Mid 2006 / model number A1181 / black or white case / 1.83 or 2.0 GHz Intel Core Duo processor.

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Plays CDs, ejects DVDs

Yesterday my MacBook started ejecting DVDs after I inserted them into the drive. They will go in, start spinning for 30 seconds or so then are ejected. However, the optical drive is playing CDs with no problem. I have tried several film region specific DVDs and an authentic Snow Leopard DVD with no joy. My DVD lens cleaner disc will successfully launch DVD player and I can then clean the lens but still it won't accept any other DVDs. One thing though, I left the MacBook off overnight and then tried a film DVD this morning and it did launch DVD player and started to play. When I ejected it and tried another one it reverted back to the original problem and I've had no success since. Any advice would be gratefully accepted.

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If one of these answers fixed your problem please hit the "accept" in list that has "History Edit Flag Accept Comment" located to the upper right of your question so we can remove it from the unanswered list. Thanks so much.

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I'm not sure there is a satisfying answer...some drives just get flaky and eventually need to be replaced. DVDs tend to be more sensitive to scratches, smudges, and residue, so of course it makes sense to clean them off with windex and a soft cloth, but I assume you've taken that route. Blowing out the drive with canned air couldn't hurt, although you should probably clean the lens again afterward in case the air blows dust onto it. You've cleaned the lens, and tried various types of DVDs, so there isn't really much more to be done.

I can't imagine the OS or any apps would be the cause, but I'd be curious if the Snow Leopard DVD would show up if you tried to boot to the option menu (hold option as you boot)? If it shows up in the option menu but not in the OS, that might tell us something.

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I have indeed ensured that all the DVDs are clean and the films ones are all brand new so there's no hint of a scratch on them. Same goes for the Snow Leopard. Tried again with the SL DVD and this time it appeared. Managed to install X-Code from it. Tried to do an install of SL and then it just hung. So tried a film and it launched the DVD player and played the Studio intro then stopped before the main menu appeared with the error 'DVD Player encountered a system error. Error: -36 and Error: -69902'. However, I then tried to play the movie in Front Row and it gave me the language menu and allowed me to press play. The movie then played from then on in. Does this not prove that the optical drive is fine?

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Oh well, looks like that was a momentary reprieve. it's now not working in either DVD Player or Front Row and keeps ejecting the software discs. It's driving me nuts!

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Sounds like a breaking drive to me.

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Most Helpful Answer

Here’s the link to replacing it:

MacBook Core Duo Optical Drive Replacement

and heres a used drive:

MacBook/MacBook Pro 15" 8x SuperDrive

here’s a new drive:

http://fastmac.com/superslim.php

I personally don’t use a DVD much in my laptop. So an external, bus-powered dvd burner might be cheaper if portability is a factor.

If you have another Mac you can connect the MacBook to it via a firewire cable then boot the Book using the “T” key and then install from the other Mac.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought that the MBA superdrive was only compatible with the MBA. That is, without modding it.

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You may be right. I'm trying to research that now. Thanks for spotting that, I didn't know. OK, here La Cie's answer http://www.lacie.com/products/range.htm?...

LaCie Portable DVD±RW

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Edited to remove reference to MBA super drive that won't work.

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You were right, "the MacBook Air SuperDrive is compatible ONLY with the MacBook Air and the new Mac Mini Server." http://store.apple.com/us/questions/prod... Bad business by Apple. I've just written to La Cie, as one of their resellers, about why the drive for Mac is $30 higher for the same drive for PC.

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Took the book into my local Apple store who tested it and they advised that it was on the verge of death. Replacement was going to cost £112.50 including labour. However the Genius guy noticed the upper case keyboard was cracked in the bottom right hand corner where the magnet holds the MacBook closed. He said it was a known issue with older polycarbonate models and that the upper case would be replaced for free with no labour charge for any of the work. So in the end I only had to pay £65 for the drive replacement. Bonus! Thanks for all the advice folks!

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Maybe the drive needs a manuel laser lens cleaning with rubbing alcool but to do it you need to take off the MacBook top case.

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peelywally will be eternally grateful.
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