iMac G4 With Broken Superdrive: Replacement or External?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by Makosuke, Sep 20, 2004.

  1. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    My parents' G4 iMac has a superdrive that is no longer very super--it'll play DVD movies, but refuses to recognize any CDs, making software installation rather difficult. They don't use it a whole lot, but burn videos on rare occasions and really want to do backups with the optical drive, which brings me to my question:

    Which do you think is a better idea: dig into it and replace the internal drive (~$90, tidy, and if I get a DVR-107 I believe iDVD will recognize it), or get them an external firewire drive (~$130-200, less tidy, no iDVD)?

    Kind of a toss up in my mind. I don't suppose there's any way to use Toast Titanium to burn an iDVD project to an external drive, is there?

    (By the way, I already tried blowing half a can of compressed air into the thing, using a cleaning disc, and using a makeshift cleaning disc of my own, all to no effect, so I'm guessing the lens isn't just dirty--any other fixes to try for the heck of it?)
  2. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2003
    Home of Al-Qaida
    Could be lens. Take it apart and give a few blasts of compressed air. If that doesn't help, get an external "super" drive. No point in wasting money on old tech. Buy it from BB so you can return it if it's not compatible w/ the iMac.
  3. fowler. macrumors 6502a


    Apr 18, 2004
    It would bother me that I had an inoperable drive still in there. I'd probably just take it apart and replace it.
  4. Elan0204 macrumors 65816


    Apr 16, 2002
    Chicago, IL
    I guess this means you don't have AppleCare...

    I don't know how hard it is to change the internal drive on the iMac, but if you think it is something you can do, I would go with that option. Given the choice, an internal option is always nicer than an external one. Plus, it is cheaper too.

    I wonder if this would work? It is only $82 shipped, and it is way better than the current drive in your iMac. And, for an extra $8 shipped you could get one that supports dual layer burning.
  5. Makosuke thread starter macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Do you think taking it apart and cleaning the lens is going to get me anything blowing on it like crazy through the open tray and using cleaning brush discs didn't? If I crack it open, it'd be nice to check to see if cleaning would fix it, but they're hard enough to get into that I'd rather just be safe and replace the drive if I'm going to take it apart, instead of having to do it twice.

    It's a pain in the butt, but I've gotten my hands dirty (in the extremely clean comput guts sense) often enough that I figure I can handle it.

    That's exactly the drive I had in mind; as far as I know, since Apple uses the 107 drives you can burn DVDs with iDVD with it, which would be nice. The 108 that does dual layer, on the other hand, isn't supported yet as far as I know, so you'd need to use Toast to burn to it until Apple adds support to the OS.

    Actually, now that I think of it, they're running 10.2.8, and you need at least 10.3.3 for the 107... maybe time for an OS upgrade, too.
  6. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Do a Google search for "iDVD easter egg." They are two files that allow iDVD to burn to image files or to external burners. They can be opened with Photoshop, but that will corrupt them. :eek:

    But I say go for the internal drive. It could be faster, better, etc.
    And this might be a good time to ask: Does anyone know how I can get my iMac to burn at 2x (for DVDs) again? It used to be able to, but then when 4x media came out the optical drives apparently couldn't take it...I call mine the "Stuperdrive" because Apple locked it down to 1x only.

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