Inserted CDs loaded with images appear to be empty. Why?
March 21, 2014 11:32 AM   Subscribe

The last two times I've inserted a CD with jpegs into my Mac desktop, I double click on the desktop icon for the disk and it says it's empty. I've tried the disks on someone else's Mac and it worked fine. I've waded through all the Mac forums trying to figure out what's going on, to no avail. I import images on a regular basis and, until recently, the process worked fine. Any ideas? Thanks.
posted by holdenjordahl to Technology (8 answers total)
I take it that these are recordable CDs? I had a very similar issue with some recordable DVDs I was trying to copy to my HD, where I'd insert the disc and the Finder would recognize the disc, but treat it as not having been recorded on.

This was on a 2009 Mac Pro with the stock superdrive running some flavor of 10.6. The discs worked fine in my wife's 2010 Macbook Pro--so I would copy the files to her HD, and then transfer them back to my machine on a USB stick or over ethernet.

I never found anything that made my Mac recognize those DVDs.

Can you try a disc you previously had success with?
posted by Admiral Haddock at 11:47 AM on March 21, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks Admiral Haddock. Yeah, it works on an older Mac and I ended up transferring the images on a thumb drive to the iMac. It's not that much of a bother but I'm still curious why it would all of a sudden stop working...
posted by holdenjordahl at 11:55 AM on March 21, 2014

I have also had this problem, and it also had to do with the type of CD media vs my iMac's optical drive. Could you tell us the make/model of your iMac (year, processor) and whatever you know about its optical drive, and anything you know about the non-functioning CD media (brand, CD-RW)? Do you have any other CDs (older ones, perhaps by a different brand) with images on them that you could test against the new ones? You might be able to search for your optical drive brand name vs the brand of media the CDs are from and see if that yields more results on how to fix it.
posted by Hermione Granger at 1:03 PM on March 21, 2014

Best answer: For what it's worth, I keep a cheap disposable USB DVD-ROM on hand for reading media that my iMac won't otherwise read. If it's just one drive being finicky, it might be a cheap solution, and depending on the source of your disks, might save you from putting otherwise abused disks into an expensive to repair drive. The price has bottomed out around $30-35 on Newegg for a few years now.
posted by Kyol at 2:19 PM on March 21, 2014

Dumb idea, but would make sense with working on other computers: what view is your Finder window set on? Open the finder window and try cmd-2 (list view). I've had things hide from me in icon view (cmd-1).

What version of OS X are you running?
posted by supercres at 3:06 PM on March 21, 2014

The other thing to try, bypassing Finder, is opening up a Terminal window, typing "ls -al " and then dragging the CD icon to the Terminal window. Press enter and it'll give you a list of files on the CD.

Or open Disk Utility and check out the specs on the disk there-- it should say how much space is used if it can be mounted.
posted by supercres at 3:09 PM on March 21, 2014

Is this one of those things where the disc or the track isn't "finalized" and some readers are OK with it, and some aren't?
posted by RustyBrooks at 3:23 PM on March 21, 2014

Response by poster: Hello everyone.
Thanks for the ideas. I've seen that there are all sorts of problems with Mac's optical drive and apparently Apple isn't too keen on addressing them.
After some searching (thanks Kyol for the idea of a cheap disposable USB DVD-ROM, I'm going to get this:
It's cheaper than having it repaired.Cheers.
posted by holdenjordahl at 7:12 PM on March 22, 2014

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