Apple advises on ejecting copy-protected audio CDs

By now many consumers are aware that the music industry is beginning to press audio discs that have been copy protected to prevent them from being ripped to MP3 on a PC or Macintosh. But did you know that in some cases, if you insert such a disc, you might not be able to get it out again?

The problem is documented in a recent Apple Knowledge Base entry entitled Mac OS: Cannot Eject Copy Protected Audio Disc, Computer Starts Up to Gray Screen.

These discs aren't strictly CDs, according to the technical definition of the term, since they don't follow the basic CD standard for how data should be written to a disc. Even though they're labeled "Will not play on PC/Mac," there's still a risk that Mac users may insert them in their systems.

According to Apple Computer, when such a CD is inserted, the CD isn't recognized, and when the Mac is restarted, a grey screen can appear that prevents you from doing anything further. If your Mac lacks a manual eject button or pinhole for its optical drive, you may be stuck that way, too -- Apple offers some advice for what to do under those circumstances.

The documentation provides instructions for forcing your Mac to boot into Mac OS X on restart (holding down the X command on boot) or to force-eject a CD on boot (by holding down the mouse button when the Mac starts up). Forcing the Mac to boot into OS X won't eject the disc arbitrarily, but you may be able to by clicking on the Eject button in iTunes or DVD Player.

There's one other extreme option, too: Booting into Open Firmware and using a command line prompt to force the CD to eject, as well.

If all else fails, Apple noted that you could bring your Mac to an authorized service center to be fixed. But probably the best solution is just to avoid using these audio discs all together.

A list of some of the affected discs is provided in Apple's documentation.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Cohen

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?