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Most laptops have a CD eject that is very sensitive, and placed such that it regularly gets triggered when handling the laptop. This is in particular a problem (for clumsy-handed me) when picking up the laptop to stow in in a laptop bag; I've lost count of the number of times it has ejected just as I am lowering it into the case!

I rarely use a CD, but I am wondering whether some crafty software hack (or other trick) might be possible to make it less vulnerable. Perhaps trying to fool it into thinking it is busy (but ideally without destroying my battery).

Otherwise, I might as well bow to the inevitable and snap the darned thing off.

I'm not making this brand-specific, as I've seen this problem on a range of both branded and re-badged laptops. I am, however, mainly interested in windows-friendly solutions.

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Please specify, what notebook is it? –  MicTech Jul 19 '09 at 23:14
    
You won't have heard of the one I use day-to-day, but I get the same problem on my Packard Bell easynote, and I've seen it on others. –  Marc Gravell Jul 20 '09 at 8:49
    
A few drops of Crazy Glue would do the job. –  Daniel R Hicks Oct 9 '12 at 1:00
    
@DanielRHicks for the number of times optical media gets used these days, it indeed might –  Marc Gravell Oct 9 '12 at 6:30
    
What you need is a background service that issues an ATA MEDIA LOCK command to the drive when Windows starts up. This command tells the drive to not eject the media until the MEDIA UNLOCK command is issued. –  DragonLord Nov 8 '13 at 4:08
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10 Answers

up vote 16 down vote accepted

I wrote LockCD application after giving up on finding a properly functioning software that would lock the CD ROM eject button which i hit quite frequently on my Lenovo T520 laptop. The main problem with the software found over the internet was that it wouldn't retain the lock state after Sleep/Resume. I made it freely available at http://sourceforge.net/p/lockcd/wiki/Home/

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That's awesome. Makes me wish I still had that laptop! It is great hat you've made this available, thanks. –  Marc Gravell Feb 29 '12 at 17:42
    
Worked like a charm on my Lenovo T420 with Win7 64bit! Great work! –  giveme5minutes Nov 4 '12 at 18:19
    
+1 for solving a real world problem! –  Keltari May 31 '13 at 13:25
    
Does not work with windows 8. –  PiTheNumber Nov 5 '13 at 13:31
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You can try disable cd-drive in device manager.

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No joy, sadly ;-( –  Marc Gravell Jul 19 '09 at 22:47
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There are several ways you work through this problem.

Firstly I would say just disabling the drive entirely is really not the right option here. So let us explore some other options.

I would consider is to use a small piece of software that is capable of locking the drive. This can be done in software which is well evident during those times the drive won't let you eject the disk. I have not tried to do this kind of thing specifically but I am sure this is possible if you can write a little code. You might be able to find a small systray app for this kind of thing already off the shelf.

The second suggestion I would make would be to remove the drive and inspect the eject control mechanism. In many cases it uses a sub-miniature surface mount single pole, single throw switch like the ones used in the right and left buttons on a standard mouse. This configuration gives you two obvious options I can think of. One is to install a small toggle switch somewhere inside the drive that can sever the trace to the eject button. Controlling the problem electrically is great however there is a question of whether there is enough room inside the device for anything extra and also if you have the soldering/assembly skills to pull this modification off properly. A screw up with this method could render the drive a hunk of slag. An easier method would be to find the end of the plastic button for the drive eject. Once you find the spot where the button and the switch meet, you can use some sandpaper to take off a small amount of material until the button is sufficiently resistant to being accidently activated. Be very careful here because removing too much material will render the button permanently disabled.

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Good options, and some creative hardware answers; but I found an applet that can do this via software; much less risky ;-p –  Marc Gravell Jul 20 '09 at 9:00
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There is some way of locking CD drives so that they can't be ejected anymore. I know that CDex did this back when I used it (was pretty nasty when it crashed because the only way to open the drive again was to reboot). Maybe there is a tool which allows one to do that on purpose.

Digging around a little I stumbled over this which is Winbatch but seems to just call a WINsows API function so that might easily adapted into a small program. Also I found this.

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The CDRom-Lock doesn't execute (missing ocx etc); I found a working alternative, cheers. –  Marc Gravell Jul 20 '09 at 8:59
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Woohoh! score: CD/DVD Drive Locker (systray app). Works like a charm, and doesn't cause it to spin.

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Works with Windows 7 x64 on a Lenovo T420. –  palacsint Sep 29 '12 at 19:31
    
With windows 8 I need to unselect/select the drive after every system start. So currently not that useful... –  PiTheNumber Nov 5 '13 at 13:32
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Toddler Keys is exactly what you are looking for: http://tk.ms11.net/

"It is a useful tool for parents that allows you to lock your computer keyboard, CD drive doors and power-off button. When the keyboard is used it will display images and play sounds every time a key is pressed, thereby preventing access to the desktop and applications, while adding some entertainment value for the kid. You can select the images and sounds to be used by copying them to the Toddler Keys folder. To exit the locked screen, just type the word QUIT."

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Download links on this page do not work anymore –  PiTheNumber Nov 5 '13 at 13:33
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A hardware-oriented solution is to reduce the height of the Eject button, so one needs to really press on it to make it work.

For instructions* see the article Fixing an Overly Eager DVD Drive Eject Button.

(* I take no responsibility for these instructions)

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Maybe the following small registry hack does the trick

open registyeditor by typing regedit at command prompt

Navigate to the following registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer

Right click on the Explorer key and select New -> “DWORD (32-bit) Value” and give it a name of NoCDBurning. Double click on it and enter a value of 1.

restart your machine to make changes affect.

Alternatively you can try for portable utilities like disable auto eject which works fine in windows 8.

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You can use AutoHotKey to disable the Button. First you have to find the number of the key. Autohotkey offers a great possibility to find the "number" of the key:

If your keyboard or mouse has a key not listed above, you might still be able to make it a hotkey by using the following steps (requires Windows XP/2000/NT or later):

  1. Ensure that at least one script is running that is using the keyboard hook. You can tell if a script has the keyboard hook by opening its main window and selecting "View->Key history" from the menu bar.
  2. Double-click that script's tray icon to open its main window.
  3. Press one of the "mystery keys" on your keyboard.
  4. Select the menu item "View->Key history"
  5. Scroll down to the bottom of the page. Somewhere near the bottom are the key-down and key-up events for your key. NOTE: Some keys do not generate events and thus will not be visible here. If this is the case, you cannot directly make that particular key a hotkey because your keyboard driver or hardware handles it at a level too low for AutoHotkey to access. For possible solutions, see further below.
  6. If your key is detectible, make a note of the 3-digit hexadecimal value in the second column of the list (e.g. 159).

Than you can disable this key by adding the following line to the script:

SC159::return

Replace 159 with your key's value

Now the key should be disabled.

Also you could possibly lock the disk with this script:

Drive, Lock, D:
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This looks like it only works for buttons on the keyboard not on the cd drive. But AutoHotKey has a command to lock the drive: Drive, Lock, D: –  PiTheNumber Nov 11 '13 at 9:31
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I have used lockmypc and it has worked for me. It gives you a dialog that you can click to lock cd-doors or unlock cd-doors.

http://fspro.net/lock-pc/

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