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Mac OS X 10.6: Solving problems with burning discs

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.
Solving problems with burning discs

If you’re having trouble recording information on CDs or DVDs, try these solutions.

Make sure your computer has a recordable optical drive

Image of inserting a disc

To burn discs, you must have an optical drive that can burn CDs or DVDs. To confirm that your computer has one, open System Profiler.

If your computer has an internal optical drive, look in System Profiler’s Hardware list and click Disc Burning. The CD-Write and DVD-Write items tell you which type of discs you can burn.

If you’ve connected an external USB or FireWire drive, check to make sure its connecting cable is attached securely. In System Profiler, click USB or FireWire to make sure your drive is listed.

Check CDs & DVDs preferences

Open the CDs & DVDs pane of System Preferences to see how your computer is set up to handle discs when they’re inserted.

If the computer is set to ignore a blank disc when you insert it, you won’t be able to see it or record on it.

Problems inserting discs

If you have a slot-loading drive, press the eject button to make sure the drive does not already contain a disc.

If the computer ejected your disc after you inserted it, you may need to clean your disc. Wipe the reflective side with a soft, damp cloth, working from center to edge. If the disc is scratched, it may be unreadable. Try using the disc in another drive or computer.

If a CD or DVD doesn’t appear on the desktop
If the wrong application opens every time you insert a disc

Problems burning discs

If you can’t burn files on a recordable disc, the disc may be dirty or scratched. Clean the disc with a soft, damp cloth, working from center to edge. If the disc is scratched, try another disc.

Check to see what type of disc you have. If your disc is CD-R or DVD-R, you can burn data on it only once unless you set up the disc for multisession burning using Disk Utility. You can also use Disk Utility to erase a previously recorded CD-RW disc, allowing you to record data on it again.

Burning a CD or DVD

Problems with burned discs

If your CD or DVD drive seems to vibrate or it makes a lot of noise, the disc’s weight may be slightly off-center because it is uneven or because of the ink on the label. This won’t damage the disc or your computer. Stickers or unbalanced labels placed on your discs may make the problem worse.

Problems ejecting discs

If you believe there’s a disc in the optical drive but you can’t eject it, try holding down the mouse or trackpad button while you restart the computer.

If you can’t eject a disk
Last Modified: Aug 6, 2013
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  • Last Modified: Aug 6, 2013
  • Article: PH6298
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