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Ejecting a Stuck Disk from an iMac Computer

written by: KateG•edited by: John Garger•updated: 8/25/2010

Is there a disk stuck in your iMac? If you need some help getting it out, try these steps to eject a stuck disk out of you iMac.

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    Getting a disk stuck in your iMac is not a lot of fun. After all, it is not like a tower model. There you can just hit a button and the tray will come popping out, your disk nestled safely inside. It can give you a moment of panic when you first realize that it may truly be stuck. Don’t worry about it. We can get the disk out. Take a few seconds to calm down and try these tricks.

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    The Tricks

    Trick One: Use the iTunes eject

    This may sound silly, but if your stuck disk is a DVD, try opening iTunes and hitting the eject button. Your problem may lie in the DVD player's software. If it is frozen, the disk will not eject. Trying the iTunes eject button ensures that it is not simply a problem with that application preventing you from ejecting a stuck disk.

    Trick Two: Restart while holding the mouse button down

    It sounds strange but it works. Turn off your iMac. Then push down on the button of your Mighty Mouse. Restart the machine. This should eject the disk. In fact, this is one of the first things that they will try when you bring your machine to the genius bar. It triggers the auto eject during start up. Unless the disk is physically jammed, it should come out. Do not be afraid to try this one a few times because you have to get the timing right. The safest bet is to simply hold it down before you begin the reboot.

    Trick Three: The Disk Utility

    Finally, lets move onto your disk utility. You can find it under applications -> utilities. Once it opens, you should see a list of your drives. Find the one labeled with the name of your stuck disk. Click on that name, then look up. You will see a button labeled eject. Go ahead and click on it. Your disk should be popping out any time now.

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    It’s Still Stuck

    If your disk is still stuck then you have a real problem. Your issue is not with software. The disk stuck in your iMac is physically jammed and it is time to get the help of an expert. Luckily for you, you can get that help at any Apple store. All you have to do is make an appointment with your local Genius bar.

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    How to Book an Appointment with The Genius Bar

    1. Go to http://www.apple.com/retail/geniusbar/
    2. Find the grey "Genius Bar Reservations" box.
    3. Enter your State and choose a store.
    4. Click on "Reserve"
    5. Choose your product.
    6. Click on "Next".
    7. Pick a Day and Time.
    8. Click on "Next".
    9. Fill in your personal information.
    10. Confirm and book.

    Will going to the Genius bar cost me?

    The appointment is free, but your repairs may cost you. It all depends on the age of your Apple Care.

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    Now that you have that disk out, you can go back to enjoying your iMac. In the future, be sure that the disk is free of any major flaws and that you keep it level when you insert it. These are the two major but controllable things that cause sticks.