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View Full Version : Can I replace my own Ti PB Superdrive?


emw
Jan 27, 2005, 10:51 AM
Monday morning I'm happily working away, loading files off of a CD onto my laptop, no sweat.

Tuesday morning, I'm happily working away, and go to load files off of a CD onto my laptop, no go. It just takes in the CD, acts like it wants to keep trying to load it, and then spits it out. I don't get a Finder error telling me it can't read the CD or something, it just never completely accepts the disc.

I haven't done anything to my drive that I can think of (never did install that hack I talked about last month), it just quit working from one day to the next.

So my question is this - do I need to bring this in to get it repaired, or can I easily swap out the drive with a new one? If I can swap it out, what are the limitations (if any) in terms of the type? Can I go with a newer one than what's currently in my 1GHz Ti PowerBook from '03?

No, I don't have AppleCare. :(

And don't tell me to just buy a new PowerBook. I'd love to, but at this point it isn't an option. I could probably get it repaired through work, but that will take forever. I'd rather just go buy a new drive and replace this one.

Thanks for any help.

bankshot
Jan 27, 2005, 11:11 AM
I don't have personal experience with that model, but in theory you could do it yourself if you find the right replacement part. Take a look at http://pbfixit.com/Guide/. They have guides for just about every Apple laptop model. I recently replaced a dying hard drive in my iBook using the guide on their site, and it went very smoothly for me. Take a look at the guide for the optical drive on your machine and gauge if you think you'd feel comfortable doing that. I'm not going to say it was easy with my iBook (far from it), but I've been upgrading/assembling desktop computers for over a decade, so I feel pretty comfortable with this kind of stuff. It was my first time doing anything with a laptop (aside from user-serviceable stuff like memory and Airport card) but no problem for me.

If you decide to do it, a couple of tips:

Take your time. It should be obvious, but if you go too fast or get frustrated, you may end up breaking something.
Print out all the pages from the guide to have them with you when you do the replacement.
Also print out every high resolution image from the guide. Lay them all out on a table and as you remove screws from the machine, place them on the corresponding picture where they would go. Then when you reassemble it, you can easily find every screw and put it back exactly where it's supposed to go. This was especially important for me, as I'm pretty sure I would have mixed them up and/or had some extras laying around afterwards!


Hope this helps.

Bear
Jan 27, 2005, 11:12 AM
You can go to Other World Computing's TiBoog Optical Drive page (http://eshop.macsales.com/Static_Pages/index.cfm?page=superdrive0904/powerbook_1004.html&Title=PowerBook%20Upgrades) - anything there would work. There are a couple of other places that sell TiBook optical drives as well.

You want something the vendor says will fit in the TiBook, since it has to fit in a tight space.

cfd
Jan 27, 2005, 11:16 AM
The TiBook is the easiest laptop to replace either the HDD or optical drive to work on. And yes, you can install an upgraded optical drive.

emw
Jan 27, 2005, 11:38 AM
Thanks to both of you. I've gone to the site, and I think I'm going to go with the whiz-bang one:

OWC MercuryTi SuperDrive 8X DVD-/+R, 4X DVD-/+RW, 3X DVD-RAM, 24X CD-R, 16X CD-RW *INTERNAL* for all PowerBook G4 15" Titanium Models that Came factory with a CDRW+DVD-Rom Combo Drive. Compatible with Apple iDVD, iTunes, ETC! New w/1yr Warranty. (OWCMCTDVDSDB8)

$240. Seems like a good deal, and I'm fairly certain I can swap it out myself (I swapped out a Dell CD drive into an HP box for my parents, which had to be orders of magnitude more difficult ;))

emw
Feb 5, 2005, 10:41 PM
I received the new drive this week and finally had the chance to install it tonight. Extremely simple. Works like a charm. The people at OWC really made it easy with some fantastic documentation - I'd recommend them to anyone. Thanks to you all for the suggestions.