Mac USB Superdrive Won’t Ingest Discs

Okay, here’s one of the technical ones that I’ve been threatening: had a problem with my Mac’s USB Superdrive some months ago. Straight away, I’d thought the drive had failed (it was in a bag, had been bumped around, etc., etc.). It was of course the Apple-marketed, slot-load, USB Superdrive. So, without much testing, I dropped it in the waste bin then moved on.

Last week, I had need again for an optical drive, so I ordered a new one and Prime delivered it in about 36 hours.

Plug it in and hear it click while powering up.

Put in a disc and… nothing. It won’t ingest it. Won’t draw it in.

Fiddled with it for a few minutes then just did an Amazon return as it seemed DOA.

The replacement got here today.

Plug it in… clicks… try to insert a disc and… nothing again.

It’s astonishingly unlikely this drive is dead.

So, here’s what I wound up doing:

Insert a disc as far as the drive will allow it – it won’t draw it in, but you can push it and leave it so it’s about an inch or so from fully inserted.

Open Terminal and run ‘dsutil eject’. The drive will eject the disc. Good.

Now, remove the disc, and shut down your Mac. Leave the empty drive connected.

While pressing and holding the Shift + Control + Option keys on the left side of the keyboard, press and hold the power button for a few seconds.

Release the keys then press the power button.


Log in.

Insert disc and everything’s back to normal.

Who’d have thought that an SMC reset would need to be done?