Why does my optical disc drive eject discs?

DVD discs are ejected after initial spinning and noises that sound as if they are going to mount, but they do not. The discs are not dirty, and they mount and play in my spouse's newer unibody MacBook Pro 13". What can I do to fix this, other than giving up my Mac for who-knows-how-long to get the slot load optical disc drive replaced?

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You can replace the drive but it's expensive. I would think about how often you use a disk and consider an external optical drive. There are several different models, some are the "portable types" and some desktop models. Most are USB. Personally I would get a Firewire external because you can boot from it while you can't boot from a USB drive. Will be happy to recommend some to you if you desire.

Here's how to replace the drive: MacBook Pro 15" Core 2 Duo Models A1226 and A1260 Optical Drive Replacement

Here's some drive that will work for you: http://www.ifixit.com/Mac-Parts/MacBook-...

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You can replace it yourself! Then it will only be out of service for an hour, instead of "who-knows-how-long"! :-) Assuming you do in fact have an A1226 or A1260, here's the part:

MacBook/MacBook Pro 15" 8x SuperDrive

And here's the guide:

MacBook Pro 15" Core 2 Duo Models A1226 and A1260 Optical Drive Replacement

It's an easy repair, and will probably take you closer to 30 minutes than an hour.

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J Clayton will be eternally grateful.
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