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Can a CDROM drive be unstuck?


Veteran Member
Apr 24, 2009
Canberra, Australia
This is a long shot. I have a Mac Powerbook G4 in which the optical drive will grab a disk that is poked into the slot, and will eject the disk properly on command. So the drive is recognised and the servos respond properly. However the drive never seems to spin up.

I was guessing that the main spindle motor is burned out, maybe because some past owner jammed a disk in it somehow.

Just wondering, is there any chance that the spindle motor is just stuck and could be released? Or some other way to test whether the drive is capable of spinning up?

It could be the laser too. If it can't "see" the disc, it won't spin up.

Really you're just going to have to take the thing apart and poke around. It could be as simple as a dirty lens or gummed up grease in a mechanism. If it is a stuck spindle motor, you're probably just going to have to replace the drive... those motors aren't really repairable, and a replacement would probably cost as much as another drive (if you can even find one at all).
Depending on which model G4 you have, replacing the optical drive can be a real pain. If you are going to go to that much trouble you may want to look into upgrading the drive to a DVD RW if you have to replace it. If you are not familiar with the Powerbook disassembly you may want to take a look at the instructions at ifixit.com