Has anyone connected a non-Superdrive external CD/DVD drive to the MBA?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by pgharavi, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. macrumors regular


    Nov 25, 2004

    I was hoping to use my friend's external CD/DVD drive instead of having to purchase the $99 Superdrive. It has two plugs on the back, one for power, which oddly enough is a USB cable, and then the typical Male to Female USB cable. I'm assuming you need both but I'm not sure. Either way I'm not having any luck getting it to show up on the MBA.

    Since it came from a Lenovo, I tried hooking it up to another friend's Vaio. Still no luck. I'm sure it works on the Lenovo, but I'm kinda stuck. I'm wondering if there is any point in trying to troubleshoot if the only thing that will work is the Superdrive in the first place.

    Any ideas? Thanks.
  2. macrumors G4

    Lord Blackadder

    May 7, 2004
    Sod off
    I doubt you could get it to work without hardware mods.
  3. thread starter macrumors regular


    Nov 25, 2004
    Really?? So the ONLY option to connect an optical drive to the MBA is the Superdrive?
  4. macrumors 601

    Phil A.

    Apr 2, 2006
    Telford, UK
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU like Mac OS X; en) AppleWebKit/420.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.0 Mobile/4A93 Safari/419.3)

    why do you say that? I would expect any USB device to work fine. I think the op would definitely need power to the external drive to make it work
  5. macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2007
    Sounds like OP's external drive was the one made for some X series thinkpads (40?)....andrequires two USB ports (standard voltage i think). So, if you plugged both ends into a powered USB hub and the hub to the MBA, the drive should power on....and can't the MBA use any normal (one that has an external power source and a USB port) external USB CD/DVD drive?
  6. macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2008
    I just used a Pioneer Superdrive in an external drive case via USB 2.0 so I can confirm non-Apple Superdrive's will work.
  7. macrumors regular

    May 24, 2007
    San Antonio, Tx
    Anyone else using an external instead of a superdirve?
  8. macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2007
    No problems with external DVD rom drive (old) connected via ata-USB connector from old external hard drive. Used to clean install OS X and office without problems. Shows up as external CD/DVD drive
  9. macrumors member

    Feb 10, 2008
    Sony external dvd writer works great

    I had an older Sony DVD writer that I used to load software on my MBA. It worked great and the MBA recognized it as soon as I plugged it in.

    I am really happy with the new machine.
  10. macrumors member

    Jul 2, 2007
    Just stuck a CD-ROM drive in a 5.25 enclosure I had lying around. Worked like a charm. Enclosure has it's own power brick.
  11. macrumors newbie

    Feb 7, 2008

    others work

    NOTE: The Mac Superdrive does not work on a usb hub. This you MUCT devote the single USB slot to it..BAD Design
  12. MRU
    macrumors demi-god


    Aug 23, 2005
    I have connected the 360's HD-DVD drive to the MBA

    It works for playing back DVD's and it recognizes HD-DVD's but of course there is no player for them yet.

    You could definitely use the drive if you wanted to import CD's, rip DVD's and such without springing for the superdrive (of course you won't be able to burn though).

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