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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

iMac 24" early 2008: CD/DVD superdrive problem!

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Member Since: Nov 20, 2011
Posts: 16
Alcorel is on a distinguished road

Alcorel is offline

This is my first post on this community and the reason I joined is to try to look for a solution to my problem.

I have an iMac since 2008 and never had any problems at all. However, yesterday I formatted my iMac and installed Mac OS X Lion, again with no problems at all. However, when I was just loading a win XP CD to instal it via Parallels, suddenly the process crashed and when I canceled it I was unable to eject the CD. I tried everything (eject shortcut, moving to trash, eject software and the "$drutil eject tray" command), but nothing worked. Ultimatly, with a business card I able to somehow get it out. But then, later, I insert another CD to see if the drive was really messed up and again, I can't eject the CD.

Possible solutions:
I did a lot of research in the web and now I think I have 3 possible solutions:
1) send it to Apple and pay up to $200 to have it fixed
2) get a compatible superdrive in ebay for $80 and do it by myself
3) get an external superdrive

I'm still not sure on what to do, but scenario 1) I already put it aside, I don't want to pay that much for a routine maintenance procedure. I was inclined to go for step 2) but, although you can find well documented go-throughs in the web there's always some risks in opening up a iMac or buying a superdrive in ebay that in the end might not work.

Therefore, I'm inclined to step 3) for some reasons. One is obvious, an external superdrive costs as much as an internal one and I don't need to open the iMac. I already have a Macbook, since 2006, and if by some reason its superdrive fails on me too then I will have a external superdrive. Finally, I intend to buy a MBA in the future, so it's a piece of hardware I might need soon.

My questions
1) if I buy the external, I want to disable my iMacs superdrive. It works fine, it just doesn't eject disks. It doesn't make nousy sounds, but I don't want to have it working everytime I log in into my iMac. I read somewhere I can do it by moving the IODVDStorageFamily.kext bundle in /System/Library/Extensions into a folder like /System/Library/DisabledDVD. Does it work that way?

2) if i get the external and have the internal disabled, in case I wish to do a clean instal from my MacOS DVD, will I be able to it? I mean, does the system recognize the external DVD drive during a clean instal?

3) now, regarding external DVD drives, what do you recommend?

Sorry for the long post but I just wanted to make sure I gave all the information I could so that I can get the most clear advice possible.

Thanks in advance
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Member Since: Jun 14, 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 574
Chilbear is on a distinguished road
Mac Specs: 2xiMac24 w Parallels 6 (1x White, 1x Aluminum), iPhone 3GS with iOS5

Chilbear is offline
If you could reinstall Lion - was it using the Superdrive via DVD? If you insert a music CD into Lion does it mount? I would bet that you could use your MacBook as a firewire connected and use that DVD drive to mount the DVDs as needed - use the "T" on startup (connect first then start the MB) as if you were to start using Migration Assistant.

I have had a CD/DVD get caught in that Parallels trap and found that shutting down Parallels and then restarting the iMac, had the DVD pop up in Snow Leopard. I have one 24 using Lion and a second in SLeopard. Both use V6 of Parallels.

I would settle down the iMac first then install the Parallels making sure it finds the latest upgrade to your version - version 6 works fine I have found. I have version 6.0.12106 loaded on this machine running Lion.

In response to your OP I agree that I would buy an external over fixing an older machine. Perhaps not buying the external and investing into a newer machine will make more sense. This machine I am typing on is a white iMac first version and it is giving bad video signs some days. We are now thinking of investing into a new/refurbish machine on Black Friday if the deals present itself. Of course external drives are cheap so that certainly is a valid option but I would prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the internal drive is not FUBARed.
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Member Since: Nov 20, 2011
Posts: 16
Alcorel is on a distinguished road

Alcorel is offline
Just a quick update: I managed to get the stuck DVD with a paper clip! As my drive attempts to eject the disk but fails right in the end, going back inside, I unfolded a semi-large paper clip so that the tip of the paperclip could somehow grasp the CD's center and thus pulling it out... guess what, it worked in my first attempt!

Although it's good have no CD inside my drive, I'm still unhappy for having it trashed. I'm also inclined on getting an external DVD burner, it's cheaper than sending my iMac back to apple or than buying one myself on ebay and opening up my imac by myself too, so I think I'll get an external DVD drive. But there's a big con in this option, which I hope some people experiencing the same stuff could had some feedback too:

It's not easy to find external DVD drives compatible with macs. Some brands have compatible models (like Samsung SE-S084D or LG GP10NB20) but I've read that since they connect to your mac using USB they'll fail when you attempt to boot your Mac OS install disk. This can turn into a big problem and the only solution I see for this is making a bootable USB pendrive. Any thoughts?
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