A number of people managed to pull the disc out by inserting two credit cards working one on either side of the jammed disc and using them like pincers to yank it out. This guy even put up a YouTube video showing the technique in action.
Didn't work for me. Still no luck, even after several hours and repeated sessions of fighting with this thing.
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I was about to pack it in, take the iMac apart and physically remove the drive. But stubbornness and an unwillingness to admit defeat called for a little MacGyvering. The approach I settled on was to use a thin, metal putty knife with a patch of heavy duty adhesive two-sided tape.
I worked the knife into the drive, pressed it against the disc until it adhered, then tried ejecting the disc, simultaneously releasing the pressure on the putty knife and pulling it out. It took multiple attempts and by the end I was not being particularly gentle, but I was finally rewarded by not just the click of the eject mechanism engaging, but the sound of the disc popping out, still firmly attached to the putty knife by a blob of gooey tape.
Was it a damaged disc, or is the drive shot? I have no idea and I don't plan to find out. Fool me once… That drive is now sealed shut, which is one less thing to worry about given the machine is going to the kids' playroom anyway. The DVD itself is gummy and scratched as might be expected give the removal efforts , but I did notice it was extremely flexible. It wasn't cracked, but it bent almost like cardboard, even a day later. I suspect the months it spent stuck in the drive heated it up and baked the plastic, but maybe that was the problem in the first place.go
I'll never know unless one of the kids rips the duct tape off the drive slot and jams another in. So, nearly seven years between posts, two optical drive-related iMac issues are resolved. The next one I buy apparently won't have an optical drive, so don't expect to check in around for a continuation on this theme.
Not the tools I usually keep in my computer repair kit, but sometimes you just have to improvise.
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