Apple PowerBook G4 hit with DVD jam bug

US offering free fix

Apple has acknowledged a build flaw in the new Titanium PowerBook G4 that causes DVDs to stick inside the notebook's casing. Questions remain, however, over what the company is doing about the problem.

The issue has been doing the Mac user sites for a while. The glitch - an otherwise very minor misalignment of the slot-load DVD's mounting - causes ejected discs to rub against the edge of the casing, which can prevent the drive from spitting out discs altogether.

Most users seem to have got round the problem by prising out stuck discs. One opened the case and noted the small rubber shock-absorbers on which the drive is mounted had been placed incorrectly. "Looking at them, one side is shaved almost flat, while the other side is rounded. Rotating them 180 degrees so that round side was what the DVD drive was resting instead of the flat part did the trick," he told MacInTouch, here.

Since then, MacNN has reported that Apple US is now offering to "repair and service misaligned DVD mechanisms" for free. Users apparently have to take their notebook to an official Apple dealer, and the machine will be fixed in a couple of days or so (more if the user has to send it off to Apple itself).

However, Apple UK yesterday claimed it knew nothing of the issue. "We are not aware of a documented problem with this product," a spokesman told MacWorld UK.

Since Apple UK hasn't been shipping PowerBook G4s as long as the US has, it's possible that it simply hasn't come across the problem yet. Equally, the glitch may affect only initial batches of the notebook. ®