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  1. #1


    Member Since
    May 30, 2014
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    Disk Drive works for CDs but not for DVDs
    Using an iMac with disk drive the drive works for CDs but has recently stopped working for DVDs. I'm using OS X 10.9.3. Since it works for CDs my feeling is that there is a "switch" someplace that that got flipped somehow. Any help will be greatly appreciated

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    May 20, 2008
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Are we talking commercially purchased DVD's (such as movies)...or homemade/"burned" DVD's?

    If commercial DVD's. Where are you located (in the world)...and where (in the world) were they purchased?

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3

    chscag's Avatar
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    Jan 23, 2008
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    27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, El Capitan
    Quote Originally Posted by d56ranger View Post
    Using an iMac with disk drive the drive works for CDs but has recently stopped working for DVDs. I'm using OS X 10.9.3. Since it works for CDs my feeling is that there is a "switch" someplace that that got flipped somehow. Any help will be greatly appreciated
    To add to what Nick replied: The laser power levels for reading and writing a disk are different for a CD than they are for a DVD. Which means it may be able to read a CD but not a DVD. Sometimes that can be attributed to a dirty lens (try cleaning with compressed air) and other times it can mean the drive has to be replaced. Try cleaning it first. And by the way, there is no "switch" that somehow got flipped.

  4. #4


    Member Since
    May 30, 2014
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    US and US.

  5. #5

    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
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    Specs:
    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by d56ranger View Post
    US and US.
    Are these commercial DVD'sor homemade burned DVD's?

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  6. #6

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
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    Nambucca Heads Australia
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    21,201
    Specs:
    27" 5K iMac, 3.3GHz, 256GB Flash Storge, 16GB memory and OS X.11.3.
    If it has stopped working for DVDs and did, the optical drive may well be on the way out. DVDs are much more an 'intensive' read than CDs which is why they go first. iMacs, like MacBooks, alas have a slot loading optical drive which is much more prone to failure than a tray loader in other desktops.

    Suggest purchasing a cheap external. I use a Samsung SE-208 no problems at all with my iMac. It has dual USB connectors and is bus powered so mains not required.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  7. #7


    Member Since
    Jun 12, 2014
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    I ran into this when I tried to upgrade my Mini to Leopard several years ago. The slot drive would accept a CD but would spit a DVD out. After research it seems that particular optical drive was noted for failing with that being the first indication of it. My solutions was what has been suggested, purchase an inexpensive external drive.

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