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HuskyBlack1 08-15-2013 01:13 PM

Optical Drive - Problem?
Hi all! I may have a problem with my optical drive. When I start my MacBook Pro I usually hear the quick double whirr of the optical drive checking itself. However, recently and occasionally, I've been hearing only one whirr when I turn the power on. Is this the sign of a problem? I don't use the drive much, so has it just atrophied?

My model is a 2009/10 5.5 Macbook Pro aluminium unibody. I've had it for nearly four years.

Thanks to anyone who can provide me with some sought-after answers!

pigoo3 08-15-2013 01:20 PM

If it works it works...and if it doesn' doesn't. If one "whirring sound" is or isn't a problem...there's not much you can do about it...because the optical drive is not repairable. About all you can do is blow some canned air in there to give it a cleaning.

Slot loading optical drives have been found to not be as durable as tray-loading optical drives. If your optical drive eventually fails...then it would need to be replaced (if you wanted to).

- Nick

HuskyBlack1 08-15-2013 01:33 PM

Optical Drive - Problem?
Right. I'm just wondering if this is a legitimate sign of failure. Has anyone else had this problem?

pigoo3 08-15-2013 01:47 PM


Originally Posted by HuskyBlack1 (Post 1532042)
Right. I'm just wondering if this is a legitimate sign of failure. Has anyone else had this problem?

Let's look at things this way. If it is a legitimate sign of failure...what are you going to do about it? Are you immediately going to purchase a brand new optical drive & replace it?

If it isn't a legitimate sign of failure...then you may be "stressing" over nothing!;)

What I'm trying to say is...use it till it fails...then replace it if you want/need to.:) You already mentioned that you don't use it very it will probably be fine for another 10 years...and by will have moved on to a newer computer.:)

- Nick

HuskyBlack1 08-15-2013 02:10 PM

Optical Drive - Problem?
Okay. I just wanted to know if you could give me a definitive answer. It's alright if you can't. I hardly ever use it anyway. I'll keep an eye on it, but it's like you said - nothing much I can do.

pigoo3 08-15-2013 02:30 PM


Originally Posted by HuskyBlack1 (Post 1532054)
Okay. I just wanted to know if you could give me a definitive answer.

I'm trying to help answer your question as best as possible.:) The question is very very unusual & uncommon. Folks usually don't "stress" themselves about this sort of thing (optical drive making one whirring sound or two).

What I have found is...many many folks just use their computers day after day...not noticing the little details. Then one day they say..."HEY" computer doesn't seem to be doing what I think that it used to be doing.

What this means is...they really haven't been paying attention 100% of the time...regarding the details they're concerned about.

What I'm trying to say's very very possible that your optical drive sometimes makes 2 whirring sounds & sometimes 1 whirring sound (and this was just never noticed before)...and that the difference may depend on a specific set of conditions.

For example...maybe it makes 2 whirring sounds when you reboot the computer...and only 1 whirring sound when you wake the computer from sleep. I'm not actually saying this is what's happening...but situations like this may be the answer.

If you hardly ever use the optical drive (and have hardly ever used it in the past)...odds's in perfect working order (very "low mileage" on it).:)

- Nick

Raz0rEdge 08-15-2013 02:37 PM

Insert a DVD/CD into the optical drive and see if it works for you. If it does, take it out and try it a few more times. If it works every time with no hiccup. You're fine..move on..:)

If it fails to read it once in a while, you might want/need to clean out the lens with some sort of air (that doesn't contain ANY liquid in way) or a CD with a small brush on it designed to clean out the lens..

If that resolves it, then you're good for now..

If the optical drive just fails to read any media, then depending on your urgency of need you might want to replace it now or wait it out..

Troubleshooting things (and guessing whether something is broken or not) based on the number of whirring noises it makes is hardly a definitive thing..:)

HuskyBlack1 08-15-2013 02:57 PM

Optical Drive - Problem?
Thank you both.

I did actually slip in a DVD recently to try and wake the drive up, see my first post; and it worked. It didn't reject the disk or anything, so it's probably fine. Alternately, it might be the temperature or some environmental factor. I'm not sure, but for the meantime I'll just monitor it!

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