How To Remove and Open a CD ROM Drive on a Mac

I have a 2001 G4 Mac tower. In a final desperate attempt to fix my CD ROM, I want to open up the drive and clean it, which was recommended by the forum people. I opened my mac, but got very scared of the wires and closed it back up. Yes, I am a dork.

Could someone please tell me how to safely disconnect the CD ROM drive from the scary computer innards and open it up so I can get a good look-see? I don’t want to fry my Mac.

Please write instructions that a hyrdrocephalic monkey to follow.

I’ll do my bbest, but I may get cut off.

okay, first disconnect everything from the outside, and put it on a flat clear surface

open the side access door

just beside the CD drive at the front is a small plastic tab that when you pulll on it gently, it releases the front bezel. There are two such tabs, another one being just below, beside where the zip drive would be if you had one. The bezel should open out like a door, and then come off easily

You have now revealed two screws at the front that hold in the CD-drive/zip drive chassis. Undo these screws and pulll the chassis forward an inch

This should give you enough room inside to get your fingers in and remove the data and power cables from the back of the CD drive, and the zip drive, if you have one. The power cable can be one tough son of a bitch to pull out, you might try easing it out with a flat head screwdriver, or needle nose pliers

once everything is unhooked, slide out the whole chassis.

You now have the part you want out. Discard the rest of the computer.

Remove the four screws that attach the CD-drive to the chassis, and slide the CD drive out of the chassis.

fix the CD-drive

Good photos of the process here:

I sucessfully removed the CD ROM. Go me!

I dissected it. I cleaned the lens very gently.

I put it all back together without having any screws left over.

Now it makes more “I’m trying to work” noises, instead of the complete lack of noise it made earlier. However, I still note a distinct lack of disk reading or writing.

So I will likely be getting a new drive when finances allow. However, I wonder- could the problem be the flat tapeish cable thingy that connects the drive the the main computer brains? How would I know? Wouldn’t that be cheaper to replace than an entire drive?*

Meanwhile, we can still rejoice, because I didn’t spark my computer!

*I’m likely gonna have to get a new drive anyway. I dissected it out of curiousity, and while together and doing stuff, I doubt I improved its lifespan any.

That is the data cable (about 2 inches wide and has either 40 or 80 conductors). You can swap it out for another cable and they are relatively cheap. Less than $10 at CompU$$$A, IIRC. Replacing them is a snap. As long as the computer is disconnected from mains power, it is safe to replace that cable. Routing the cable can be a real bitch in Macs (at least it was in the last one I opened: a blue & white G3) but that isn’t a technical obstacle.