Problems reading and burning DVDs with a MacBook Pro

Over the last couple months I’ve been having more and more problems with my MBP reading and burning DVDs, honestly I’ve only tried to burn one DVD in the last two years so it may have been broken for longer. When I actually needed to burn a DVD, before the session could open, I would get an error that there was something wrong with the media and the disk would be ejected.

Numerous solutions I found online were to:

  1. Take the MBP apart, pull out the SuperDrive, take it apart, and clean the lens.
  2. Find a thin object and a smooth cloth to shove into the drive repeatedly to clean the lens.

I decided I would try option 2, while I was looking for a clean, soft cloth to use I was reminded by Katrina that shoving something into the drive is a really dumb thing to do. She suggested just using the canned air I keep in my desk to get rid of dust.

Aha! Finally a sane solution. I used the canned air, two full passes (up and down) trying to keep the airflow even, popped in a DVD that 3 hours ago wouldn’t read and it worked. I tried burning the DVD that I’d tried 20 minutes before and it worked.

So, the real solution to an MBP disk drive not working, MBP not reading DVDs, MBP SuperDrive not working, MBP DVD burn failed, and any number of other phrases is actually:

  1. Use canned air to clean the dust off the lens.