Why Does My MacBook Keep Ejecting My Recordable CDs? [Ask MacRx]



When an optical CD/DVD drive begins to fail, it usually has trouble with recordable media first. A few simple tests can help verify whether the problem is with the drive or the media:

I have a macbook and recently I cannot put a cd in to record or have recorded. This happened before with toast. And I found I had something set wrong. What am I supposed to set this on so it will quit ejecting my cds?


Hi Ernie,

Usually an optical drive will eject a CD or DVD if it has trouble reading the media. That could mean a bad disc, or that the CD/DVD drive itself is failing. Try another brand of discs; if you have repeated failures wtih multiple brands, and the same discs work OK on a different Mac, you will probably need to replace the drive.

  • tiresius

      And if you do have to replace your drive, it may make more financial sense to acquire an external model, since this “burner” can subsequently be used on other computers, and probably will cost the same.  

  • Aaron

    Cleaning the laser inside the unit works wonders. You can either use a special “cleaning CD” with brushes on it or — for the brave — take apart the drive and clean the laser lens with isopropyl alcohol.

  • HeartMan

    I’m quite convinced that optical drives die because of dust. But in many cases I think the dust gets into the servo mechanism. I have tried to save many drives by cleaning the lens to no avail. I think that an external drive is an excellent idea. Internal drives, be they be in a desktop or a laptop constantly have air moving through them which help deposit dust. Also, drives that are used frequently seem to last longer than those that are seldom used. It is for these reasons why I did not hesitate to replace the internal optical drive in my MacBook Pro with an SSD and put the optical drive in an external drive that I keep in a zip lock bag.

  • Dhalgren2001

    I was having a similar problem on my 2007 MbP and found some instructions on the web to clean the drive with a thin, micro-fiber cleaning cloth wrapped around the end of something thin (I used my drivers license being very careful to not go in to far and being gentle. It worked for me.