Burnt out optical drive?

Aug 29, 2011
Reaction score
Your Mac's Specs
iMac G4 800 MHz, 512 MB, 60 GB Hard Drive, Mac OS X 10.5.8 Leopard
So, my iMac G4 isn't dead. But I think the optical drive is. A while ago, I smelled something burning from my iMac, I thought it was the iMac itself, but I've come to the conclusion it was my optical drive. It was working fine though.

Anyway, I shut off and unplugged my iMac for a few days. Yesterday, I opened it up, checked the connections, everything was as it should be (besides a missing screw on the metal grate-type thing below the drive door), so I closed it back up. I tried installing Tiger off of the DVD. Nothing. The drive ejects, but doesn't read. Doesn't even spin.

So I installed Tiger from a USB drive. Install went fine.

Tried putting in a game CD, it ejects, but, again, doesn't read.

Is my drive dead? Where would I go about getting a cheap replacement?

Thanks for your advice and opinions! :)
May 18, 2008
Reaction score
Amberley, Canterbury, New Zealand
Your Mac's Specs
MacMini 14.3, 8.1 & 4.1, OS 13.5, 10.14, & 10.11 & 10.6; Macbook Pro 8.2, OS 10.12.
Don't mess about with a faulty optical drive, which may cause even further problems with things like the psu and logic board. Cut your losses and install a new (Pioneer recommended) drive, not a difficult job inside a G4 iMac.

Shop Amazon

Shop for your Apple, Mac, iPhone and other computer products on Amazon.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.