Thursday, January 17, 2008


Here and there, I hear stories of Macbook CD drives that fail their owners. I became a statistic, with regard to this issue, a few months ago - not even a year after I owned my Macbook.

Well, a recent article in Slashdot, an online repository of news for the computer nerd/hacker community, might shed some light on the ornery attitude of Mac's disc drives.

Last weekend, the British Mail on Sunday gave out free copies of "The Jazz Singer" on a new, environmentally-friendly DVD called EcoDisc, which is half as slim as your average DVD. But the EcoDisc can get stuck into Mac disk drives, and the Mail slapped a warning label onto the promotion. Mac owners, too excited to pass up the free offer, slipped the super-slim discs into their drives anyway.

"We inserted this damm Ecodisc into our Apple Mac before realising the implications of using an EcoDisc, and the disc drive no longer works," a PC Pro reader is quoted as saying in one article. "I have booked the computer in for repairs and it is likely to cost �60 plus VAT [sic] to repair."

Ray Wheeler, the managing director of ODS, which manufacturers the EcoDisc, told PC Pro that this wasn't a big deal. "We've produced over ten million of these discs - we've had less than a dozen phone calls," he said. All the same, it looks like Mac has been naughty: "[Mac] uses an ejection system that doesn't get approval from the DVD Forum."

Disappointing, to say the least. But this is no smoking gun, when it comes to my own Mac's problems. After all, mine certainly ejects all of my CDs and DVDs. The problem is that it refuses to do anything but eject them.

1 comment:

moritzschroeder said...

Don't laugh, but this trick usually works to get the EcoDisc "out of your system" ;-)
Turn the MacBook over and put the keyboard on the edge of a table. While pressing the eject button, slap/tap/knock your MacBook with the other hand. I describe the method including in a post on my "qompute" blog.

No guarantees of course, but it worked for most EcoDisc-victims so far... Of course there is a risk, but far less than most other sometime brutal methods which can be found on the web. Have fun!