Model A1224 / Mid 2007 and Early 2008 / 2, 2.4, or 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo processor

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Why won't my replacement optical drive grab the disc?

When my April, 2008 20 inch 2.66 iMac's optical drive failed, I swapped it myself (out of warranty). I could have sworn that the original drive was a UJ-875. I installed a Panasonic UJ-875 and it fit perfectly in the drive bay bracket. Inserting discs, however, is a problem now because the drive fails to "grab" the disc and pull it in. The disc vanishes inside the iMac's aluminum bezel and requires a final push using a pen tip or credit card to trigger the "grab." What to do?! Note: I've now installed a Panasonic UJ-225 Blu-ray drive and have encountered the same problem. Help! Thanks.

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What brand of drive came originally in your iMac?

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I wish I knew. I didn't think to look before throwing the broken drive in the garbage can. Do you know of any way to find the drive included based on the iMac's serial number?

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Sounds like you're not getting power to the drive. Check the motherboard cable connection. That failing, I would replace the cable as a first step. If the power from the motherboard is not longer functional, then I would put the drive in an external firewire or USB enclosure.

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What was the problem with the old drive? Why did you replace it?

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Power isn't an issue. The drive works perfectly once the disc is inserted far enough for the drive mechanism to grab it. It ejects the disc without an issue. I think it comes down to a drive that isn't quite compatible with the optical drive bracket/tray I've installed it in. While it fits, it doesn't sit as it needs to in the iMac.

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You probably already checked this, but did you make sure to align the tabs on the front of the black drive bracket with the holes (if there are any on the new drives) in the sheet metal casing? Oddly enough I was just remounting the DVD drive in my 20" 2.66GHz iMac yesterday, and I had to struggle a bit to get the tabs to snap in. If you don't have it right, the drive bracket will distort the shape of the drive slightly, and I am pretty certain that would cause retraction or ejection issues.

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Thanks for the reply. Yes, indeed, the tabs aligned properly. And what's odd is that the drive works flawlessly once the disc is inserted far enough for the mechanism in the drive to kick in.

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I know, I am somewhat late with my post... ;)

Well, I absolutely agree, I observed exactly the same problem with several Panasonic UJ265 Blu-Ray replacement drives. I have installed this type drive on a Mac mini (2010) and several different iMac models from 2009. The drive works absolutely great, - the disc has just to be inserted far / deep enough so that the drive mechanism can "grab" it.

I don't think the problem is affected by any fundamental incompatibility. It seems that Apple's optical drives are somewhat different adjusted regarding the grab / loading mechanism. Apple drives "reacts" somewhat earlier when a disc will be inserted. Most likely this behavior can be configured! The big question is how can this be made, has someone found a solution?

I think this is a hardware related question. Probably someone has to disassembly an original Apple SuperDrive (e.g. from Panasonic Matsushita) and looks for a way how the disc loading behavior can be adjusted. Will see if I find the time for such a "project"... ;)

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Nathan will be eternally grateful.
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