1. Welcome to the new MacRumors forums. See our announcement and read our FAQ

DVD-RW on powerbook g4 superdrive?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by itsmatt2, Sep 30, 2003.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Hi all, I'm getting conflicting reports... do the new g4 superdrive powerbooks have DVD-RW? And if so, what utility do you use to erase/reformat the drive?
  2. macrumors 6502a



    Superdrives officialy support only DVD-R. No re-writables. Drives itself are perfectly capable of supporting DVD-RW, however Apple is stuborn in its refusal to support DVD-RW.

    There was number of discussions around this topic before. Someone mentioned that you can use Toast for write DVD-RWs or somehow fool iDVD by first inserting DVD-R disk and later replacing it with RW.
    Not sure if any of that will work as I am still waiting for my first Mac.
  3. macrumors 6502a


    The drives themselves do support DVD-RW, however Apple has only DVD-R supported. With the previous models, there was a hack to get the full functionality, but when you buy it, it will not readily support RW.

    Edit: Haha, sorry, guess I took too long to reply. (1 Minute) Also, the reason the drives are limited by Apple is a heat reason. Those who have hacked them say the heat isn't that bad, but that is the reason.
  4. macrumors 6502a



    I am not sure how heat could be a reason to disable DVD-RW.
    DVD-RW is not supported on desktops too, so I would eliminate heat as a reason for lack of rewritables support.
  5. macrumors 6502a


    -RW, +R, +RW

    Maybe off topic:

    Desktop machines use drives from Sony (maybe even new Pioneer A06) that even support +R/RW format but Apple decided not to support it.

    There was also a rumor couple of months ago that this is just OS issue and that firmware on drive is capable of supporting additional functionality (not cripled). It was rumored that Panther will add at least -RW support. I guess it won't happen :confused:
  6. macrumors 6502a


    Check out Disk Utility, you may find out something...

    My thought is that DVD-RW can be used.

    Attached Files:

  7. macrumors 6502a


    Re: Heat?

    Ok, now I'm a little bit confused, because I was fairly certain that the super drive I have supports RW, but while looking at the specs on Apple's site, I can't find a single super drive that says RW. I'm also assuming that when it says Super Drive (DVD-R/CD-RW) it simply says that because that's the definition of a super drive. Let me do some research.

    Edit: I'm not sure that there are any desktops with a SuperDrive that don't support RW. Though you might not be able to do it through all Apple software (i.e. iDVD), I think all desktops can utilize an RW drive with a third part software app, such as toast.
  8. macrumors 6502a


    Ok, already edited my last post and I have some new info, so I'm making a new post. It appears that the answer is no. The PowerBooks do not readily support RW. However, you can find a firmware update here: http://superdrive.cynikal.net/

    If there's a problem with it, there is also a downgrade to the original firmware. (this is at least for the previous PB G4 models, not sure about the new ones)

    Also, the rumors surrounding why this, and higher burn speeds, were not enabled are that either the speed caused by the higher burn speeds (faster spinning) caused too much heat, and also there are rumors that there were burn errors when burning RW's while the user was walking around with the computer.
  9. macrumors 6502a


    Re: Re: Heat?

    I agree. My point was that piece of hardware that Apple calls "Superdrive" in desktops is capable of burning DVD-RW (even +R/RW in some cases) discs but Apple does not officialy acknowledge or support that.

    From http://www.apple.com/imac/superdrive.html

    The SuperDrive supports DVD-Video, DVD-ROM and DVD-R, as well as CD-ROM, CD-Audio, CD-R, CD-RW, CDI, CD Bridge, CD Extended, CD Mixed Mode and Photo CD media.

    It may be a different story for PowerBooks.
    Anybody brave enough to take new Powerbook apart and report on make and model of "Superdrive" in Powerbooks?
  10. macrumors 6502a


    Re: Re: Re: Heat?

    It should be possible to determine what drive they use simply by checking the Apple System Profile.
  11. macrumors 6502a


    Re: Re: Re: Re: Heat?

    Thanks, this is good education for me as I getting ready for my first Mac. I guess I am in "soon to switch" phase now. I am waiting for Panther to come out before buying.
    All my practical experience with Mac is very limited for now (played with friends iBook, love OS X) and my knowledge is mostly theoretical.
  12. macrumors 68000


    You might like to read the manual for the 15" powerbook -- maybe there's something in it?
  13. macrumors 65816


    Use Apple System Profiler to get your DVD drive's model number. Then go to the manufacturer to see what it should support. They may say it supports DVD-RW, but then Apple may have developed a firmware to disable it.

    If the manufacturer (Pioneer in my case) says it doesn't support DVD-RW, then a firmware hack probably won't be able to get you there.

Share This Page