Replace superdrive

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by vistadude, Aug 23, 2013.

  1. vistadude macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    Can i replace a dead superdrive in a mac mini late 2009 with a working one from a macbook late 2009? Thanks in advance.
  2. Micky Do macrumors 68000

    Micky Do

    Aug 31, 2012
    An island in the Andaman Sea.
    Dunno, but I guess so. The Mini is mainly made of components more typically found in a laptop.

    But why not just get a USB SuperDrive and plug it in? Problem solved with minimal hassle.
  3. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Oct 9, 2007
    Or any other USB DVD drive for less than half the price.
  4. vistadude thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    Because I'm buying a used mini that has a non-working dvd drive for a great deal, and I already have a macbook that I took out the superdrive to fit a second hard drive inside, so I have a mac oem part sitting idle :)

    I'm guessing I need a mac internal dvd drive to install snow leopard or windows...
  5. geeji macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2012
    The ODD in the Mac Mini (Late 2009) is a SATA slot-in Superdrive of 12.7mm.
    Compatible models (of various performance) are :
    • Matshita UJ-868A (RPC1)
    • Matshita UJ-875A / UJ-875B
    • Matshita UJ-880A
    • Sony Optiarc AD-5670S (RPC1)
    • Sony Optiarc AD-5680H (RPC1)
    • Sony Optiarc AD-5690H / AD-7690H (RPC1)
    • Sony Optiarc AD-7580S
    • Sony Optiarc AD-7640S / AD-7643S
    • Sony Optiarc AD-7670S (RPC1)
    • Pioneer DVR-TS08PA
    • Hitachi-LG GA11N
    • Hitachi-LG GA31F
    • Hitachi-LG GA31N
    • Hitachi-LG GA32N

    If your spare drive is one of those, it should fit.
    Use System Information OS X utility to check the ODD model in your Macbook.
  6. phoenixsan macrumors 65816


    Oct 19, 2012
    Just from my experience, prefer the Matshita and the Pioneer ones. Tend to be better and more resistant to use.

  7. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Get a 20$ USB powered BR player/DVD writer. That way your mini plays blu rays too. It is the first model with enough oomph to play it flawlessly.
  8. vistadude thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    So I decided to open up the mini and found it's a lot easier to open up the superdrive and clean the laser rather than replace the superdrive. I used dry Q-tips and wiped the lens as well as dust inside the case. Now it can play about 40% of the dvd movies i put inside, but no software dvds. I might try using alcohol next time I open it up.

    For now, I don't really even need the dvd drive as I have an external one and I can install OS X with an external hard disk, but it's nice to have it working incase I donate this a couple years from now.

    After i installed mountain lion, it's faster than before but still somewhat slow. I'm thinking that I'll need to replace the hard disk or upgrade the ram from 2 GB to 8 GB. If you could only do one upgrade, which would it be?
  9. Edge macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2005
    Best bang for buck is one 2GB RAM stick to take you to 3GB. (Some might argue this makes no difference.) If you want matching pairs, you'll need two x 2GB for 4GB.

    Best upgrade after that is an SSD. Any brand is better than a mechanical hard drive.
  10. Giuly, Aug 27, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013

    Giuly macrumors 68040


    The bang for the buck of RAM is measured in GB per $, and the 2GB sticks for $30 are definitively not it.

    8GB of 1066MHz DDR3 from Kingston are $70. Add a 128GB SanDisk Ultra Plus along with it and the Mac Mini will back to usable again.
  11. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Best bang for the buck is a 7200RPM drive. 60 bucks for a 7200rpm Scorpio Black 750Gb. The internal one is the biggest bottle neck. I popped in a left-over set of 1333mhz 2011 Mini RAM, so I had a free 4Gb RAM upgrade. You can buy these very well second hand for 10 bucks or so, nobody wants 2x2GB 1333mhz for computers with 1333mhz busses. Total new machine (mainly because of the drive. With HTPC use, RAM is not important).
    SSD is an option too, but remember this mini only has SATA 300, so you wast half the speed of most drives, the 7200rpm manages to get 180Mb/s, on a 300Mb/s bus, I think that is quite effective. And you have much storage for little money. I use the Mini as HTPC and then SSD is total nonsense.
  12. Giuly, Aug 27, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013

    Giuly macrumors 68040


    The problem with hard drives is that they're incredibly slow to read small files shattered all over the disks (opening applications, booting), hence everything uses an SSD these days - it's just $30 more, and if you want TBs of space, you can always use an external disk (or replace the Superdrive).

    Yes, (some) SSDs are faster than the 300MB/s the 2009 Mac Mini is capable of, that's why you can take an inexpensive one like Ultra Plus. The 128GB model is faster than 300MB/s for both read and write, while i.e. the 128GB Samsung 840 tops out at just 130MB/s for writing and costs the same.

    I wouldn't really consider installing anything else than an SSD in 2013.
  13. Edge macrumors member

    Jul 28, 2005
    Bull. The "bang" cames from fewer page outs.

    And if you pay $30 for a 2GB RAM stick for a 2009 machine you're an idiot.

    Wouldn't even consider wasting money on a new platter-based hard drive, not even 7200rpm. This is not 2009.
  14. Giuly, Aug 27, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2013

    Giuly macrumors 68040


    Yeah, but 3GB will give you lots of them, and so will 4GB. 6-8GB is fine for normal usage, while power users would be happier with 16GB.

    The best bang for the buck is still 8GB for $70, as the alternative would be adding a single 4GB stick for $39.
  15. vistadude thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    The mini is already feeling faster today, maybe indexing is done. I'll probably go with 8 GB ram for now and wait for a good deal on a new hard drive or SSD.
  16. vistadude thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    Incase it helps anyone, I opened up the mini again today and cleaned the inside of the optical drive with water. Now the superdrive is working perfectly. It read all movies and data dvd's including the OS X install disc I threw at it. I'm really happy with the mini!
  17. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    I have an old Sata 3 machine and added a 3,5 inch Seagate barracuda 3TB drive. Sorry, but SSD would be no alternative. I might win a few seconds on booting the OS and the applications, but boy this beast is fast in crawling through my 2 TB of movies and photo's. On disk access, this machine feels snappier than my new Mini with SSD and external storage.
  18. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    Feb 12, 2007
    Neander Valley, Germany; just outside Duesseldorf
    This is likely an apples to oranges comparison. What are the two computers you're referencing?
  19. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Jul 7, 2008
    I'm also not a fan of SSDs. They're certainly faster than traditional hard drives, but they're slower than RAM, and when adding them after the fact, they're the worst value in all of computing.
  20. vistadude thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    I think they're overrated for old computers, but they are certainly very fast on newer computers. Hard drives are hard to figure out if they're going to be fast or not. But for space per $$, i'd rather have a big hard drive than small ssd. Luckly with most macs, you can fit 2 hard drives inside.
  21. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    I replaced the 120Gb hard drive on my 2009 MacBook with a 240Gb SSD, which I got on eBay for about £100. It COMPLETELY revolutionised the speed and responsiveness of my MacBook. I couldn't believe how much of a bottleneck the old hard drive had been.

    SSDs are NOT over-rated for older computers: they are a cheap means of extending the computer's useful life.

    If you've got an SSD and an HDD, then you should definitely make a Fusion Volume if you're running Mountain Lion. Then you'll get the speed of an SSD with the capacity of an HDD, and no need to spend time sorting out which data goes where.
  22. vistadude thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    Hmm i hard a hard drive in a macbook and replaced in with a SSD and it didn't make it any faster. It might be that the hard drive was a faster version or the ssd was a slow version.

  23. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Which one did you buy, and what HD did you have before?
    The Mini 2009 has SATA 3GB/s, so that means it limits the top model SSD's like a 840 Pro or Vector to half-speed.
    The better HD's like a 7200rpm scorpio black can reach read/write speeds around 160MB/s where a SSD can reach 250MB/s on your mini. That means the speed increase on sequential reads/writes can increase like 50%, but on heavy fragmented stuff the difference can be much greater.
    My experience is that the boost on my 2009 mini with a Scorpio HD is just a bit smaller than the boost my 2011 mini got from a Samsung 830 SSD. I don't recognize. Boot of the 2009 went from 35 to 20 seconds, the 2011 went from 25 to 10-15 seconds.
  24. vistadude thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 3, 2010
    I had a toshiba hard drive that came with the mac. I originally had a samsung 840 but it failed in a couple days, so I upgraded to the 840 pro. It really isn't much faster for file transfer and doesn't feel faster than before, but it does benchmark faster.
  25. Baby Mac macrumors regular

    Baby Mac

    Jul 28, 2010
    Non-working Superdrive

    I had the same problem. Searched and found this thread. Went to OWC for their data doubler video to figure out how to get to the Superdrive. Then I opened the Superdrive and cleaned the laser with alcohol and a q-tip. Putting the unit back together, something was rattling around. It turns out I broke something off the circuit board, but it turned out to be just a tube, one of a couple on the board. Nothing functional about it. ;) I used my OWC tools from when I got an SSD. Happy now.

Share This Page