It’s not incredibly common, but it does happen once in a while—a disc gets stuck in your optical drive. There are a number of ways that this could happen, but it usually occurs when the disk is unmounted but doesn’t get ejected. Being unmounted, the Mac doesn’t think there is anything in the drive, so further attempts to eject prove fruitless.
As aggravating as this can be, before you grab a screwdriver and attempt to disassemble your Mac, you may want to try some of these methods to coerce it into finally ejecting the disc.
- Hold down the (left) mouse button or trackpad button during boot. This is a built-in key/button combo that dates far back into Macintosh history – it used to eject the disk from the floppy drive…
- Hold the Option key during boot. This will display all the drives you can boot from. From here, the Eject key on your keyboard should allow you to eject.
- Boot into Target Disk mode (hold down the T key until you see the Firewire logo), then tap the Eject key.
- Boot into open firmware (hold down Command-Option-O-F). Type eject cd, and wait for disk to pop out, then type “mac-boot” (without the quotes)and hit return. Note: this only works for PPC Macs.
- Zap the PRAM (reboot holding down Command-Option-P-R and releasing the keys after the 2nd chime). Your Mac will “reinventory” the attached hardware, and remount your optical drive, so you may eject it.
- Reawakening a Mac from sleep can cause it to re-mount the drive, which would then allow it to be ejectable.
- Some Macs have been known to automatically eject the disk if they remain powered up and left alone for about 10 minutes.
- Some CDs may warp when heated. So, allow your Mac to fully cool down, then eject the disk as soon as the Mac reboots.
While this may not be the “be-all, end-all” of disc ejection solutions, these will usually get you back on track if all you’re dealing with is a software hiccup.