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When you have a CD or DVD you can't get out of a Mac, the steps to follow are:

  • press eject
  • press option-eject
  • (optional) hit the eject button within iTunes
  • issue the 'drutil eject' command
  • reboot the computer and hold the mouse button (or eject button) down during startup

If the disc still won't eject, particularly from a laptop, what steps do you try next?


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up vote 4 down vote accepted

MacYourself has a few things to try...

I've been able to use the paperclip trick (insert the tip of a paperclip on the right-hand side of the drive) on a Mac mini. The Macbook may have different drives without the paperclip hole, though, I'm not sure.

Macbook drives still have the release mechinism, just be careful poking a paperclip through the drive slot. – Andrew Williams May 26 '09 at 15:58
Thank you -- the business card trick worked, after several attempts. – Clinton Blackmore May 26 '09 at 16:32
Cool! Glad to hear it. – ceejayoz May 26 '09 at 17:03

Take it to an Apple store for them to deal with :-)

That's part of what we pay the extra money for, right?

If waranty or Apple care still covers it, true enough. – Clinton Blackmore May 26 '09 at 15:18
I dont think it'll be a question of warranty or AppleCare, they usually do these sort of small jobs without question. – Andrew Williams May 26 '09 at 15:57

You can also boot into open firmware by holding command + option + o + f during boot and then issue an eject cd command. Gets in at a lower level than most any other software solution.

That's handy. I imagine it'll only work with Power-PC-based Macs. – Clinton Blackmore Jun 27 '09 at 16:35

Slot loading Mac CD/DVD drives usually have a small micro switch, hidden at one end of the slot.

You need to hit the micro switch with a paper clip, for example, and sometimes reboot to get it to properly eject. Just one push, and not hard, it is a 'software'/hardware eject button.

Dunno if this is still the case on newer drives. I do not think it was a Mac innovation, as they buy their drives from generic vendors.


Hold down left click (or only click) while booting. This will force ejection during boot before the volume is mounted.


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