The Apple 3.5" Drive on my IIgs still reads disks, but eject no longer works. The failure to eject is silent, no errors, noise, or motion. With a paperclip I can get the disks ejected but this is not optimal. How can I get the Apple 3.5" Drive fixed? I'm not a hardware expert so I need something simple or done by someone else.

The following methods of ejecting disks have been tried:

  • Finder (6.0.3), failed
  • Button, failed
  • Restart, failed
  • Paperclip, worked
  • 2
    There are three ways: ask the software to eject, push the button to eject, and use a paperclip to eject. Have you tried ejecting the disk from the Finder? (I have a drive where pressing the button does nothing, and the paperclip approach doesn't get the disk more than a few mm out, but the Finder can eject the disk. Makes no sense to me.)
    – fadden
    Commented Sep 8, 2021 at 14:43
  • 3
    Apparently the gears in the eject mechanism fail. The "Adrian's Digital Basement" channel on YouTube has some videos on the issue; I assume there are other places to find out about it too. Commented Sep 8, 2021 at 17:07
  • 1
    Here's the video I was thinking of: Tutorial: Cleaning, lubricating and fixing an Apple 800k 3.5" floppy drive: "...Then, the eject mechanism was not working correctly so I troubleshoot and fix that. Finally, the eject gear stripped so I replace that." Commented Sep 9, 2021 at 13:00
  • 3
    FWIW, you don't need to be an expert to disassemble, clean, lubricate, and reassemble these drives as they are some of the easiest to work on. I've fixed eject mechanisms that simply in the past, and there is relatively little chance you will damage anything or end up worse off if you simply take your time and use the right kind of solvents and lubricants.
    – Brian H
    Commented Sep 9, 2021 at 18:49
  • 1
    @AndrewMorton the video is very informative, I'll get the lubricants and try it then answer my own question as to if the disk drive works again. Commented Oct 5, 2021 at 13:40

1 Answer 1


Take the drive mechanism out of a baby/classic Mac & install it in your Apple 3.5 Drive enclosure. Not sure if this would work for UniDisk 3.5 drives.

Just remember when moving or shipping these drives, ALWAYS either insert the yellow plastic shipping disk or leave a genuine 3.5 floppy disk in the drive. Failure to do so means the heads are going to get destroyed in transport to where the drive will start etching the physical disk. Can't tell you how many drives I purchased on ebay that were killed in transport because a stubborn seller failed to follow my request.

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