No! 2 Super Drives

Discussion in 'iMac' started by lghinz, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. lghinz macrumors newbie

    Nov 20, 2013
    I have a late 2012 iMac 27” OS10.9 with 2 super drives, which worked fine at first, but then I got to a point where only 1 would work at a time, when I plugged in the second one I would get (USB Device Needs Power) I have had it up to the Apple Store twice, in fact the second time I brought it up one of the USB ports had gone completely dead, each time they replaced the Logic board and the first time the graphic card also and I am still having the same problem. I called tech support and finally was told that I could not use 2 super drives at the same time on this model and using two at a time is probably what caused the USB port to go out the second time. Has any one else had this problem. I hate to make a big deal out of it if they were right, but If that is true I do wish they would have mentioned it, I could have saved some money buying the second drive. Thanks for any help.
  2. hfg, Nov 22, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2013

    hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    As I recall ... the SuperDrive was released along with the original MacBook Air which didn't have an internal optical drive. That SuperDrive did, in fact, draw more power than allowed by the USB specs, and the MacBook Air was designed with a higher-than-normal power USB port to use it. The SuperDrive would not work on other Mac computers which didn't have this over-powered port. This continued to be the trend with subsequent optical drive-less computers from Apple. Other brands of USB optical drives usually came with a dual-USB cable to enable drawing the power from 2 USB ports, but of course the MB Air only had one port and couldn't use these. I don't know if there has been a design revision to the SuperDrive to reduce the current requirements with the current model.

    However, I think your 2012 iMac probably has USB 3.0 ports, which increase the current capability per port to 900ma from the 500ma of USB 2. This should be adequate for comfortably running a SuperDrive, even from 2 ports at once, so I don't understand the reasoning that Apple is giving you. Plus, USB ports should gracefully shut down in the case of a power overload and display a message to that effect. This should not only protect the port, but certainly the rest of your computer as well! So even a defective SuperDrive should not cause damage to your iMac.

    However, rather than burning up iMacs, you might consider a powered USB hub to plug your SuperDrives into as a workaround until you get it sorted out. At least, if something burns up it will be the cheap USB hub rather than your iMac. :eek:

    I run the original SuperDrive I purchased back with the original MB Air on my 2012 iMac and haven't had any issues ... but I am only running one drive.


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