Troubleshooting a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM Disc That Does Not Appear on the Desktop

This article explains how to troubleshoot a CD or DVD disc that does not appear on the desktop after being put in the drive.

This article has been archived and is no longer updated by Apple.

Prior to troubleshooting, verify the following:

  • Whether you have a DVD-ROM or CD-ROM drive. Open Apple System Profiler and click the Devices and Volumes tab, or read the label on the drive itself. If the drive is DVD capable, it will say DVD on the label. DVD drives require specific driver software to function properly.
  • Make sure the appropriate extensions are installed and active in the Extensions Manager. (Apple CD/DVD Driver, Foreign File Access, UDF Volume Access).
  • Make sure the disc is oriented correctly before inserting it; the label should be facing up. Some DVD discs are double-sided. Try the other side if it is double-sided. Be sure the disc is correctly seated in the drive tray.

Note: If your CD/DVD-ROM drive has been recently replaced, try updating the CD/DVD-ROM driver located in the Extensions folder. The driver can be reinstalled from the system software CD that came with your computer, or downloaded from the Apple Software Updates web site at

Follow these steps:

1. Press the Command, Option, and I keys when inserting the disk. The computer will try to make the disc available on the desktop as an ISO formatted disc instead of a UDF formatted disc. Continue to press these keys until you see the disc on the desktop. If after 30 seconds you still do not see the disc, proceed to the next step.

2. Try another CD or DVD disc. If another disc works, try cleaning the previous disc with a cleaner, then try it again.

3. For PowerBook computers, make sure the computer is turned off, then eject and reinsert the CD-ROM drive mechanism. For Power Macintosh computers try unplugging and plugging in the cables to the back of the CD-ROM drive and try the disc again.

4. Restart the computer and reset the PRAM described in article 2238: "Macintosh: How to Reset PRAM and NVRAM" and then try the disc again.

5. Use the System Software CD that came with your computer to reinstall the CD/DVD software. Restart the computer and try the disc again.

6. For PowerBook computers, try another drive if available. If not, the PowerBook may require service by an Apple Authorized Service Provider. If another drive works, call an Apple Authorized Service Provider to have the PowerBook repaired. For Power Macintosh computers, contact an Apple Authorized Service Provider to have the computer serviced.

For further information on this topic see article 30878: "DVD Discs: Cannot See on Desktop and/or No Sound"

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