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Unable to eject CD from slot load drive (no tray)

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Unable to eject CD from slot load drive (no tray)

This question has been answered by ejn63

I have a Dell Insiron that had a drive die on me and am now trying to re-format and re-install Windows. The system currently has no OS. 

The issue is that the slot load CD / DVD drive has eaten my DVD and won't give it back. 

1. Boot the machine

2. Press the eject button on the top of the keyboard

3. CD drive whirs and clicks and then keeps spinning for about 15 seconds and then stops spinning

This drive does not have a tray like other CD drives, it is just a slot load where you feed the CD directly into the machine. And I can't find a paper clip hole to try and manually eject.

So now I can't re-format because I can't get my DVD out! 

Thanks in advance for any advice!

Machine is a Dell Insprion 1318.

Verified Answer
  • There is still usually an emergency-eject hole or button -- usually on the back of the drive.  To look for it you'll need to remove the drive from the system.

    <ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>

All Replies
  • There is still usually an emergency-eject hole or button -- usually on the back of the drive.  To look for it you'll need to remove the drive from the system.

    <ADMIN NOTE: Broken link has been removed from this post by Dell>

  • Wow, looks like a bit of work. But seems like the only answer! Thanks ejn63, I will try it out and will let you know how it goes!

    More info for other people with the same issue:

    Read somewhere else in the forums that updating the BIOS may work for some machines. But my BIOS is latest for my machine, A06.

    Also may be another issue with this machine as well. Since trying to get the BIOS to boot to the drive is not working, it doesn't seem to recognize the Windows installer DVD. Even F12 during boot does not show the CD/DVD drive.

  • Started going through instructions, looks like a one hour job. I won't have time to do this now, will wait till the weekend.

  • You might want to have a new drive on hand - it sounds like yours is bad.

  • OK... I have to start by saying OMG what a crazy procedure to remove a disc! I thought it was a joke at first having to remove the LCD, keyboard, palm rest, ... but yes it was all needed to get to the dvd drive. I wasn't expecting this to go smoothly and yes my worst fear has happened... it won't power up now. (yes all you computer experts can now roll your eyes at me)

    When I attempt to power up the machine not much is happening. Power light comes on, it does it's usual light up the media buttons, num luck light is on but nothing happens with the monitor... pure black. After about 30 seconds I notice the webcam LED flashes twice. But still nothing. Any suggestions on how to troubleshoot this?

    Everything went smoothly with the exception of one nasty connector. Highlighted as #3 under step 9 under: support.dell.com/.../palmrest.htm . When I was putting it back together the cable bent in half, I thought it was alright, but now I'm guessing maybe not.

  • Some good news / bad news.

    Connected the laptop up to an external monitor and it is working perfectly fine on the external monitor. So it looks like I messed up the connection to the LCD screen somehow.

    I double checked the display cable connector, highlighted as #2 in step 7 of these instructions:


    Still nothing is coming up on the LCD. Any suggestions?

  • If any software procedures fail (starting with eject button held down, etc), there is always the brute force method. Physically removing the DVD from the drive. The slot load dvds do not seem to have a manual eject button like the old tray CDROMs do. There is a mechanism to accept and hold the DVD in place and a small mechanical metal arm that goes down and comes up again when a DVD is inserted. This arm cannot be activated manually to retract and activate the eject procedure it seems on the GS20N.

    The brute force  way to get the DVD out is to remove the DVD drive from the computer, by opening up the case and extracting the DVD. In my case I already replaced the DVD with an SSD drive (I have 2 drives in my Studio XPS 13).

    The DVD drive has tiny phillips screws on the top of the case. There are 4 of them that can be removed with a screwdriver for eyeglasses (magnetic ones work best to avoid losing the screws). Once the top of the slot load DVD drive is removed (Mine is the gs20n), you can easily lift out the DVD.

    It's a fairly long procedure to get the DVD out but if you're desperate it's worth it.

    Tools and procedures:

    Removing the DVD drive


    Once you have the drive removed you can open the top case with a set of jewlers screwdrivers. The tiny phillips screws are really small but easy to remove with the right tool.


  • Hi Alex,

    Thanks for posting but this thread is five years old.

  • This thread has been locked due to it's age, if you have a similar issue, please use the 'New Post' feature at the top of this page and start a new thread.



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