How To Open Your DVD Or CD ROM Drive With The Power Off


  Have you ever run into the situation where your computer is OFF but you need to open your CD/DVD ROM tray? It's not all that unusual and if it happens you might think that to get that drive opened and retrieve any disk which might be in there means booting the machine again and waiting a bit until you can hit the button or tell Windows to eject it. Well, that's not generally the case and in fact it is far more likely than not that you can open that disk drive tray very easily even when the computer is turned off. This is a very simple and very quick procedure which requires only a few seconds and a simple, generally available household item. There are actually several items which could be used to open the tray but let's look at what is probably the most often used and most easily accessible.


  Enter the paperclip. You could certainly use a very small phillips screwdriver or almost anything that is small enough yet strong enough to trigger the mechanism inside the tray. Almost all CD/DVD ROM (optical drive) trays have a very small opening which is designed specifically for this purpose and they are easily identifiable. In the first slide below there is shown the DVD ROM drive of a laptop. Looking closely to the right of the eject button a very small hole can be seen. In the second slide it is clearly pointed out and inside the tray right behind that hole there is a mechanism which can be actuated by pushing inward with a paperclip. This shouldn't be a smaller paperclip (although it may work) but one which is of a fairly heavy gauge because this will make it easier to open the drive. Note that one end of the paperclip is extended out to get the perpendicular action needed. In the remaining slides that heavier gauge paperclip is shown and how pushing it in opens the drive.


  • DVD Open
  • DVD Open1
  • DVD Open2
  • DVD Open3
  • DVD Open4



  As mentioned this CD/DVD ROM eject access hole is present in most, but not all optical drive's trays. In almost all tower computers and also nearly all laptops it is present however there are "slimline" drives which do not have it and in those cases you would not have this option. Those are fairly rare and it is not likely that yours will be that way but just take a look and if that access hole is present you will be able to open it using this simple procedure. In some tech circles (including my own) technicians actually carry an extended paperclip on their person in the case it might be needed, and working with computers all day long - it does happen. Give it a try, make sure you're pushing straight in (you'll feel it) and know you can open that tray whenever you need to get at it.