Last week, I was an idiot – for last week, I accidentally stuck one of my SD cards into my MacBook Pro’s SuperDrive slot.

Let me preface this by saying that I do actually know the layout of my own laptop, but I’d been using a MacBook Air for the majority of the week. On a MacBook Air, the right side (not the left) houses the SD card slot – so out of a sort of short-term muscle memory, I picked up my SD card and stuck it into the right side of my MacBook Pro. Big mistake.

My first thought was that I should probably turn the Mac off, so I did. After it had powered down, I frantically looked around my office for something thin yet strong to fish it out. I found a spiral-bound notebook and tore off a 3-inch square from the cardboard that makes up the back. What I did next is exactly what you should do to fix your problems.

After pushing and prodding the SD card around a bit, it went from the position in which it is in the picture above to about 99% inside my Mac. I decided to re-evaluate my plan of attack and looked around my office to find a pair of scissors to cut two corners off. The square piece of cardboard that I had was now in the shape of a house, which I folded in half to make a sturdy backing upon which the SD card could rest and subsequently slide out.

If you do this, you’ll want to make sure that your computer is turned off and, if the card is deep inside the SuperDrive, your Mac is being held by someone who can point the drive’s opening towards the ground. This way, gravity won’t work against you and plop the card into the slot. You’ll also want to make sure that your fold is slightly flattened (but not permanently creased) and not dirty at all; if it is dirty, wipe it off or find a new piece of cardboard and try again. You don’t want any dirt getting into your DVD drive, nor do you want your somewhat sharp cardboard to poke any of the DVD drive’s internals.

Once those prerequisites are completed, you can begin the task of sliding the SD card out of the slot:

  1. Make sure that the cardboard’s opening is closest to the card so it can be scooped up by the tool and taken out of the drive. It will help if you put the fold at an angle so the SD card can literally be scooped out by your piece of cardboard.
  2. Since a DVD drive is deep compared to your tool, you can push the cardboard inside a ways, past the length of your SD card. This will aid with maneuverability while you’re inside the drive. Don’t push too far, of course, and be sure to be very careful while doing so.
  3. Gently, pull your cardboard tool towards the SD card. Once you feel the two touch, stop. You don’t want that card moving around too much until you’re ready to pull it out.
  4. Next – and again, slowly - pull the cardboard tool and SD card out of the drive.
  5. Once it’s out, you’re good to go!

If you stay calm and follow these instructions in conjunction with the video, you’ll do just fine. You’ll get your SD card back, not to mention the fact that you’ll avoid a rather hefty Genius Bar bill in the process.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. This should happen only very rarely, but when it does happen, it can cause quite a scare. Luckily, you’ve got this guide to help you along – and since I’ve suffered the scare for you, you’ll be able to avoid yours.