Technique: Optical Drive Disc Removal Technique, or Foreign Object Removal

Featured Guide

Featured Guide

This guide has been found to be exceptionally cool by the iFixit staff.

Did your optical drive devour your favorite CD? Did your 3-year-old fill the slot with coins? Worry no more! This guide will show you how to remove a jammed disk or foreign object from your optical drive.

Edit Step 1 Optical Drive Disc Removal Technique, or Foreign Object Removal  ¶ 

Image 1/1:

Edit Step 1 Optical Drive Disc Removal Technique, or Foreign Object Removal  ¶ 

  • With the optical drive removed from the computer, remove the screws securing the top panel of the optical drive.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

Image 1/3: Lift the top panel off the optical drive.

Edit Step 2  ¶ 

  • With the screws removed, shift the top panel slightly toward the rear of the optical drive so the retaining tabs clear the body of the drive.

  • Lift the top panel off the optical drive.

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

Image 1/1: If a disk is stuck in the drive, simply lift it off the spindle motor.

Edit Step 3  ¶ 

  • Remove any objects stuck in the optical drive.

  • If a disk is stuck in the drive, simply lift it off the spindle motor.


To reassemble your device, follow these instructions in reverse order.

Now that you've finished, share your repair story with others.

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Add a comment

Worked perfectly !!!

zhp - Reply

There should be a caveat. The screws are extremely tiny and can strip easily, besides get lost. Be sure to work away from the edge of a table. On my MBP early 2008 17" there are three brackets, it's a good idea to snap a photo of the layout or mark with a pen to help re-orient.

Also though my case looked like the one above, the label was reversed and the drive was a Panasonic made in China. On trying to open the case per the instructions it should be noted there's a circuit board looking piece of plastic with the ribbon cable, remove first by prying away.

macvoodoodr - Reply

Also when I got the left side unhinged, the right side would not slide so it took twisting the top clockwise, the right side stayed attached though I got the case cracked about 45 degrees and got my system install disk out. On reassembly be very careful to line up the top holes to the metal underneath, and check first around the case edge that it is completely seated. Don't over tighten the screws or they will strip.

Never the less on the rear bracket that fastens to the logic board hole the screws wouldn't take and the bracket stayed loose. Am considering a dab of epoxy in the holes wiped flush to re-attach the bracket after drying.

macvoodoodr - Reply

My Powerbook G4 1.67GHz had two additional brackets on either side of the drive, secured with phillips screws slightly smaller than the 4 main drive screws. Both brackets had to be removed to open the drive case. #0 Phillips worked, but I had to put great pressure on the driver.

srbrownsc01 - Reply

Hi iFixIt! Love your website! Am using it to repair a friend's MBP 13-inch. Instructions for disassembling the optical drive call for a PH00 screwdriver. I have to use a PH0 on the one I'm working on. So, as an FYI, some of the bit sizes listed may differ from your particular situation. Thank you! Jim Willard - Panama City, FL

Jim - Reply

I successfully unstock the disc, but when reassembled, the computer does exactly the same thing as when the disc was inside, it seems that the mechanism is stock in position, so it doesn't move from there.

Ciimoc - Reply

I was able to get the disc out but the drive was shot, good thing I got a new to put in. A spring- loaded lever in the front of the drive was in the up position so it would let the disc out.

mr5989 - Reply

I was able to actually repair my unit, it does load discs, but then started to produce noise, and when ejected, any disk was ruined with a single large scratch on data side, I suspected about some dirt causing the scratch, but no, it was a small screw trapped on a magnet inside... the only thing I did was replace screw into suspected place and reassemble the hole thing, then worked like new!

BTW, great info, I will be not able to disassemble my mac without your excellent guides

Regis - Reply

I can take my computer apart but I can't get rid of that first note I wrote!.

I had a very similar revelation. On step 53 of the strip down the lower mounting screw was missing and when I opened the optical drive there it was. Unfortunately, the super-drive is kaput and looks as if I will have to do the whole process again to install a new one.

I can't wait! great guides and great fun.

David Pagan - Reply