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Old Jun 24, 2008, 09:51 PM   #1
ftaok
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Macbook Superdrive replacement

Our Macbook CoreDuo 2ghz has a bad Superdrive and we're out of warranty. The problem is that CDs do not mount. DVDs work and as far as I know, burning DVDs does as well. I had problems trying to burn CDs a little while back, but eventually got it working using Disk Utility rather than Toast.

So anyways, I'm looking at buying a replacement Superdrive. They're selling DL ones now, so that'll be an upgrade.

So what's the question...

1. The cheapest place I found was PowerbookMedic.com ($150 + 6 s/h). Anyone do business with them before? I also found it at Meritline for the same price, but the listed specs were funny and I'm not sure if it's the exact same model (UJ-857-C).

2. Since the current Superdrive still sort of works, I was thinking of getting an external enclosure for it. I found this at Meritline and other places. It's designed for a 12.7mm drive, whereas the Superdrives in Macbooks are 9.5mm. Anyone think I'll have issues with this?

Thanks
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 11:22 AM   #2
jackiecanev2
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I prefer ifixit.com, but it's the same price ($150). You could try and see if anyone around here is parting out a macbook, and give it a go, or look on ebay. Also, ifixit has a guide there if you need it. Good luck!
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 12:17 PM   #3
EdLee
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Anyone know if the MBA SuperDrive add on will work? I would think they are the same part on the inside, and it's cheaper than iFixit.
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 03:23 PM   #4
jackiecanev2
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No. The add-on air superdrive only works with the air; it requires a super power usb port.
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 08:42 PM   #5
EdLee
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Originally Posted by jackiecanev2 View Post
No. The add-on air superdrive only works with the air; it requires a super power usb port.
Not what I'm talking about. Buy the Air SuperDrive and crack the case. All it has inside is the IDE SuperDrive, and a USB to IDE bridge, which would be discarded anyway.

Since the custom firmware is only in the bridge, the drive should be plug and play in the MB drive bay.
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Old Jun 25, 2008, 09:03 PM   #6
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Not what I'm talking about. Buy the Air SuperDrive and crack the case. All it has inside is the IDE SuperDrive, and a USB to IDE bridge, which would be discarded anyway.

Since the custom firmware is only in the bridge, the drive should be plug and play in the MB drive bay.
It won't work. The MBA Superdrive is a 12.7mm drive. Too tall for the Macbook and MacbookPro15".

You can buy 12.7mm bare drives for much cheaper than $100. You also have more choices (e.g. Pioneer, etc.).

To the guy that suggested iFixit.com .. thanks. I had looked there first, but I clicked on the $200 used ones. Maybe they didn't have new ones at the time. Kinda odd that Used ones are $200 and new ones are $150. Not that I'm complaining. I'll have to call 'em to make sure it's the DL burner.

ft
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Old Jun 26, 2008, 09:16 AM   #7
mildolvws
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There's plenty of cheap SuperDrives (and other MacBook spares) here.

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Old Jan 12, 2010, 09:12 AM   #8
Pared
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Might need one of these. Subscribing.
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Old Jan 12, 2010, 09:22 AM   #9
ftaok
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Might need one of these. Subscribing.
Why? Your Superdrive dying?

For what it's worth, I ended up buying the one at Powerbook Medic. I think shipping was cheaper and iFixit didn't have any in stock at the time of purchase.

I got the DualLayer drive, but I haven't tested it to see if it works. It burns regular DVD-R just fine. System Profiler does list it as DVD+/-R DL capable. Just haven't had the need (or media) to burn DL.
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 09:04 PM   #10
eman
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Might need one of these. Subscribing.
If you have the white or black macbook, go to ebay and look for a UJ-857-C. The UJ-857-C is one of many superdrives that will work and you can start looking here. Should be able to buy one for less than $100.
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 09:30 PM   #11
Pared
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Superdrive might be dead, but I won't know for sure after some testing.
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Old Jan 13, 2010, 10:42 PM   #12
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As usual, ifixit gouges the prices on everything. I get those drives under $70 with shipping and that's 1 at a time, new! Please keep looking.

ifixit can be a good resource to find model #s if you're unfamiliar with what's in your machine, but they're like the corner store. Why pay $7 for a gallon of milk when the supermarket has it for $4?

I would recommend a firewire drive. Even if you get a new one, the UJ-857-C is terribly unreliable. It'll break again, or bulge and not let your CDs out. They really, really suck, and my experience with them has been that they are not worth replacing unless you absolutely need portable burning. If you do buy one, buy two. You'll need it again if you use the drive regularly.

Also, don't buy a refurbished one. I come from a world of refurbishing and fixing what you have over replacing everything, so I would usually be the last one to say this. However, in the case of an optical drive that has been shrunk down to fit into the packaging the UJ-857-C fits into, refurbishing is not a viable option. Those refurbished drives are not going to work next year.

ebay is a cespool, I would avoid it if possible. The people who sell these parts on ebay, in my experience, fit two categories:

a) People who are reselling something they bought from someone else, cheaper than they are selling it to you.

b) People who sell garbage.

Last edited by l.a.rossmann; Jan 13, 2010 at 10:47 PM.
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Old Jan 18, 2010, 12:19 AM   #13
Pared
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And where exactly is this "supermarket" you shop at?
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Old Jan 18, 2010, 10:30 AM   #14
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There are more superdrives for the macbook, like the GSA-S10N and you can buy a new one here for $80 shipped from Amazon. If you do a little research, you may be able to find one cheaper.

Also, the GWA-4080M superdrive will fit the macbook.

I also believe there are many good sellers on ebay, unfortunately there are a lot of bad sellers as well. It can be tough to wade through all the crap sometimes.

I don't sell much on ebay these days, It's not cost effective with ebay and Paypal fees so high, I use Craigslist (free).
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Old Jan 25, 2010, 01:25 PM   #15
l.a.rossmann
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pared View Post
And where exactly is this "supermarket" you shop at?
Must I do all the work? Where's the fun in that?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by eman View Post
There are more superdrives for the macbook, like the GSA-S10N and you can buy a new one here for $80 shipped from Amazon. If you do a little research, you may be able to find one cheaper.
I can't speak for the long term quality of the GSA-S10N because I've only used 3, but anything is better than the UJ-857-C. Buying that you might as well leave the screwtray out, it'll break again inside a year. It can't hurt to give it a shot.
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Old Mar 21, 2010, 10:31 PM   #16
aminiamy
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*scratches head*
So that's why my drive died so quickly (again)!
A firewire drive... does that mean I should look for an external superdrive? I tried googling for the definition of firewire, but I all come up with is external hard drives.
Or maybe I should go for GSA-S10N or GWA-4080M. Do anyone know how long those generally last?
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Old Apr 9, 2012, 04:00 PM   #17
KF6HLN
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Well I just replaced my UJ-857C with an 857G apparantly. The labels on the drive were the same (857C) complete with the Apple logo, but it shows up as an 857G. It's all installed now, and doesn't work lol. I'm wondering if the G relates to the driver or firmware? It takes the disk in, messes with it for a bit but won't spin up, than ejects it. CD's and DVD's alike.
How can I get those updates? Or do you think it's even a firmware type issue? Doesn't seem quite as simple as the old windows drivers!

Drive info:

MATSHITA DVD+-RW UJ-857G:

Firmware Revision: Z111
Interconnect: ATAPI
Burn Support: Yes (Generic Drive Support)
Profile Path: None
Cache: 2048 KB
Reads DVD: Yes
CD-Write: -R, -RW
DVD-Write: -R, -R DL, -RW, +R, +R DL, +RW
Write Strategies: CD-TAO, CD-SAO, DVD-DAO
Media: Insert media and refresh to show available burn speeds
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