iMac G4 optical drive replacement?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by PaulexPC, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. PaulexPC macrumors member

    Jun 4, 2008
    I have an old 15" iMac G4 (nice computer). It seems that the CD drive doesn't work, when I put in any CD, whether audio of data it won't read. I assume I need to replace it.

    Where can I get a replacement ideally one that will read CD and DVD.
    I don't need to burn anything, but reading DVD would be helpful.

    My friend says that you need a special drive to fit into that housing.
    I know that the actual replacement process is a little annoying and needs heat sink paste.

    Thanks for any advice.

  2. hughvane macrumors 6502


    Aug 25, 2008
    Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
    For CD-DVD/ROM only, I'd warmly recommend a Pioneer brand one. Not many folk want 'low-end' configuration ie, read-only, these days, so you may need to buy one that will burn, but just not use it. Internal vs external - your choice. Pioneer drives are available from

    For replacing an internal optical drive, see:
    There might be something on YouTube as well.
  3. bflowers macrumors 6502a

    Jul 19, 2006
    I have opened my 17 inch iMac (same style as yours) and had no problems. I replaced the hard drive with a much larger capacity. I didn't replace the paste, but had some on hand. When I opened it up, it stayed completely intact and didn't seem to need replacing. That was over three years ago, and no problems. Good luck with the optical drive.
  4. Reflow macrumors 68000


    Mar 30, 2005
    Why not buy an external one?
  5. phifer8390 macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2008
    What size drive did you install? I am looking at a 500gb just because I don't know if the 750 is worth the extra cost!
  6. PaulexPC thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 4, 2008
    Well now I'm quite confused. I put in three different plain old audio CD's (you know, from the music store) and the computer whirred and spun the disks and then spat them out. I figure the CD drive is kaput.

    Then I popped in music disk that a friend of mine burned (on a Mac) and it launched right away, iTunes opened up and the music started playing.

    Is this some sort of confusion in the OS? Is the drive defective? I don't need to replace it if it's not broken.
  7. hughvane macrumors 6502


    Aug 25, 2008
    Banks Peninsula, New Zealand
    Compare the condition of the four disks you used, for scratches and the like, but then you've probably done that anyway.

    Next - get a good brand laser lens cleaning disk, plus a can of compressed air with tube nozzle, and give your optical drive a good going-over. See if that cures the drive problems.
  8. rpaloalto macrumors 6502a


    Sep 19, 2005
    Palo Alto CA.
    It sure sounds like your optical drive, is on the way out. Thats what they do. They become very sporadic and picky. On what they decide to read.

    Your iMac g4 will accept any standard size ide dvd/cd drive. Go with a pioneer apple has been using them for a long time.

    I had to replace my drive 2 times on my 17 g4 imac. First time I actually paid a repair shop almost $200. The second time around. My mac was a little older allowing me to be less worried, on screwing it up. I was shocked on how easy it actually was. sure wish I did it the first time around.

    If you are running 10.3 or below you will need to install a firmware patch called patch burn. Free and easy to install.

    how to

    patch burn

    nice drive
  9. phifer8390 macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2008
    I would also just replace the drive. While you are in there I would replace the pram battery and upgrade the ram! You could also upgrade the hard drive.
  10. phifer8390 macrumors member

    Jul 11, 2008
    You don't need a "special drive" just one that is not too long. Paste is not a big deal. More is not better... You need such a small amount that you can hardly tell it is there. You can also put up to a 128gb hard drive and a 512MB stick of ram. PC2700 desktop ram.

    CD/DVD Drive

    Hard Drive-120's are not for sale anymore but if you install a 160 it will show as a 128



Share This Page