Macbook Pro 15" DVD Drive Replacement (Which Drive to get)

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by BrianSteels, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. BrianSteels, Aug 15, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2012

    BrianSteels macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2008
    Hey Forum! Long time no post.

    My DVD drive went on me the other day when a family member decided to flip the cushion it was sitting on. Now it makes a weird low noise instead of the fast mechanical one it used to make at start up.

    Soooo, it's time to replace it. I'm not going to a techy as the last time I did it, I ended up spending $300 for them to wipe my harddrive clean when I specifically asked for a new screen (Plus it took a week and a half and I don't have that kind of time). So I've been looking to buy one and install it myself and so far it doesn't seem hard except I can't get a correct answer to a few questions.

    1. My DVD drive is a "MATSHITA DVD-R UJ-868" but I keep seeing it with an "A" at the end. Is there any differences between "UJ-868" and "UJ-868A"?

    2. I've recently found a "Macbook Pro Superdrive GS21N" and a friend of mine jumped the gun and bought it for me. Now the seller says its the wrong part and that I'm going to have to go through the awesomely stupid return process they have but the website says that its compatible but: "one of the screw holes may not line up to the brackets inside."

    So basically, I'm a bit lost. Can I use the "GS21N" drive or does it have to be a "UJ-868"?

    I've been thinking of ignoring the package and having it returned to sender to speed up the process of getting it back to them but if it could work then I'll use it.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2007
    Midwest America.
    It depends on which screw doesn't line up. If it's near the slot, this could be a deal breaker as it could make getting the disc out near impossible, and could cause damage to the disc as well as it is brought too close to the case.

    You are better off getting what you know will fit. (You might be able to e-bay the drive you have)

    Often a different letter on the end of a piece of hardware marks an update, which could be just updated firmware or the addition of some functionality.

    It's likely that the x and xA drive have the same mounting hole configuration.
  3. BrianSteels thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2008
    Hmm true.

    If I open it up and take out the DVD drive will the computer run without? Just in case I try and it doesn't work, would I need to reinstall the old one or could I just leave it empty until the replacement got here?
  4. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Of course it depends on what you want, but I "fixed" mine by buying an external DVD player/recorder for £16.
  5. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2007
    Midwest America.
    Don't know. 50/50... Some system BIOS checks for certain devices and won't run without it. From experience, I'd say that it would probably function OK, but as they say 'Your mileage may vary'. It could bitch holy hell because the drive is missing and refuse to start up, or start up just fine. I've never had the opportunity to try that on a MacBook. Your odds are probably 99/1 that it will start up, based on experience with PC notebooks. But a MacBook isn't a 'PC notebook'.

    Do report back your experiences. I'm curious...

    Well, and on my earlier note: Even a screw missing on the back of the drive potentially could case some headaches and scratched discs, depending on how much the disc contacts the case, and how rough the case might be. For some reason, my older MacBook Pro has a rather rough CD slot. No idea why, but it's kinda nasty. Must have been the upgrade someone did for me. Probably saved a few bucks, but if it looks like King Kong did the upgrade, what are the savings if it needs to be serviced at the genius bar.
  6. BrianSteels thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2008
    It worked

    Though one mounting screw (You decide, right or left on the actual drive end) had to be left out, the drive is in, functional and does not scratch disks.

    Thanks for the insite guys!:)

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