Save Money! 10 Free Ways To Eject A Stuck Disk From Your Mac Superdrive


Firstly the ever present disclaimer…these tips have been tried and tested by Mac users all over the world, but I’m the first to admit that your Mac might have a problem that no one has come across yet. Use the more radical methods at your own risk.

Here are the top ten ways I’ve found to eject a stuck disk from your superdrive, and hopefully one of them will work for you. If they don’t it might mean a trip to your local Apple store with your credit card in hand, but I doubt it.

New to Macintosh?

Firstly, here are the standard methods of ejecting a superdrive disk, so follow these three steps first, before moving on to the more esoteric stuff below, and even if you are an experienced Mac user, I suggest you follow these steps to ensure you have covered all the faultfinding bases, an Apple techie would start from here also.

1. Press and hold the eject key (marked with a triangle on top of a hyphen), if it doesn’t eject try these other two methods in turn:

2. Drag the disk icon to the trash basket in your dock.

3. Find the disk icon on your desktop. Right click it with your mouse, and when the drop down menu appears, scroll down and click on eject “whatever disk”.

If the disk remains in situ try these:

Macintosh heal thyself

Macs can sometimes cure themselves, especially if you have been running your Mac for days without switching it off and it’s rather hot. To see if this is the cause of your problem power down your Mac and go and do something else for half an hour or so. Power it back up and go and grab yourself a coffee, when you come back, your disk might be waiting for you.

Try Ejecting Using Disk Utility

Go to your applications, find your Utilities folder and double click on Disk Utility. You will see your disk over on the left under your hard drive icon. Left click once on your disks icon to select it, and the click on the blue eject icon up there on the right in the toolbar. No Go?

The Trackpad and Mouse Trick

Restart your Mac whilst at the same time holding down the left key of either your mouse or your trackpad (depending on your Mac model) as your computer reboots itself. Continue to hold this down until your disk pops out.

Using The Mac Terminal

This might seem a little daunting if this is the first time you have used the Macs Terminal interface. Just look at it as the Macs boiler room, the bits of script that work all those easy to use icons that other manufacturers try so hard to emulate.

Go to your Utilities folder and double click on Terminal and your white terminal command box will open. Your cursor will be sat there waiting. Now type the following: drutil eject (leave a space between both words) and press return. The disk should now pop itself out. Quit Terminal.

Still stuck fast in there? If so the probable cause of your stuck disk is that it has come unseated as the disk drive lifts it upwards to present it to the slot for ejection.

This in turn lifts the edge of the disk up slightly and rather than eject safely, the disk misses the slot and touches the body of the Mac. Rather than damage itself, your Mac immediately withdraws the disk back to its start point, and the process continues until it can be freed, all the while the superdrive will keep spinning.

It’s time to play our last few cards. Literally.

The Macbook Shuffle

This can only be used with a laptop (or a mac mini if you’ve got hands like a quarterback) – it’s a bit of a juggling act, but can be quite successful.

Restart your Mac, and then pick it up and hold it so the superdrive slot is facing downwards. Now press the eject key whilst you gently shake your Macintosh up and down and side to side… remember you’re trying to get the disk to find the slot, so jiggle away!

If At First You Don’t Succeed, Try Your Credit Card!

It might appear a little radical, and it might be your last resort, but believe me, it works 99% of the time.

What you have to do is disrupt the eject cycle I mentioned earlier, (when your disk is hitting the housing slightly above the slot).

Firstly, restart your Mac whilst holding down your left mouse/trackpad key as before. Take a credit card or a thickish piece of cardboard and insert it on the left hand side of the slot drive – you are trying to push the disk down slightly as your Mac tries to eject it. Keep trying till it ejects.

Other variants on the same theme that don’t involve a restart are: Using a large mailing label to make adhesive contact with the disk, then press the eject button and give it a little assistance to pull it out. Duct tape smoothed onto the DVD using your credit card, then pulling whilst pressing the eject button, is another way Mac users swear by to get a disk out.

If none of these work it looks like you have a major drive issue that will need looking at.

Well, there they are, all the tips I know to get a stuck CD or DVD out of a Macs superdrive slot. I hope one of them works for you, and saves you the time and money an engineer would charge you to fix it.

Spend the money on someone you care about, they deserve it!