HELP! DVD drive in Mac not reading discs!

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Hi

I have a mac tower. Great machine - I use it for work and it's brilliant.... but not something terrible and worrying has happened

The disc drive won't read DVD Video discs. It reads blank ones but not video discs with content!

It just comes up with a message saying "This computer cannot read this disc"

But if I put it in through an external drive it works.

2 major problems:

1) I work in the video industry and I use this drive all the time and it has to work!

2) The external drive isn't mine, I'm borrowing it just to look into the problem!

Can anyone help? I thought it might be a region change but at no point have I had a warning about changing a region and as all the films over the last week have been region 2 (PAL) then not sure why one region 1 (USA NTSC) would not only break it but also not offer a warning about changing region code - to which I would have said no!

I remember in the old days of being on PC it would say: Do you want to change the region code? You have X changes left to this drive.

Does Apple not have a similar thing to this? It's rare - very very rare - when Microsoft does something better and more user friendly!

I'm not sure where to check region settings as there isn't any under the DVD option in System Settings.

Any help would be so greatly appreciated!!!

I'm running Mavericks fully updated btw

Ta
 
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A DVD drive that is dying will read a blank disk but not play content. Is this just a player or will it burn a disk and does it play in another machine?

I suspect the drive is going out and they do. They are mechanical devices and the reader will wear out. Over the years I have replaced the DVD burner in my editor twice and she is 8 years old. I do use it a lot so I just accept it as part of wear and tear on the machine.

Lisa
 
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Lisa,

Thank you very much very interesting and helpful.

The DVD's I've burnt since seem to play fine. All PAL content (But not region coded)

Does this help shed any light on what might be wrong with it? Would you know where can I shop for a disc drive for a mac pro tower?

Regards

Chris
 
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The fact it is burning DVD's makes me believe it is something else. Usually the burning ability dies first. Have you checked for a firmware update for the DVD burner? I assume that Apple would have offered it if necessary but you know what happens when you assume.

I will admit I only deal with NTSC. Just thinking out loud here... If you burned PAL disks then burned a NTSC disk you had to tell your software to make the adjustment. So is it possible your burner still thinks it is looking at NTSC disks and is holding that region code?

I am really reaching here cause this is weird. In the encoding software I use (Adobe Encoder) I believe I can select the region code when I get ready to do the final burn.

I just hate to see you replace a burner and that is not the issue - although the fact you have an external that is working fine seems to indicate a potential replacement of it.

As to where to get a new drive, a lot of the guys on this forum recommend OWC: Other World Computing (OWC) - Performance Upgrades For Your Mac

I have no first hand knowledge as I have not had to replace a DVD burner on a mac pro (all my desktop editors are Windows based custom built machines) I use a MB Pro for off-site work and her burner is working great. I am also not sure where you are located. Obviously Apple should also offer parts.

Hope this helps!

Lisa
 

chscag

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I agree with Lisa. If the external drive is working and the internal is not, the solution is to replace the drive. We see this all the time - and it has nothing to do with region codes or NTSC/PAL. Optical drives have a rather short life span especially on Macs.
 
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Thanks guys - really helpful stuff.

Just to confirm: The internal drive BURNS DVD's fine. Not a problem in the slightest

It just refuses to use them. I don't have any R1 DVD's or anything to try sadly.

Don't know if the top bit helps at all

If not I guess I'll look at getting a new drive - although It's not that easy a decision because while the machine is a beauty it is old now and unsupported through OS and Hardware so not sure if it's worth it... hmmm
 

chscag

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If not I guess I'll look at getting a new drive - although It's not that easy a decision because while the machine is a beauty it is old now and unsupported through OS and Hardware so not sure if it's worth it... hmmm

I certainly agree with your hesitation to replace the drive. A better suggestion might be to buy an inexpensive external optical drive to use in the interim until you replace your machine with a new one. New Macs do not come with an optical drive anyway which would make any external drive purchase practical.
 
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Yeah! the external apple usb superdrive is the bomb.... We have one at work and I find it to be a speedy little thing and cute too!

Lisa
 
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First off the super drive won't work on the machine he has he stated he has a older machine thats unsupported there might be a saving grace here and because the drive is dead basically you can try this if your brave enough.

Take the cd drive apart remove the top cover clean the laser with some rubbing alcohol and put it back
together and try again.

also has this drive been replaced before???

the reason i ask this for is older pc Dvd drives and CD-R burning drives have different burning standards.

older mac drives burn in a standard called cd burning 1.0 works great on 1.0 and 2.0 drives but not backwards compatible with 2.0 disk's

then came cd burning 2.0 rarly heard of this was used in pc dvd drives externals and even most major computer manufactures adopted this because of its better read and write speeds and reliable nature the problem 1.0 drives cannot read anything 2.0 it will completely fail to read remember that certain original xboxs won't read dvd R same thing cd burning 2.0 vs 1.0
 
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First off the super drive won't work on the machine he has he stated he has a older machine thats unsupported there might be a saving grace here and because the drive is dead basically you can try this if your brave enough.

Take the cd drive apart remove the top cover clean the laser with some rubbing alcohol and put it back
together and try again.

also has this drive been replaced before???

the reason i ask this for is older pc Dvd drives and CD-R burning drives have different burning standards.

older mac drives burn in a standard called cd burning 1.0 works great on 1.0 and 2.0 drives but not backwards compatible with 2.0 disk's

then came cd burning 2.0 rarly heard of this was used in pc dvd drives externals and even most major computer manufactures adopted this because of its better read and write speeds and reliable nature the problem 1.0 drives cannot read anything 2.0 it will completely fail to read remember that certain original xboxs won't read dvd R same thing cd burning 2.0 vs 1.0

The drive is not totally dead. He indicates he can burn PAL disks with this drive that come out fine. What he can't do is read the dvd's. Which is really puzzling. He has used an external with this machine with success but it is a borrowed external.

My thoughts were that the external is a cheaper alternative - since it works - and later he can upgrade to a new mac and already have an external to use.

Lisa
 
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true on that but if you don't make sure the external is in the right burning mode he will not be able to read anything no matter what this is why i hate this new cd burner garbage its so messed up even with just the basic burn
 

chscag

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true on that but if you don't make sure the external is in the right burning mode he will not be able to read anything no matter what this is why i hate this new cd burner garbage its so messed up even with just the basic burn

I don't see any problem with this. How many CDs or DVDs are you burning nowadays? How often are you even using your optical drive? Unless you purchase a lot of movies or videos on DVD you probably don't use your drive often enough to matter.
 

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