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iMac G4 SuperDrive issue

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Jessica Lares, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. macrumors 604

    Jessica Lares

    So, the SuperDrive can write to CDs and play them. However, it won't read DVDs. We're talking about officially licensed ones and not homemade burned stuff. I've tried two so far.

    I've already repaired disk permissions and verified them afterwards:

    I've also reset the PRAM and NVRAM with no luck.

    It doesn't even appear in Disk Utility, but it still works...

    If someone knows about firmware that can fix the problem, can you give me details on how to apply it? That's unless it's the usual DMG format of course.

    By the way, this used to be a school computer, which could have a lot to do with the problem. Half of iLife was already missing, and the cache was a mess. It's running 10.4.11 still.

    Terminal commands are well welcomed.

    Attached Files:

    • du.png
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  2. Moderator


    Staff Member

    Do you have access to installer media? If this was a school computer, it is quite possible that key components were stripped from the OS by their IT department to prevent forms of tampering. I have run into this with G5 towers a friend had purchased from schools in the past. I would fix one component, to find something else missing later on.

    But before that, have you attempted to boot from a DVD installer? It is also possible that the installed drive is not able to read DVD media because of dirt, hardware issues, or similar.

    Is that device output from System Profiler, or disk utility?
  3. macrumors P6


    This is a slightly common problem with some G4 iMac drives that has lots of hours on them. I haven't figured it out yet, but two out of four of my G4 iMac drives stopped reading all dvds. I attribute it to dust buildup or poor quality laser that starts to malfunction. Either way, I've found no cure but a complete drive replacement.
  4. Moderator


    Staff Member

    It appears you are correct too. After reading up more on these drives, it appears that failure rates of that particular model Sony drive are quite high (both Mac and PC systems).
  5. macrumors 604

    Jessica Lares

    I tried to install Leopard on it, but it wouldn't read the disk I burned. I sold my copy to buy the iPhone 4. :rolleyes: I have no disks, except grey ones of Tiger for my MBP.

    It's plugged in by the Ethernet, so I can't use Remote OS X Installer.
  6. macrumors 68040


    so better buy the disc back again if you want leopard on your G4 iMac
  7. macrumors 604

    Jessica Lares

    You really think I want to buy it back after selling it for $162.50?! No, thanks. I'll just do a FireWire cable install instead.
  8. macrumors 68000


    Ya, the superdrive in one of my 17" iMac G4's went crazy too. I think there were some serious issues with those Pioneer drives
  9. macrumors P6


    Remember, the source and target Mac must both be the same CPU type. You can't have a Intell Macbook install Leopard to a G4 iMac's internal drive. The Leopard Installer will force the drive to be formatted to GUID, which is not boot able on PPC Macs.
  10. macrumors 604

    Jessica Lares

    Ahhh, yeah, you're right. How about if I tried it on the G5? I'll go check its drive specs.
  11. macrumors P6


    It should work without a problem if the source is the G5.
  12. macrumors 604

    Jessica Lares

    Yeah, this is what my G5 drive is. I'll try it then.


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