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Ask Max: Should you insert those small, 3-inch DVDs into an iMac slot drive?

Asked on 10/27/2009:

As an owner of two iMacs purchased through PowerMax, I hope you don't mind a really simple question: can I insert and play a small (3" diameter) DVD--assuming it's formatted for Macs--into the right side slot, or will it lodge inside?




I am happy you asked before trying it. Mini-sized CDs or DVDs should never be used in any slot-loading drive. This is true for Apple computers and car stereos. Really they are a terrible idea and should have never been produced. Currently only tray-based drives will accept them, and the tray has to have a special indent to keep the small disc centered.

This idea came out of the initial high cost of creating a full-sized CD. Now that cost is pennies, so making it smaller does not reduce the cost appreciably. The best way to get data off those discs is to find a tray loading drive and transfer the data to a USB thumb drive or full sized CD-R.

Many service techs has had to extract those little discs from a drive, at great expense.

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