Powerbook G4 Combo drive

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by weeowey2, Jul 14, 2016.

  1. weeowey2, Jul 14, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016

    weeowey2 macrumors newbie


    Jul 14, 2016
    Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
    Hi, I recently got a powerbook g4 titanium, it is the 1GHz DVI one ("Antimony").
    My DVD drive is not able to read disks and sometimes doesn't eject disks properly.

    Now, the issue is, I live in the UK, and I can only get the part I need from the USA.

    Will a US DVD drive work in my British machine?

    well, obviously, it will work, but isn't there any region lock stuff going on?
    I need this drive to work so I can install Mac OS 9 or 10 on to the hard drive, any other methods (attempting to boot from a USB DVD burner) have failed and this is the only PPC mac I own. I own two other intel macs.
    One is a mid 2011 Mac Mini
    the other is a white unibody 13" macbook from mid 2010.

    anything I can do?

    It does spin CDs and DVDs, but will try and read them, you can hear the motor quite well. I don't know if that is normal for these, but I learned after a bit of research that the motors in the combo drives are common to fail. I cannot hear it reading the disk, either. my hard drive is currently dead inside the machine (I went to test it, but the caddy at work killed it) and I want to get the DVD drive working before I replace the HDD.

    will a US combo drive read dvds from the UK, incl. install disks?

    EDIT: I have replaced the HDD with a 250GB samsung PATA drive. I have partitioned it for five OSes.
  2. thats all folks macrumors 6502a

    thats all folks

    Dec 20, 2013
    Austin (supposedly in Texas)
  3. iModFrenzy macrumors 6502a


    Jan 15, 2015
    Lead The Way!
    I don't think installing OS 9 or 10 will be a problem with a US drive.

    Or you could grab a dead TiBook from a seller in the UK and strip it for its DVD drive.
  4. Dronecatcher macrumors 68020


    Jun 17, 2014
    Lincolnshire, UK
  5. CooperBox macrumors 6502a


    Nov 28, 2010
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    I reckon you were fortunate to find a 1GHz Antimony model. I was given one a short while ago with broken hinges and a very poor screen. Have been looking for a donor unit ever since, and think I've just sniffed one out. Will report further in due course.
  6. bobesch, Jul 29, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2016

    bobesch macrumors 6502a


    Oct 21, 2015
    Kiel, Germany
    If you have another mac with firewire at hands just bootup your TiBook in Target-mode (press T-button when booting up), connect the TiBook via firewire with any of your capable macs.
    Then run any required installation-CD/DVD on that specific mac and choose the TiBooks-HDD or any partition on that drive as your destination folder for installation. You may also start disk-utility off the installation-CD/DVD to make changes to your firewire-attached TiBook's HDD. So you won't be urged to get a new optical-drive.
    If you've got the original TiBook's installation disks you may install OSX and OS9 into the same partition (the installation-routine will do that automatically for you). You'll be able to swap between booting into OS9 or OSX within the System-Settings.
    Good luck & have fun.

    It's great to run Panther/Tiger plus Classic on the TiBook.
    There's endless stuff on Macintoshgarden.org for free.

    Your machine will be up-to date concerning:
    - email: with the inbuild email-client of OSX or Classilla on OS9
    - browser: TenFourFox or webkit for tiger or Classilla
    - office 2001(os9) or 2004(osX) if you install MS "Open XML Converter" for docx/xlsx/pptx documents
    - webDAV (Cloud-storage): with both OS9 (Goliath) and OSX (Finder:Goto/Connect to server) with e.g. Box or GMX accounts
    - ScreenSharing (OSX) with your other macs
    - FileSharing with Transport1.7(OS) or Finder (OSX) with your other PPC-macs
  7. weeowey2, Aug 2, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2016

    weeowey2 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jul 14, 2016
    Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
    The only Mac I have with FireWire is an Intel 2011 Mac mini. Can I do anything with that? It can't boot any Mac OS X installer below lion.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 2, 2016 ---

    oh, and thanks for that website! I have been struggling to find the correct version of mac os 9 for my powerbook. hopefully I can do a restore through firewire or install via a combo drive from another laptop (a tray one, so I have to leave it open. I will be very careful of the inverter)
  8. weeowey2 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jul 14, 2016
    Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
    I bit the bullet and ordered a DVD drive from the US. Hopefully it doesn't have a bad motor like the one I have at the minute. Will try to install Leopard, Lubuntu, Mac OS 9, Panther, and Tiger. one may be omitted in the future.
  9. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    A pity I hadn't been arround lately. If the one from the US doesn't work I have one, which I believe could work. It is a SuperDrive Dual-Layer DVD Burner slot-in drive. I am in the EU, so there is no tax or high shipping costs,... not yet ;)

    It was pulled from a SUN server and has the -S/-B firmware instead of the apple -C firmware. It works though, only the speeds for write are slightly faster.
  10. weeowey2 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jul 14, 2016
    Northern Ireland, United Kingdom
    thanks, that solves my issue. I have received one from Germany (or USA not sure) and I will see how well it works.

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