The DVD-R media that destroyed my SuperDrive (photos)

Summary:Yesterday I inserted a blank DVD-R disc into my MacBook Pro (2.33GHz Core 2 Duo) like I've done dozens of times before. But this time was different. This time it destroyed my SuperDrive.

 

Prodisc DVD-R Failure

Yesterday I inserted a blank DVD-R disc into my MacBook Pro (2.33GHz Core 2 Duo) like I've done dozens of times before. But this time was different. This time it destroyed my SuperDrive.

After I inserted the blank DVD-R media I didn't immediately notice that it didn't mount in the Finder and promptly forget about it. About 20 minutes later when I noticed that it didn't mount I pressed the eject key on the keyboard and heard a horrible crumpling sound. I got chills as I watched the disc above slowly come out of my SuperDrive.

When the disc came out of my drive the white thermal printing was mostly de-laminated from the top of the disc surface. About half of the white thermal surface had peeled off inside the SuperDrive mechanism. Note: that is not a label that I installed or some sort of a sticker, it's the white thermal printable top coat that ships from the manufacturer on the media.

Pieces of the label were trapped throughout the inside of my SuperDrive and it wouldn't read any disc, in fact, subsequent discs that were inserted got scratched beyond further use by all the white shards that were distributed throughout the inside of my machine.

Since I couldn't be without my optical drive a trip to the Apple store in Atlantic City was in order. I booked a Genius appointment online and drove to A.C. over lunch.

After dropping off my MBP at the A.C. store around 1:00pm, I got a call around 4:00pm that it was completed. The genius (Kyle) informed me that the SuperDrive had to be replaced and that white flecks of plastic were all over his bench. The manager of the store informed me that the replacement drive would not have been covered if I didn't have AppleCare and that the repair cost would normally cost US$310 for the drive and US$135 for labor.

ProDisc MCCRG20 Media
The media was Prodisc White Thermal Hub Printable 8x DVD-R (~0.29/disc) purchased from SuperMediaStore.com.

Imprint code (inside hub, underside): ZC9742-DVR-I47A
Serial number (inside hub, top): 4203E1111-08064C15
Roxio's Toast 8 reports media code*: MCCRG20 (pictured, left)

Save yourself a US$445 repair bill and stay away from this media at all costs.

According to a friend in the optical media business Prodisc is a B-grade product. He recommends Taiyo Yuden or Verbatim which are top quality discs.

*You can search for optical media codes on Video Help's search page.

I posted five images of the defective media in this gallery

What has your experience been with optical media? Have you ever seen anything like this?

Topics: Apple

About

Jason D. O'Grady developed an affinity for Apple computers after using the original Lisa, and this affinity turned into a bona-fide obsession when he got the original 128 KB Macintosh in 1984. He started writing one of the first Web sites about Apple (O'Grady's PowerPage) in 1995 and is considered to be one of the fathers of blogging.... Full Bio

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