Eject CD from Mac Mini

I have an Apple Mac Mini G4, and I accidentally erased its hard drive. I had a Mac OS X Tiger Upgrade DVD in it, and it wouldn’t let me install because it couldn’t find OS X 10.3 on the computer. I had 10.4 installed already, but then I wiped the drive. Unfortunately, the problem was now that I could not get the computer to eject the disc. I tried F12, Disk Utility, commands in the Terminal. None worked. The only solution I couldn’t try was Open Firmware, because I have a Logitech PC keyboard.

Well, a little Googling showed me that Alt = Option and Windows = Apple or Command, so Windows (Start) – Alt – O – F was the keystroke required to start Open Firmware. From there, I thought that I read that the eject command was eject-cd. That didn’t work. Turns out the actual command is eject cd (with a space). What troubled me most during this whole process was the secret key c that must be pressed during bootup for a Mac to boot from CD. Now that’s all taken care of, I’m going to reinstall OS X 10.3 and then upgrade to 10.4.

Anyone want a Mac Mini? It has 1 GB RAM, and it’s the faster model with a 1.42 GHz processor. It also has a 56K modem built-in, along with Ethernet of course.

20 Responses to “Eject CD from Mac Mini”

  1. Tig says:

    Or you could have held down the mouse button on a re-start to edject the cd / dvd.

    More than happy to take the mini off your hands too :]

  2. I Love Tig! says:

    Tig, that mouse button trick saved me a lot of time, I was about to take my mini apart to get my disc back – much thanks!!!

  3. Mac Mini says:

    Thanks for the great tip! I didn’t know what to do bout getting my disc back too. :D

  4. Herve says:

    Or, boot the mini in target mode – Option T at boot chime, (works with a wireless logitech Di Nuovo), then eject from the master machine.

  5. Herve says:

    Erratum. “T” key (not option T) at boot chime.

  6. Uncue says:

    Also, holding down the F12 button will eject the CD. I wasn’t aware of the other two methods on this page.


  7. James Printer says:


  8. Devon Scott says:

    I will be willing to take the mini. It would be a good project computer for me.
    i need one faster than the one I have. its only a 1.07 ghz with 768 ram and it crashes constantly.

  9. Chris says:

    FYI – “Open Hardware” strategy does not work with Intel Mac Mini. However, neither did Disk Utility or any other method. Instead I had to repeatedly restart my computer and hold down both mouse buttons (Windows mouse) and the space bar during restart process.

    For the record I think I found what might be a manual eject button behind the felt on the left side, but it didn’t work either. Happy mac’ing everyone.

    • jakub says:

      Thanks, this was a lifesaver.

    • Leo says:

      Hi Chris,

      Im trying the boot my MiniMac with both mouse button/spacebar an nothing happens. Can you help me please? On CD is stuck on drive and im unable to take it away.

      Theres a keystroke to access EFI?

      Best regards,

  10. K3mike says:

    Can the Mac Mini be ejected without using a keyboard? We’re using it as a stand alone DVD play of sorts but it doesn’t have a keyboard connected (nor do we have one available…)


  11. coco says:

    just click and hold down both left and right mouse buttons to force a cd eject after the boot up noise

    • Brent says:

      No need for both buttons (esp. if you’re using a standard one-button mac mouse). Just the left button (or only button) is all that’s required.

  12. Mathew says:

    F12 is the go! Uncue you saved me a lot of time!

  13. Gareth says:

    Phew, thanks for the tip….. F12 worked for me. Pressed it at the chime and kept it held down for several seconds (possibly as much as 10 can’t remember now) and it finally spat out my CD. Don’t have a Mac keyboard so was worried for a bit. Thanks again :)

  14. Neo says:

    Ditto to Gareth’s comment. Holding F12 at chime worked with a non-Mac keyboard.

  15. samurai jack says:

    or you could hold down the eject button on the keyboard (next to F12) when you reboot. I am using a full mac keyboard attached directly to the mac mini (not wireless). This is similar to the F12 solution except that the keyboard has an eject key to the right of the F12 key and to the left of the F13 key.
    July 4, 2009.

  16. dejavu says:

    I have a situation. Mac Mini has no system. DVD is in. Small keyboard is wireless and no function keys. Mouse is wireless. Nothing works…

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