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CDs and DVDs

Be Careful with Slot Loaders and Odd Shaped Media

SUMMARY: Inserting odd-shaped media into slot loader CD and DVD players can cause damage.

While many CD and DVD drives load media via a tray, some devices are called slot loaders in that you insert media into a slot in the front of the CD/DVD player/writer.

Slot loaders can have a problem dealing with odd-shaped CDs and DVDs. These may be distributed for promotional reasons such as CD business cards, or these may be made just for variety so a particular CD or DVD sticks out from the rest. While these types of disks are readable on most all CD/DVD devices, it is recommended not to insert these into slot loaders.

If you insert the CD/DVD incorrectly (even just slightly off), if you have to forcefully eject the CD/DVD (this is usually done via a paper clip in a small manual eject hole) if you cannot get the player to eject the medium, or if the player gets jostled during media playback, it is very possible that the media can become jammed. This can damage a drive, especially if you have to attempt a forced-eject as mentioned above.

If the CD/DVD drive is an external device, you may just have to replace that device. If the drive is an internal drive you may have to bring the entire computer to a service center for repair, potentially costing you hundreds of dollars - all because you wanted to play a CD or DVD.

If you receive one of these CDs/DVDs, either find a computer with a CD or DVD drive that loads with a tray, see if the information is available on the Internet, or ask the distributor for a "normal" CD.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by Andrew Malek of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language. MalekTips also provides information and links to public-domain, open source, freeware, shareware, and commercial software available for download.