Ejecting a Stuck DVD

Do you frequently use DVDs on your computer? If so, has one ever gotten stuck in your DVD ROM drive? What did you do? Did you press the Eject button several times with no results? Or, perhaps you tried rebooting your computer, but the DVD drive remained shut. What a nightmare! So, is there anything else you can do?

Well, first of all, don’t panic! This type of thing happens all the time and everyone’s been there. Luckily, there are a few things you can do for an easy fix. Below are a few steps you can go through to resolve your stuck DVD issue. Let’s check them out, shall we?!

Step 1

First, find the My Computer icon on your desktop and double click on it. (If you don’t have an icon on your desktop, you can find it under the Start menu).

Step 2

Once you have it open, you’ll see all the drives that are on your computer. Look for the one labeled “Removable” and right click on it. If you’re not sure which one it is, a good clue is the name, logo or icon of the DVD that’s stuck. Or, you can use the trial and error method for the removable drives on your computer.

Step 3

You will then get a drop down menu with a list of options. Find and click on Eject. In most cases, steps one through three will solve your problem. It’s likely that the Eject button on your computer case is wearing down and you just need an alternative way to get it open. If that doesn’t work though, continue on to the next step.

Step 4

Get a paperclip and unwind one end of it. Stretch it so that you get a straight needle like tool. On the outside of the DVD drive, you should see a small hole where the DVD is stuck. Poke it with the paperclip and then try to hit the Eject button again. That should release the internal lock. If you haven’t used the DVD drive for awhile, it can lock up and pushing the paperclip through the hole will release the lock. If that still doesn’t work, keep going!

Step 5

Shut down your computer and unplug it. (Yes, make sure it is completely unplugged). If it’s not, you could end up hurting your computer or even yourself.

Step 6

Once your computer is turned off and unplugged, you can begin. Get a flat screwdriver and gently pry open the door to the DVD drive. Once the tip of the screwdriver is under the door, pull very gently, but firmly. Since the drive is operated by plastic gears, fast jerking motions could break the teeth of the gears and render your drive inoperable. But if you pull slowly and firmly, the drive will creep open. You are simply activating the gears manually.

Step 7

Take out the DVD and visually inspect the drive. Is there a lot of dirt and dust in there? You should also check the edges for sticky black goo that could have come from spilled sodas, coffee or other sweet drinks. If it looks dirty, clean it with a can of compressed air and an anti-static cloth. If it looks sticky, wipe it off with a slightly moistened and non-abrasive cloth. Then dry it off with a soft, lint free rag.

Step 8

Plug your computer back in and once it’s rebooted, press the Eject button one more time. The tray should go back in on its own. If it doesn’t, try giving it a very gentle push to motivate it. If it does go back in, you’re good to go. However, if it still doesn’t work, you may need to take your PC to a repair shop or buy a new drive. Either way, I wish you the best of luck with getting your DVDs unstuck!

~ Cory Buford