MacBook versus mini disc

Reader Lynn did the bad thing. She writes:

I accidentally inserted a mini disc into my MacBook’s media slot. I can’t remove it. What should I do?

If, like your MacBook, you had the ability to go back in time, you could read Apple’s Troubleshooting the Slot Load Optical Disc Drive article, which clearly states:

“Inserting a non-standard sized or shaped disc into a drive that is not designed to accommodate it may damage the drive. Use of these discs is not supported and any damage caused will not be covered under your Apple warranty or applicable extended service contract. The slot loading drives used in Apple portable computers work with only standard 120 mm round discs.”

...and then not do it. But the damage is done.

The absolutely safest way to take care of this is to take your MacBook to an Apple store or other Apple certified repair facility and let an expert remove the disc. As the aforementioned article states, this won’t be covered by your warranty or AppleCare.

If you prefer to tackle the problem yourself, do so in the least invasive way possible. And by that I mean, power off the MacBook, turn it so the slot is facing down, and gently shake the computer from side to side. If the “slot fuzz” (yes, this is a technical term) at the entrance of the slot seems to be getting in the way, try tamping it down with a business card.

There’s a reasonable chance that the disc is not held in by the drive’s spindle but is, instead, loose within the drive. With the help of gravity and very gentle persuasion, it might fall out.

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