Mac OS: Cannot eject copy protected audio disc, computer starts to gray screen

You may be unable to eject certain copy-protected audio discs, which resemble Compact Discs (CD) but technically are not. Some computers start up to a gray screen after a copy protected disc has been left in the computer.

Symptom

  1. You insert an audio disc, which is not recognized by the computer.
  2. The audio disc will not eject.
  3. The computer starts up to a gray screen when the disc is in the optical drive.

Products affected

  • Any Macintosh computer with an optical drive capable of accepting CD-ROM audio discs.

 

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Solution

A small number of audio discs use a copy protection technology that can prevent the disc from being read by a computer. This may also prevent the disc from being ejected. The audio discs are technically and legally not Compact Discs (CD format), and the CD logo has been removed from the disc. In the logo's former place is the printed message:

"Will not play on PC/Mac"

This appears both on the cover and on the disc. Inserting this disc in a computer may cause the system to stop responding. It might not be possible to eject the disc on computers without a manual eject hole.

How to Remove the disc

You may try one of these workarounds for ejecting the disc:

Install the Apple SuperDrive Update

  1. Download the Apple SuperDrive Update. Click (here) for more information.
  2. Install the Apple SuperDrive Update.

This update enables computers equipped with an Apple SuperDrive to eject audio disks with copy protection.

Mouse button

  1. Restart the computer. If necessary, use the reset/interrupt button.
  2. Immediately after the system startup sound, press and hold the mouse button. Continue to hold the mouse button until the computer is finished starting up.

This technique may force the disc to eject.

Force Mac OS X startup

If Mac OS X is installed on the computer, try these steps.

  1. Restart the computer. If necessary, use the reset/interrupt button.
  2. Immediately after the system startup tone, press and hold the "X" key. Continue to hold the key until the computer is finished starting up.
  3. Open iTunes or DVD Player (both located in the Applications folder).
  4. Click the Eject button in either of these applications.

Manual eject hole

Attempt to locate the manual eject hole on the optical drive. The hole is sized for a paper clip and is located on the insertion side of the device. Some computers, such as the iMac (Flat Panel), Power Mac G4 Cube, and certain models of Power Mac G4 (QuickSilver or later), may not have a user-accessible eject hole.

Open Firmware

  1. Restart the computer. If necessary, use the reset/interrupt button.
  2. Immediately after the system startup tone, press and hold the Command-Option-O-F key combination. The computer starts up to a text-only screen, indicating that you are in Open Firmware.
  3. At the prompt, type: eject cd
  4. Press Return.
  5. Type: mac-boot
  6. Press Return

If you still cannot eject the disc

If a disc with copyright protection technology remains inside the drive after following the procedures above, or if the computer does not start up normally, it is recommended that you contact an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) or Apple Technical Support. Audio discs that incorporate copyright protection technologies do not adhere to published Compact Disc standards. Apple designs its optical disc drives to support media that conform to such standards.

 

 iTunes: Unable to import copy-protected audio discs

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