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Will MBA Superdrive work with USB (powered) hub?

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by n8kwx, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Will Apple's external Superdrive work through a powered USB hub?

    Or does the Superdrive need to be plugged directly into the MBA?

    Are there any other USB devices that will only work directly plugged in?

  2. macrumors regular

    short answer: Yes, will work through a USB hub
  3. macrumors 68000

    no it wont, the MBA has a specially powered USB port specifically made to provide extra voltage required for the drive. Normal USB powered ports do not provide that extra power. It only works with the MBA.
  4. macrumors 604


    Seconding this answer: No, it will not. You must plug the MBA SuperDrive DIRECTLY into the MBA's USB port. No other USB port will provide sufficient power to run the drive.
  5. macrumors 6502

    Haha, you are wrong.

    It will not work with a usb hub.
  6. macrumors regular

    I was listening to the mac world PODCAST the guys there did a 45min review on the MBA and said he had all his stuff plugged through a USB Hub

    Have a listen

  7. macrumors newbie

    Garemz, it sounds like you have actually tried it. Correct?

    For those who are saying it doesn't - have you physically tried it?

    See below: - From AppleInsider (2/10/08):

    There's no obvious physical reason for this; our previous observation that Apple was using a higher powered bus to drive the SuperDrive turned out to be wrong. It uses the standard 500mA USB power, and when plugged into other Macs, it shows up as a recognized USB device (below, plugged into a MacBook Pro)


    If the above is true it should work. But I also seem to recall seeing apple support docs for older macs occasionally stating that certain USB devices won't work properly through a hub.
  8. macrumors 65816

    Jiddick ExRex

    This bodes well for my plan to remove the superdrive from my MBP and installing a second HD. :D
  9. macrumors newbie

    I have one and it DOES NOT work on a USB hub (I am running Boot Camp). I have tried it with several, powered and non-powered. This is a huge flaw, since it takes the only USB port. Ix anyone finds an XP driver to fix this please let me know.
  10. MRU


    I have one too.

    I have tried in both powered hub and connected directly to another mac (a mac pro)

    YES it shows up in another mac. BUT!!! try putting a disc into it. IT DOES NOT ACCEPT IT and remains dead.

    TOAST can see the drive but not actually activate to use it at all.

    The only way I can get the superdrive to work is to connect it 'directly' into the MBA's USB slot.

    Attached Files:

  11. macrumors member

    MBA and the 'Superdrive'.

    OK all the talk seems to be whether one can use the MBA superdrive on a hub, powered or not but what about using any other usb dvd/cd reader/writer on a powered/non powered hub connected to the MBA?
  12. macrumors regular

    You can make it work on all laptops and hubs by replacing the USB controller search on google for the guide.
  13. macrumors regular

    A generic drive will work just not apples MBA superdrive
  14. macrumors regular


    Here we go again…

    The MBA Super Drive will not work with a USB hub. It wil only work with the MBA, the Mac Mini and with the hub on current generation of Cinema Displays.

    This has NOTHING to do with “special powered USB ports!” It has to do with a hardware handshake. Obviously Apple PURPOSELY built the Super Drive like that. The special powerd USB blah blah is a fasle assumption which has been circulating on the web waaaay too long.

    The truth is here. Also recommended read if you're not afraid to do a littlebit of DIY to hack the limmitation.

    A generic drive will work. For example, LG has a nice portable one. Cheaper too. However, you may not be able to boot from it.
  15. macrumors newbie

    From my recent experience the answer above is CORRECT. The SuperDrive only works with the MBA and the MacMini Server hardware.

    I did this recently and this is why I ended up experimenting with a External MBA SuperDrive, you can replace the internal SuperDrive with a second disk, I used the Optibay kit. You can utilise an external CD/DVD drive, either the original internal SuperDrive housed in a new case from Optibay or a standard CD/DVD drive. BUT you can't boot from it!! So if you plan to use something like bootcamp you can't install the OS from a CD/DVD. Which means you then need to take out the new hard disk, put back the SuperDrive, install it all and then take it out again!!! :mad:

    I tried a couple of external CD/DVD drives and neither would show up on the boot drive list, it would have been good if the MBA SuperDrive had worked as a boot device plugged into a MBP but as the other post from Huubster explains - it is hardware limited to MBA + MacMini Server. Shame on you :apple: how can it be necessary to restrict the MBA SuperDrive??

  16. macrumors regular


    Yes, and I suspect that Apple also purposely prevents third party drives from being able to boot as part of a plan I do not entirely understand. But this part of the "conspiracy" remains a theory. I can't provide similar proof as the link I provided above.
  17. macrumors 68020

    To get into detail here:

    The SuperDrive "Brakes" the USB-IF standards.
    Technically speaking, SuperDrive is *not* a USB drive becuase it is not compliant to USB specs.

    Practically, it does work using USB specially configured (how is unknown).

    Had the SD been FW800, there would be no performance issue.
  18. macrumors newbie

  19. macrumors regular


    Very much true to say it is not a USB drive.
    What Apple exactly did is perfectly known. I'll post the link again...
  20. macrumors 68020


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