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Old 12-03-2009, 01:56 PM   #1
geekneck
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iMac Superdrive is Intermittent

Hi all,

I have an early 2009 iMac running Snow Leopard with all updates applied. I am in the process of importing all of my music CDs into iTunes. About 50% of the time, it works just fine. I insert the CD, iTunes automatically recognizes the disc and starts importing the music; no problems. Other times, when I insert the CD, I get no love. The CD spins up, and I briefly see the CD icon on the desktop as well as in iTunes. Then it just goes away, poof! I don't see the icon anywhere including the Finder, so I have to eject the disk manually. I immediately reinsert it and the disk is recognized just fine.

I've tried restarting to no avail. There doesn't seem to be any pattern with the media type, as it happens on pressed CDs as well as CDRs.

I don't watch a huge numbers of DVDs, so the sample size may be too small, but I have never had this problem with a DVD.

Any ideas on how to solve this would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 12-03-2009, 01:58 PM   #2
geekneck
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Here is the info on this drive from System Profiler:

Quote:
OPTIARC DVD RW AD-5670S:

Capacity: 398.4 MB (398,405,280 bytes)
Model: OPTIARC DVD RW AD-5670S
Revision: 2AHG
Native Command Queuing: No
Removable Media: Yes
Detachable Drive: No
BSD Name: disk1
Power Off: No
Async Notification: Yes
Media Name: Audio CD
Partition Map Type: Unknown
S.M.A.R.T. status: Not Supported

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Old 12-03-2009, 02:18 PM   #3
trevor
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Buy a CD drive cleaner from your preferred electronics or computer store. They are very inexpensive. Run it on your drive. Let us know if it fixes the problem.

Trevor
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Old 12-21-2009, 04:57 AM   #4
geekneck
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trevor
Buy a CD drive cleaner from your preferred electronics or computer store. They are very inexpensive. Run it on your drive. Let us know if it fixes the problem.

Trevor

I have not had a chance to get a drive cleaner; I try to stay away from stores this time of year :-) I hooked up a USB CD drive and I'm experiencing the same issue with it.
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Old 12-22-2009, 02:51 PM   #5
trevor
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What messages appear in your logs when the CD 'disappears'? You can easily view your logs using the Console app, found in /Applications/Utilities.

If you create a brand new user on your computer, log out of your existing user and into the new one, does the problem also happen there?

Trevor
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Old 12-22-2009, 03:29 PM   #6
geekneck
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Hi trevor,

Wow, so many logs! I didn't know about that utility, very handy!
I looked at quite a number of the log files and didn't see anything suspect. Just lots of these:
Quote:
Dec 22 16:15:09 paul-waldos-imac UnmountAssistant[5843]: Volume unmounted successfully

I even see these when a disk is successfully mounted and imported by iTunes.

One other note of interest. After an unsuccessful mount, I opened up Disk Utility and saw that the drive knows there is an "Audio CD" in the drive and gives me the option to mount it (which I did). iTunes immediately displayed the Title and Track info, without having to fetch it from the Internet. Since this disk has never been inserted before, this leads me to believe that the first time I inserted the disk, it was mounted long enough for iTunes to get the disk ID and query the Internet DB.
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Old 12-22-2009, 03:35 PM   #7
geekneck
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BTW, the "Super"Drive is a dog. The best I can do ripping an audio CD with it is about 6X (according to iTunes), while the el-cheapo USB external drive has done as fast as 40X! :-)
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:36 PM   #8
geekneck
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Another data point: sometimes the drive doesn't recognize the disk type. I put in an audio CD and it says that it is a blank! I get this in the logs:

Quote:
Dec 22 17:34:17 paul-waldos-imac diskarbitrationd[13]: unable to probe /dev/disk1 (status code 0xFFFFFFFC).
Dec 22 17:34:47: --- last message repeated 3 times ---

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Old 12-22-2009, 04:56 PM   #9
trevor
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Hmmmm, I'm still thinking that cleaning your drive would be a good idea, and certainly won't hurt.

Trevor
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