What happens when your DVD gets stuck in the tray? Can you easily remove it or will it end up in the drive until you take the computer to a specialist?

Fortunately, the answer to this last question in most cases is − No . Pretty much all that happens when your drive gets stuck is that the tray won’t open, likely due to a power or device driver issue. Several methods have been tried and tested to help you recover a stuck drive — so many in fact that they can be tried in the order below.

Remember, however, that if your drive is stuck, there may have been a reason for it. So try to remember how the device got locked, as this may indicate an underlying problem with your computer.

Try the software extraction method first

Before you panic and try desperately to eject the drive, start smart by opening My computer and right clicking on the optical drive and selecting Extract . Wait a few seconds to see if the disk comes to life; if not, restart your computer.

Her-dvdstuck software

While the computer is restarting, press the eject button on your drive. This should eject the disc — problem solved!

If, however, this does not work, this indicates a problem with the optical drive hardware. To fix this problem, you need to manually eject the drive first and then confirm that your drive is properly connected to your computer.

Use a paperclip to eject the disc

Using a curved paper clip is one of the most common ways to remove a jammed optical disc. This is not dangerous and will not damage your device — in fact, if you look carefully, you will notice a small hole on the drive tray that is dedicated to this very task (note that the position of the hole will vary, depending on the type of drive and manufacturer).


You will need about 1.5 inches of paper clip to align; Gently push it into the hole on the drive to press the manual eject switch. If successful, the tray should open slightly so you can open it and remove the disc.


Now, if everything is working properly and it was all just a glitch, you should find that the drive will start flashing and buzzing when you close the drawer. If it doesn’t, then you should prepare for a little hardware troubleshooting.

Check optical drive cable

If you are using a desktop computer, you will need to confirm that your drive is properly connected to a power source.


To do this, turn off the computer and unplug the power cable. You will need to open the case and make sure the optical drive is properly connected to the power cable coming from the power supply. If this is the case, there may be a problem with the power supply, so check it or replace it.

The procedure for opening your PC and checking cables will differ for different PC and chassis models and designs, so check your hardware documentation to confirm the best and safest way to confirm this. Our guide to diagnosing hardware problems should help.

Slim line laptop? Try on another device

Of course, the problems of ejecting discs from optical drives are not limited to desktop computers. If you are using a laptop/notebook, you can try the same paperclip trick above and you can also use software commands to eject the drive.

However, if the drive is blocking drives repeatedly, you may want to consider switching it to another computer of the same model, as long as the optical drive is removable.


If you don’t have a similar computer, try connecting the DVD drive to another computer via USB using an inexpensive DVD drive kit. .

Stuck discs in domestic DVD players

And what about domestic DVD players? Removing a stuck drive from one of them can be tricky, as there is no single approach to solving such problems.

While some devices allow you to use a paperclip, others require you to turn off your device and hold down the eject button; others still need a visit (or) a technician.

For best results, run a Google search for your DVD player model and the phrase «disc stuck» — you should find the parts you need to eject the disc.

Are you using a Mac?

There is every chance that you stumbled upon this article while looking for a way to eject a drive from your Apple computer. Most of the above applies to Windows computers, but if you’re having trouble ejecting a disc from a Mac’s optical drive without a tray (assuming you haven’t changed it to an SSD), one good way is to restart your computer while holding down the Option key «, and use the «Eject» button on the keyboard when the boot disk selection screen appears.

However, there are many other ways to remove a disc stuck in your Mac’s optical drive.

Conclusion: eject the disc and then copy it!

There is a small chance of damage to a stuck drive inside a computer, laptop, or optical drive in the living room — but perhaps it’s better to be safe than sorry in this situation. The possibility of discs getting stuck and therefore slowing them down is a good reason to think about hard drive and flash storage space for your movies, audio and software rather than optical media. Ripping audio, DVD, and Blu-ray is easy, and the data can be saved to your hard drive as a disk image, ready to be run when needed (using software like Handbrake, available for Windows and Mac). Of course, you may prefer to keep sticking discs.

All of the above fixes have been proven to work, but if you have any additional tips for ejecting your drive, please let us know in the comments.

Image Credit: Arkalian. Thomas Ormston

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