Resurrecting uncooperative CD/DVD drives

If you’ve been using your Mac for longer than the life-span of a moderately hearty butterfly, you’ve heard that after installing an OS upgrade—say from OS X 10.4.1 to OS X 10.4.2—you should immediately dash to Disk Utility and click the Repair Permissions button to put any errant permissions back in line. While some regard this as “advice that rarely does much good, but it probably won’t hurt,” with the latest Tiger update—10.4.3—I’ve found it to be an absolute necessity.

After installing the latest OS update, the media drive in my dual 2GHz Power Mac G5 refused to play commercial DVD movies. It would spin them and briefly display a menu, but when I hit Play, things went south in a hurry—no picture or one that stuttered badly. Likewise, a brand new 20” iMac G5 refused to read a perfectly legit software CD—spin enthusiastically, it would, but mount, it would not.

The secret to these drives’ salvation was repairing permissions on both Macs. When I did so, a slew of out-of-whack permissions appeared in Disk Utility’s main window. With those permissions fixed, the two drives worked as they should.

Speaking of my trials with OS X 10.4.3, if you’d like to share some of your own, feel free to use the Comments link below.

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