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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Consumer Hardware & Components > Do cleaning CDs/DVDs really work?

Do cleaning CDs/DVDs really work?
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May 24, 2013, 10:49 AM

my mum's old iMac (2007, but still running great... 10.8) started making a strange noise when burning CDs about a year ago, now, for the first time I'd say, it just doesn't recognize an empty Verbatim disc she wanted to burn. I know it's more or less supposed to do that, as the iMac was also used rather intensively, and the drive, too.
However, also for curiosity's sake - do these cleaning CDs/DVDs really work? (How, anyway?) Could this help? Any experiences?

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May 24, 2013, 11:20 AM
Do all disks have issues? What about CDs/DVDs? Have you tried different media? Hopefully, the drive isn't dying.

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May 24, 2013, 11:22 AM
The cleaning dvds may help get dust off the laser etc, but it's more likely the drive is going.
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May 24, 2013, 12:35 PM
I've tried compressed air into a disk slot. It may get some dust off the laser and generally out of the drive, but the improvement (if any) was always small & temporary. In the long run, I've always had to replace misbehaving optical drives. It seems like the laser gets weaker with time - you'd have to replace the laser (or the mini board it's on) to fix it. A replacement drive is far cheaper than dissassembly, parts orders, and fine soldering work.
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May 24, 2013, 01:36 PM
Six years old and it didn't die long ago? That's far longer than any slot-loading optical drive I've used has lasted. Count your blessings and get a new optical drive.

I recommend an external, tray-loading drive. Tray loaders seem a lot more reliable and long-lived to me than slot-loaders, and then you can re-use the drive later on once you upgrade to one of the newer Mac models that doesn't have a built-in optical drive.

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May 28, 2013, 10:47 AM
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
I recommend an external, tray-loading drive. Tray loaders seem a lot more reliable and long-lived to me than slot-loaders

My 10 years old MDD's optical drives are full operative.
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May 29, 2013, 02:27 PM
I have a slot loader or two that still work after a few years. One is almost 5 but was removed and stored a year ago (it worked last I tried it), I have one in an iBook G4 which I think still works and even a couple in TiBooks.

My MDD always did the majority of the heavy lifting when it came to burning discs though. Quicker by far. Don't burn many these days.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
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