU/erase thing).   

There is no hole on the front to manually eject the disc.  Any other options any one can recommend?

Thanks much for your time.


iMac, Mac OS X (10.2.x) , Apple iMac G3/500 DV SE (Summer 200
  • Dusty Ayers Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I should add, the disc does not create an icon anywhere, on desktop or otherwise.

  • Dusty Ayers Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I should also add, if anyone has ideas on just erasing the HD so it can be donated, please let me know too!  Thanks.

  • edex67 Level 4 Level 4 (3,250 points)

    To erase the HD boot up from an OS X CD and format the disk, then install OS X.

  • JustSomeGuy Level 3 Level 3 (545 points)

    edex67 wrote:

     

    To erase the HD boot up from an OS X CD and format the disk, then install OS X.

    That would be hard with the optical drive jammed. ;-)

     

    What happens when you boot, holding down the C key?  Or the Option key?  Do you hear the drive spinning up at all?

  • edex67 Level 4 Level 4 (3,250 points)

    That teaches me to glance over a post.

    Although, you could still use an external drive if you possess one. Also, try holding down the mouse button when booting your Mac (force eject). Probably won't work but try it.

  • Dusty Ayers Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hi All, thank you both for the replies.  When I attempt to eject it, I can hear the motor running as it tries to eject, but no disc is produced.  After 5 seconds or so of trying, the sound changes to the sound of that of a disc being inserted.  This is the case no matter what I try.

    Thanks for the tip about the external drive - I don't have one and hate to purchase but if there's nothing else then that may be my only hope. 

    As a last chance, anyone ever tried to take one apart?  Perphas I could try to pull the HD or disldge whatever is interfering (if anything) with the optical drive.  It doesn't seem very accessable...

  • Dusty Ayers Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    And the CD in the drive doesn't spin up, but does make a couple of groans/moans.

  • Jeff Level 6 Level 6 (11,290 points)

    A problem with ejecting disks in those older, slot-loading iMacs can be caused by the age-related degradation of a pair of rubber sleeves that grip the disk, as it's pulled into the drive and ejected from it.  Over time, they dry out and lose the grip factor.  This causes them to slip, while attempting to eject the disk.  My iMac DV 400 does this, but is able to push the disk out far enough to grab it by the edge.  Some have suggested cleaning these rollers with a petroleum distillate solution, but that doesn't really restore them to like-new condition.  Instead, it chemically softens their surface and makes them somewhat tacky.  While this may help with gripping disks, it has the potential to permanently damage the rubber over time.  The drive has a manual eject actuator at the far right end of the slot, that can be pressed with a large starightened paper clip .  It may be partially covered by the platinum-colored dust gasket, so you can use a piece of cardboard to lift up the gasket at that spot, if necessary.  If you've ever had the iMac's bottom housing removed for hard drive replacement, it's possible that during reassembly, the middle of the three interlocking tabs wasn't properly inserted in its slot, before pivoting the housing closed.  You'd be able to verify this by feeling the joint (above the optical drive's slot) right in the middle, where the upper and lower housings meet.  If the two surfaces are perfectly flush, the tab is engaged.  If not, it probably isn't and this can cause a jam when trying to eject disks.  If this is the case, reinstall the lower housing, making certain that all three tabs are aligned with the slots before pivoting it closed.  This should only be considered, if the lower housing was removed for service.

  • Dusty Ayers Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    @ Jeff.  Thanks much your descriptions are spot on and I think what you've described is what I am seeing/hearing.  I have tired the paper clip trick but it seems to engage the motor to eject the disc (which won't eject per your explanation) instead of just pushing the disc out.  I haven't had the case open for HD replacement.  I'll muck with it a little more this weekend and see if there's something I'm grasping fully.

     

    I'm going to call this done - the optical drive sounds shot and I don't want to donate this and pass this problem on to someone else.  I'll look into disposal methods next that will be sure to destroy the HD.  Bummer as everything else works well!

     

    Thanks much to All for your help. 

  • Jeff Level 6 Level 6 (11,290 points)

    With a faulty optical drive and a very slow 500 MHz G3 processor, I agree that it's not worth further troubleshooting or expense to wipe the hard drive and reinstall the OS software.  If you have personal info/files that you'd like to prevent others from possibly seeing, and have the time to do so, you can always remove the iMac's internal hard drive.  This involves turning the iMac upside down on a table/desk and removing the bottom housing (4 screws).  You're not exposed to dangerous high voltage or an electrical shock hazard, when working in the lower portion of the computer.  The upper section of the iMac is the part you don't want to explore.  The bottom housing pivots up from the rear and disengages from the upper housing at the front (you'll hear a slight cracking sound when you swing it up).  One removed, you'll see the metal EMI shield that covers the hard drive/optical drive carrier and motherboard.  It has (6) screws that secure it.  Two are visible on the top, and the remaining (4) are located on perimeter mounting tabs (2) at the front and (2) at the rear.  Lift the shield up at the front first (you may have to gently pry it up with a screwdriver, because they have a tendency to stick) and pull it up and out of the computer.  At this point, you'll see the hard drive sitting inside the drive carrier (shared by the optical drive).  Unplug the gray ribbon cable and power plug from the back of the drive.  On the top of the carrier, you see the (4) small phillips machine screws that secure the drive to the carrier.  After removing them, the hard drive will drop down slightly and you'll be able to slide it out.  If your iMac has the original AirPort card with adapter card, you may be able to sell it or give it away to someone needing to replace one.  It lifts straight up from the card guides, and then you'd unplug the antenna cable from it.  Reassembly of the computer is the opposite of disassembly.