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How do I eject the Snow Leopard install DVD on a Mac Mini?
October 9, 2009 6:42 AM   Subscribe

How do I eject the Snow Leopard install DVD on a Mac Mini?

I tried to install Snow Leopard on an older Mac Mini but foolishly did not realise that it required 1GB of memory. The install program informs me of this and then gives options to either "Restore From Backup" or "Restart". There is no time machine backup and if I restart it boots again (and again) from the install disc.

I have tried rebooting with holding down the eject button on the keyboard or the left mouse button to no avail. Thanks for any help in getting the big cat out.
posted by keijo to Computers & Internet (24 answers total)
 
When it restarts, hold down the left mouse button as soon as you hear the startup chime. Voila! the disk will come out.

Also holding doen the option key at startup will allow you to choose which system to boot from.
posted by chambers at 6:47 AM on October 9, 2009


chambers: I have tried both already, nothing happens, it boots straight into the SL install.
posted by keijo at 6:54 AM on October 9, 2009


If you have a Mac keyboard hold the eject button whilst booting. Otherwise hold the command, option, p, r keys to reset the PRAm and try again either holding the mouse or eject key.
posted by Gungho at 6:57 AM on October 9, 2009


When booted from the Snow Leopard disk, choose "Startup Disk" from the "Utilities" menu (I don't have it in front of me, but I think it's utilities. It's one of the menus, anyway). From there, choose the actual startup disk hit "Restart."
posted by The Michael The at 6:58 AM on October 9, 2009


If you are comfortable opening the cover, you are only four small screws away from popping off the cover of the drive itself.
posted by WinnipegDragon at 6:58 AM on October 9, 2009


How far does the installer get when it launches? If you get to a point where there is a menu bar, choose Disk Utility from the relevant menu, and see if you can eject the disc from there.
posted by Nothlit at 6:58 AM on October 9, 2009


*choose the actual startup disk AND hit "Restart."
posted by The Michael The at 6:58 AM on October 9, 2009


When restarting, hold down the option key, and it will present you with boot options. Choose the hard drive, and eject as usual once the desktop comes up.
posted by liquado at 7:03 AM on October 9, 2009


I cannot get any of the keyboard tricks to work, not command, option, p, r either. It is an Apple wired keyboard which works fine with normal use. Once in the installer, allt he menus are greyed out so Disk Utility cannot be used. Do I really need to open it?
posted by keijo at 7:03 AM on October 9, 2009


Crap, sorry, bad read -- see that you've already tried this option. Take apart guide is here -- it's pretty trivial to break into it, though this seems insane to have to do to get a disc out.
posted by liquado at 7:07 AM on October 9, 2009


How about FireWire Target Disk Mode and another computer? The disk should load on the other computer's desktop, and you can try dismounting it from there. Or you can try the keyboard/mouse/Terminal tricks from there, too.
posted by thejoshu at 7:12 AM on October 9, 2009


Try booting into Open Firmware and issuing the eject cd command. Details here.
posted by odinsdream at 7:17 AM on October 9, 2009


Also, you need to hold the mouse button down, in my experience. It's not enough to just click and hold for a little while. Just hold the mouse button down before you hit power, and continue holding it down until the disc pops out.
posted by odinsdream at 7:18 AM on October 9, 2009


thejoshu: Thanks, but I don't currently have a FW cable with me. It really seems insane to open it just to get the DVD out.
posted by keijo at 7:18 AM on October 9, 2009


odinsdream: Open Firmware is only for PPC Macs, and yes, I have held down the button.
posted by keijo at 7:20 AM on October 9, 2009


Are your keyboard/mouse plugged directly in? I've seen some hubs cause the devices to not appear to the system until later in the boot process.
posted by CharlesV42 at 7:24 AM on October 9, 2009


Thank you CharlesV42! Plugging the mouse directly into the Mac Mini did the trick.
posted by keijo at 7:30 AM on October 9, 2009


Just for anybody reading this thread in the future: don't open it. Opening a Mac mini is a pain, but it's doable. Getting a stuck disc out of the CD drive is a much more difficult process, requiring very, very fine work. If you bend something the wrong way or unscrew the wrong screw, it's possible you won't be able to get it to work again. (Lots of springs, levers, and other mechanical bits in there.)

The only situation in which I disassemble drives is when a client has stuck one of those damn mini-CDs in there (or something else, like an index card, that has gotten jammed.)

Glad you got it out, though!
posted by aaronbeekay at 9:36 AM on October 9, 2009


Do not open it up. It's hard enough to open a Mac mini, but accessing the optical drive is hellish and a recipe for a $200 replacement repair. Just use a mouse or the Startup Disk utility when the installer boots up.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:07 AM on October 9, 2009


For the record: I disassembled the optical drive in a Mac mini to remove a stuck CD (also had a dead HD, and refused to boot in Target mode for some damn reason). It was a pain in the ass. It also worked, and the Mini is still operational (although the drive seems a wee bit louder than it used to be).

Don't do it unless it's your only option, but don't be afraid to to it, I guess it my take. If it's already broken, you can't break it, right?
posted by caution live frogs at 10:30 AM on October 9, 2009


For the record always plug the keyboard into the computer and the mouse into the keyboard.
posted by Gungho at 11:41 AM on October 9, 2009


Wait, I'm confused.

When booted from the Snow Leopard disk, choose "Startup Disk" from the "Utilities" menu (I don't have it in front of me, but I think it's utilities. It's one of the menus, anyway). From there, choose the actual startup disk hit "Restart."

Did you try this or not? It should've worked.
posted by Mikey-San at 11:41 AM on October 9, 2009


Don't mac mini's have a physical release to jab a paperclip in like every other CD drive ever? That is ridiculous if not.. I'm also confused as to why you couldn't access utilities->startup disk from the installer. Never seen those items greyed out.

Glad you figured it out before trying to take it apart though.
posted by cj_ at 11:56 AM on October 9, 2009


Gungho: The mouse was plugged into the keyboard and the keyboard into the computer but with an extension USB cord. I plugged the mouse directly and then it worked.

Mikey-San: All the menu options within installer (including Startup Disk) were greyed out, so I couldn't.
posted by keijo at 1:16 PM on October 9, 2009


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