MBA/Mac Mini External Optical Drive Issues

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by moral-hazard, May 10, 2014.

  1. moral-hazard macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2009
    Palo Alto, CA

    I regularly use an external optical drive (OWC Enclosure, LG Blu-ray drive) with my mac mini. Recently, it started seeming to flake out -- it would show up as connected to the machine but would disconnect while watching a movie or burning a disc, or even while doing nothing. I tested with a second external enclosure and saw the same issues (at this point the drive never even seems to mount correctly any more). Same issue happened on my MBA, so I assumed
    it must be a bad LG drive inside the enclosure and ordered a new OWC slim USB 2.0 enclosure.

    Now i've been using the new OWC optical for a few days and am having the same type of issues again. Initially the disk drive always mounted correctly but after being plugged in a while it stops showing up in System Information/Disk utility. Sometimes if I reconnect it a bunch of times it will appear again, at which point I can watch a movie or access the disk.

    I can't help but think something is wrong here that isn't just the optical drives -- anyone know what might be causing this?
  2. macs4nw macrumors 601


    The easiest, and often overlooked thing to check, is the USB patch cord. Swap it out; with the above symptoms, there's always the possibility that it could be the culprit.
  3. moral-hazard thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 27, 2009
    Palo Alto, CA
    Welp, I feel silly. You were right. It came with one of those funky "Y" cables that can connect to two USB ports for extra power. Swapped in my plain old straight cable from my Garmin GPS unit and it works like a charm. Seems like a slight manufacturing defect in the "Y" cable, the drive-side connector wasn't going in all the way. If I jam it a bit farther it works fine but I think I'll just stick with my GPS cable for the time being.

    Oddly enough, the old drive that seemed to die was using FW800, so doesn't really explain that one going bad, but I'll make sure to get that one RMA'ed.


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