View Full Version : Swapping out a CD drive on an eMac

Nov 25, 2008, 07:17 AM
Hi all,
Before the week is out I will have an old G4 eMac to play with. It's the 800 version. I've sorted out extra RAM for it but the eMac only has a CD reader drive. My options are to buy an external DVD -/+ RW or even a dvd player CD-RW combo and just plug it in when needed OR, and this is what I would prefer for neatness, take the olod CD drive out and replace it with a better drive unit.
I'm fairly confident that I can follow instructions on how to do the actual swap but my brain isn't what it used to be 40 or 50 years ago so I have a couple of questions.....

1 ... Can I just slot in any old DVD-RW or combo drive, even one out of a windows machine or does it have to be a Mac specific drive?
2 ... If it just HAS to be an external drive, is there some kind of limitation as to what drives these old eMacs can take? Is that a factor on an internal drive also?


Nov 25, 2008, 02:04 PM
800 ATI graphics or GeForce?

I have a 800 ATI and swapping out the optical drive is not too hard. You need to undo a bunch of screws and carefully pull the case off (watch out for the power switch cable).

The original 700/800 GeForce is a lot harder to get to the optical drive.

For an internal you need a supported drive. There are many. I choose Lite-On and have good luck. Pioneer and Sony drives are usually supported too. Which OS are you running? It makes a difference.

For an external you want a Firewire drive. USB is 1.0 and really slow. I have taken generic cases and dropped in a drive. Or you can get one from OWC.

Here is one drive they sell: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/VLFWU2D116/ .

Dec 1, 2008, 11:54 PM
There's a little app called PatchBurn that can help to get a non-mac approved drive to work. I put a Samsung (?) TSST SH-S162L into my old 700 eMac and I may have had to use this to get it to work. It's been a while, so maybe it worked without PatchBurn.

I just bought a Pioneer DVR-116D for my newer 1.25 eMac. The Pioneer DVR-K05 I put in my old Pismo works so beautifully, I wanted to stick with that brand.