2011 iMac optical drive, use with 2014 iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by 3wood, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. 3wood macrumors member

    3wood

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Location:
    Henrico, VA
    #1
    Howdy all.
    I removed a good working internal optical drive from my 2011 iMac 27". Bought a USB cable for it hoping to use it as an external with my 2014 iMac 27" which of course has no internal optdrive.

    Not sure this combo will work but would be pleased if it does.

    I plugged the drive into the 2014 USB. Drive has power and inserting a cd went fine. Sounds from the drive indicated normal activity, but no drive icon appeared on 2014 desktop. Without any further actions from me, got a dialog box saying this disk unreadable on this computer (I tried several store bought disks). The dialog box contained offer to eject which I clicked on and the disk ejected normally.

    Is there something I can do to get this drive working properly in the 2014 imac?

    Thanks.
    IMG_7768.jpg
    IMG_7769.jpg
    IMG_7770.jpg
     
  2. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68040

    Mr_Brightside_@

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #2
    Hm I've done the same with drives from MBPs. Have you tried discs with data on them?
     
  3. NoBoMac, Aug 22, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2019

    NoBoMac Moderator

    NoBoMac

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    #3
    Wild guess here, based on the picture, might not be getting quite enough power to the DVD drive, as you've already got an HDD plugged in (and anything else?).

    Not same, but, have seen where two HDDs are plugged in, spin up, lights on, but not showing on the desktop. Once you move them to a powered hub, all is well.

    So, maybe unplug that HDD and try again?
     
  4. vertical smile macrumors 68040

    vertical smile

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2014
    #4
    Might be a long shot, but try each USB port on the iMac. Sometimes some ports are not fully powered in my experience.
     
  5. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    #5
    External optical drives often have dual USB port connections to nsupply sufficient power to the unit.
     
  6. 3wood thread starter macrumors member

    3wood

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Location:
    Henrico, VA
    #6
    Thank you.Unfortunately I don't have any data disksTo try.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 22, 2019 ---
    Thanks. Good thought. Leaving the other 3 USB ports empty, no change. The drive sucks in the cd, makes all the "normal" sounds then goes silent for a minute or so before I'm given the opportunity to eject. It ejects promptly. But never does the drive show on the desktop or in disk utility.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 22, 2019 ---
    I've just tried each of the 4 ports. No change. Thanks.
     
  7. mikehalloran macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2018
    Location:
    The Sillie Con Valley
    #7
    The internal optical drive on a 2009–11 iMac is connected to a SATA II bus.

    If you can get the right cabling, a SATA to USB adapter should work.

    OTOH, you can get a USB CD/DVD drive well under $20.
     
  8. 3wood thread starter macrumors member

    3wood

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Location:
    Henrico, VA
    #8
    Mike, pictured is the cable I bought. Powers up great. Injects and ejects a disk, but just will not show on the desk top. I just like to make old thinks work I guess. Best buy has an LG writer on sale for $20. Will grab one tomorrow if I don't get this one going. Thank you.
    zzScreen Shot 2019-08-22 at 8.12.36 PM.jpg
     
  9. nambuccaheadsau macrumors 68000

    nambuccaheadsau

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2007
    Location:
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    #9
    I have an 80 year old body full of joints needing replacement. Can you work your magic on me 3wood?

    Great to use off the tee if have have trouble handling the 1 or 2 drivers.
     
  10. 3wood thread starter macrumors member

    3wood

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2012
    Location:
    Henrico, VA
    #10
    --- Post Merged, Aug 23, 2019 ---
    Thanks everybody for your replies. Never could get the old internal drive from 2011 imac to work as an external for the 2014 imac. Today I bought this LG model SP80NB80 drive - on sale at Best Buy - $19.99. It's highly rated and works very well. I simply plugged it in to USB port and it worked perfectly. I have not burned a disk yet, but reviews say does well at that chore. Good weekend to you. IMG_7782.jpg
     
  11. racoop macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2012
    #11
    I have the 2011 iMac, but use one of these cheap LG external drives, which works great by the way. I'm old school and still watch Netflix DVDs. The little ID sticker Netlfix applies in the center of their DVDs throws the disc ever so slightly out of perfect balance, and therefore the optical drive in my 2011 iMac rejects them 99% of the time as it is super sensitive. They play fine in the LG.
     
  12. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #12
    The 3rd-party drives work as well (or better than) Apple's external SuperDrive.
    For considerably less $$$.
     

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11 August 22, 2019