Friday, October 30, 2009

WARNING: MacBooks Don't Accept Small mini CDs

I think I already knew this, but.... duh!

This afternoon we bought an ALFA USB Highpower Adaptor as a backup to our Engenius Bridge WiFi system.  It came with a mini-CD with the manual and drivers.  Hmmmm, can I put a small, mini-CD into my MacBook optical drive slot? Nothing on the box that says not to do so... It says this disk is for a bunch of Window OS and Mac OS... OK, let's give it a try...

Now, in hindsight, I think I had a situation like this once before and I had looked it up to see if I could put one of these little cute disks into the CD slot of my Apple MacBook, as I realized that there is no paperclip emergency pop out hole to use if/when the eject button won't work and I didn't do it.

So, back to the a few minutes ago... I kind of went, it should work... let's see if it will suck the disk in. No, it's not in far enough to suck it in so push it in a bit more... maybe a bit more.  I now have the little CD completely in the slot and nothing is happening.  No sucking in the disk sound, no spinning sound, no CD icon on the screen.... Oh Shucky Darn! So, maybe if I use the DVD we just rented and try to push it in a bit further... duh! That was a dumb thing to do.  Actually, I was probably lucky that I didn't get it onto the spindle (I assume there's a spindle that the hole goes onto).

So, for some reason I'm actually calm and not TOO panicked. I go to the site. I think their support & troubleshooting system sucks but it seems better than when I've used it in the past but no help here except it says only to use standard sized 120mm optical disks.

So I Google "macbook manual eject small cd". This gives me a few possible good leads to forums where people have asked about mini-cds and MacBooks.  One asked "can I insert a mini-CD in my MacBook" and someone answered "yes but have fun getting it out".

Oh, yes indeed, I did try the Restart computer and hold down trackbar to manually eject CD, but that didn't work as the CD wasn't really mounted. Since it's not mounted I couldn't use the helpful Go to Disk Utility, select the disk and eject.  Oh yes, the eject button itself didn't work either...

Fortunately, the 3rd choice I clicked on was helpful.  It said to shut the computer down. Hold it up so the CD slot is facing down and gently, very gently, shake the computer and hopefully the disk will slide out with gravity.

This didn't work.

So, we got out one of those thin plastic disks that come with blank DVDs as we didn't want to damage a DVD with a movie on it, and this protective disk is thinner.  Bob cut the disk in half and gently inserted it into the optical slot. He tried to pinch it with both halves (I'm holding the flashlight... I'm good at that... must be from doing time in the Emergency Room).  We then try tweezers but they are too big/thick to open in the little narrow slot.  He does some more manipulating with the plastic disks. It seems to have moved toward the opening but you can't see it due to the velour/pile at the opening.  He then gets this other tool from the manicure set that we don't know what it is for... maybe it is the special removing disk bonus tool!  Anyway, he used this to try and maneuver the disk closer to the front and out.

Then Bob asked me to get our Radio Shack electrical leatherman tool.  Where is it? In the electrical toolbox. But, before I had time to find the tool, Bob gently shook the computer as he was setting it down on the table and the CD dropped out onto the floor.  Buffy pounced on it!


Standard-size DVD - Mini CD - Manicure Mystery Tool - Tweezers 7 - Plastic Disk Halves

Well, not too fast... Let's start up the MacBook and see if it hasn't suffered from the "gentle shaking"...  I just inserted the new DVD it loaded up DVD Player but dark screen... I pressed the Play button and everything works. I quit DVD Player and ejected the DVD... Life is good...

and now it is sundowner time, althought the sun has been down for more an hour... So It Goes...

I hope this helps someone!

Another method to try is to put a post-it or some double-sided tape onto a thin card and put it in the slot so it will stick to the disc...