iMac doesn't recognize most CDs as CDs.
July 22, 2010 7:18 AM   Subscribe

My iMac spits out the vast majority of CDs you put in the drive. I'd rather not lug it to the store (out of warranty)... any known solutions for this madness? Sometimes I have to put the same CD in the drive 20 times until it's recognized as a CD. It never spits out DVDs. It's a 3 year old 24" iMac.
posted by dobbs to Computers & Internet (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are these CDs mostly labeled with a stick on paper label?

CDs (and especially DVDs) are balanced in such a way so that it spins without warping. Sometimes do-it-yourself paper labels throw off that balance.

Totally anecdotal: This seems especially common in Mac computers for some reason.
posted by royalsong at 7:26 AM on July 22, 2010

Response by poster: No, they're store bought CDs.
posted by dobbs at 7:35 AM on July 22, 2010

I don't know if you've seen this Apple support page yet, but it has a few suggestions for your problem. Their only non-obvious recommendation is to reset the System Management Controller -- have you tried that?
posted by BurntHombre at 7:38 AM on July 22, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks, BurntHombre, but I tried that and it didn't work. Just tried it again, too.
posted by dobbs at 7:55 AM on July 22, 2010

I had a similar issue a few years ago with a much older imac and ended up buying a cheap external cd/dvd drive.
posted by abirae at 7:56 AM on July 22, 2010

You could also take it apart and reseat or replace the current drive. CD/DVD drives aren't that expensive.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:02 AM on July 22, 2010

Known problem, sadly you just need a new optical drive. If you don't want to take someplace you could do the repair yourself.
posted by J-Garr at 9:38 AM on July 22, 2010

DVD & CD's are actually quite different - so your slot drive is shot for CD's and I second the suggestions for getting an external drive - it will be simple, not very expensive and did I mention simple? It's what I have on my setup (previous mac unit had bad optical drive - of course it lasted 6 years before giving up the ghost!)
posted by zenon at 12:14 PM on July 22, 2010

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