CD or DVD Drive Won’t Eject or Open?

In the past, we have written several posts on how to burn DVD’s, how to burn Windows 7 discs, and even some stuff on Blu-ray discs. However, we have yet to post about one of the most simple things. What to do if you get a CD or DVD stuck in your computers optical drive, and it won’t eject. You can take several steps to troubleshoot stuck DVDs or CDs.

dvd drive

Computers are what they are, complex. Meaning, a stuck DVD could be one of several possible things. Sometimes it may be easy to fix. Sometimes, not so easy. The best thing to do is troubleshoot the problem.

Here is what you should not do:

– Stick a screwdriver, pocket knife, credit card, or any other object into the DVD drive and try to pry it open or pull the disc out. When stuff doesn’t work right, I feel like tossing my computer across the room just as much as the next guy. But just don’t do it. Troubleshoot first.


Method 1 – Try Ejecting from Within Windows

Navigate on over to Start > Computer. Right-click on your CD/DVD drive choose eject from the drop down menu. Sometimes you can eject the stuck disc using Windows commands.

windows volumes

Method 2 – Software and Drivers

The CD/DVD drive was working a week ago right? But all of a sudden it just stops. Chances are good, that you may have installed a program, application, update, driver, etc., that messed with the CD/DVD drive driver.

To troubleshoot this, try doing a system restore. A system restore will uninstall several files and changes to your computer that were made within a certain time frame. If you have just recently upgraded your operating system, this often times cause some device drivers incompatibilities.

Another thing that you can try, is uninstalling the driver for your CD/DVD drive, and reinstalling it. To do this, you will need to make sure that you have a backup of your driver. You should be able to download it from your CD/DVD drive manufacturer’s website.

system restore

Method 3 – Force Eject

Next, you can try to to force eject the CD/DVD tray to open. Not all drives and burners have this feature. To check to see if yours does, look near the face of the CD/DVD drive and you should see a small hole.

Use a toothpick, bent paperclip, or needle to push the button. This may or may not pop open the drive. Many people have reported that this does not work. But some have reported that it does. May the force eject be with you.

force eject

Method 4 – Some Weird Stuff That Works

Close out of all applications and make sure that you have saved anything that needs to be saved. Restart your computer. As soon as it starts loading back up, even before you see the Windows loading screen, start pressing the eject button on the drive.

If you are using a slot loading drive (MacBook), this would be the eject button on your keyboard. Don’t hold the button down. Push it repeatedly and rapidly, like it’s the A button and your on level 10 of Mario Bros trying to beat Bowser. Believe it or not, this works a lot of the time. If Windows loads to the login screen, and the tray isn’t open, stop pressing.

nintendo pad

– Shut down your computer, disconnect the power cable, and wait a couple of minutes. Plug it back in, start it up, and try the step above. To learn more about that, check out this article on USB connection problems.

– Give it a little tap. Don’t use a lot of power, just a light tap. Sometimes, especially in slot loading drives, the disc may just jump out of place.

macbook pro

What You Can Do Now

Internal CD/DVD drives are fairly simple to swap out in desktop computers. You can find tutorials all over the internet. However, laptop drives are not as easy. If you don’t feel comfortable trying to replace the internal CD/DVD drive, you can always get an external drive. They are pretty decently priced, under $100.

Comments [9]

  1. Hey, a paper clip to that little hole worked great. Thanks for the tip.

  2. I could replace the drive, yes, but how do I get my DVD out?

  3. there should be a little hole you can push a little screw driver or a tooth pick that should eject it.

  4. I did what you said to shutdown the computer completely and wait at least 20 seconds to start. And while Windows is starting, start ejecting using the eject button and it works.

    Thanks a million.

  5. You are greatness. Sending much love your genius way!!! This whole paper clip deal pretty much saved my life!! (:

  6. Thanks heaps! The paperclip did the job!! Look to the paperclip!!

  7. Hey–thanks for this article. I’m a software user (who still doesn’t know how to eject a bloody CD). LoL. Dang thing just stopped working after I installed Office 2010… but the first step worked. (Right click on drive icon via Start > Computer > Eject). Why couldn’t I figure that out!? Thanks!!

  8. Force Eject worked fine and CD/DVD drive continues to work fine. On my Toshiba lap-top eject hole was on the door itself and needed something long to reach back far enough to cause the eject. Thanks much for your web site.

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