Can I replace my combo drive with a DVD burner?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by moko, May 18, 2005.

  1. moko macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2003
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hey all,

    I have a G4, dual 1.25g which was the last model G4 before the G5's came out.
    I was hoping to upgrade the combo drive to a DVD but my local Apple store told me "You cannot replace the combo with a DVD Drive because the actual compression is done on the logic board".

    Can anyone confirm that this is correct? Or even better, not correct! Sounds a bit odd to me as I thought most mac components were off the shelf.

    Also, can I put in a USB2 card?

    Many thanks,
  2. Eniregnat macrumors 68000


    Jan 22, 2003
    In your head.
    Yes, there are some firmware issues, so some of the processing is done onboard. If you could find an OEM Superdrive it should work. For some reason some Mac Apps won't recognize replacement or upgrade optical drives if they are diffrent than the original. But you should be able to do any of the following.

    1.) Firewire DVD drive addition (better as it can be transported to our next system). iDVD won't work with it, so you will need DVD Studio Pro, and perhaps Toast or some other thrid party software.

    2.) USB 2 Card

    See this thread for some other links (this was for a g3 tower) but the links may help.

    Also see Pyrrhus
  3. caveman_uk Guest


    Feb 17, 2003
    Hitchin, Herts, UK
    Well there's nothing special about the superdrives - yes they do have Apple firmware on them but they still work if they're using the standard PC firmware as well.

    I have an MDD powermac and I've changed the optical drives in that machine. I changed the old 2x DVD burner with a PC Pioneer 107D and it worked completely fine. I don't think there's anything special about the MDD motherboards that come with a DVD burner - might be but I very much doubt it. You could install any DVD burner but ONLY CERTAIN ONES are supported by the iApps and finder natively. You can usually get the others to work using an app called Patchburn. The Pioneer I mentioned is supported natively without additional apps - It even says 'Apple Supported/Shipped' in the ASP. Apple used DVR-107D's in some machines themselves. It is only an 8x burner though and doesn't do Dual Layer.

    Yes you can put in a USB2 card so long as it has an NEC chipset on it. Apple uses the NEC chipset itself so it is supported by the OS. If you use another chipset it might not work. My USB2 card is by macally but you could probably use a cheaper PC one if you can see what chipset it uses.
  4. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    bs, they all work most nativly some only with patchburn
  5. Yebot macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2004
    I've been extremely successful with installing a Pioneer 109 DVD-burner into a Quicksilver g4/733 and using Patchburn.

    iTunes, Toast, Popcorn, Disk Utility ... they all work.
  6. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    I put in a second drive (Pioneer DVD-RW) in my tower with no issues. Works fine with iDVD, Finder, Toast.

    Just put a USB 2.0 card in, too. Fine. Sleeps and works fine. I'd stick with Belkin, though.
  7. drison macrumors regular


    Apr 30, 2005
    I have a cheap lite-on brand dvd+-Rw drive in an external firewire enclosure that iDVD would always prompt was not supported, but interestingly enough since I installed Tiger, it now is supported and I've burned a dvd no problem. So, I wonder if tiger has some new drivers or unlocked abilities?

  8. Artful Dodger macrumors 68020

    Artful Dodger

    May 28, 2004
    In a false sense of reality...My Mind!
    Well, I have an external burner (check sig.) and I can burn everything with it, iDVD, itunes, Toast and so on...
    Just look for the latest Patchburn, I think it's up to III and everything should work. :D
  9. moko thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2003
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thanks everyone for your replies - sounds like there might be hope yet!

    iGary, can you tell me what brand and model of DVD you installed?

  10. jeremy.king macrumors 603


    Jul 23, 2002
    Fuquay Varina, NC

    I too have had success replacing my combo with this same burner in my MDD. iTunes, iPhoto, iDVD, Toast, Popcorn, Disk Utility, etc. all work with Patchburn III install.

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