Replacement DVD drive - Early 2008 model?

jeremy h

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 9, 2008
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UK
I've got a 2x2.8 Quad Core Intel Xeon (running 10.5) in which the optical drive has packed up. Simple repair I think - just buy a new drive and fit it (or get someone to fit it.) Well, having just phoned around - replacement drives are a rare as hens teeth. I'm in the Uk and everyone I've tried seems to be out of stock, with no idea when a suitable replacement will be found. (I need to sort something in the next day or so...)

Can I get an external and use that? Can anyone recommend something mac compatible? (I've had a poke about on Amazon and while they look quite cheap I really don't just want to take a punt and end up adding to my growing collection of useless and dead drives).

Also - In an emergency can you use such an external DVD drive to boot from?
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
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You can use an external DVD drive, but the best bet is to replace your internal one. Just get any tray-loading PATA DVD drive (not SATA). Pop the bezel off of the front of the tray so it fits through the Mac Pro drive slot. Set the drive jumpers to master, slave, or cable select as needed (if you don't know which, then try cable select first).
 

jeremy h

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Original poster
Jul 9, 2008
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Thanks guys - Jessica, interestingly the OWC site recommended one but was out of stock!

ActionableMAngo - Ok, that's really useful (just getting my head around sata / non sata business) - this one looks OK, would you agree?
 

minifridge1138

macrumors 65816
Jun 26, 2010
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Any optical drive that is PATA (it may also be called IDE. They're the same technology but it got renamed to sound more like SATA) should work.

Good luck.
 

ActionableMango

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Sep 21, 2010
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ActionableMAngo - Ok, that's really useful (just getting my head around sata / non sata business) - this one looks OK, would you agree?
Looks okay to me. The Amazon US reviews even mention someone popping the bezel off to fit in a Mac Pro, so it seems perfect.
 

wordoflife

macrumors 604
Jul 6, 2009
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Thanks guys - Jessica, interestingly the OWC site recommended one but was out of stock!

ActionableMAngo - Ok, that's really useful (just getting my head around sata / non sata business) - this one looks OK, would you agree?
That drive is fine, but I'd get this one.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Samsung-SH-S222A-BEBE-Internal-Writer/dp/B001IBKR94/ref=sr_1_1?s=computers&ie=UTF8&qid=1344452551&sr=1-1

It's a bit cheaper and sold from Amazon, not a third party vendor. Additionally there is a review in there stating that they got it to work in their PowerMac G5 (similar to your Mac Pro) and that there were instructions to remove the front plate (which is what you need to do as well).
 

jeremy h

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 9, 2008
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UK
Great - thanks everyone. Really appreciate the help. I shall take the plunge and report back...

(I'd never heard of PATA until this issue cropped up - useful to know that it's a renamed IDE - which I had heard of!)
 

jeremy h

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 9, 2008
491
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UK
Well, I now have a working drive. So thanks again everyone...

Thought I'd just add a few pointers in case anyone else needs to do this and is a bit unsure about how to proceed and they find this thread.

I used a Pioneer DVR-118L in the end. Fitting is easy - fully explained in the manual.

Couple of things you might want to know. Optical drive tray can only be removed with the catch at the back fully up. Mine was quite 'sticky' - a delicate little tug doesn't do it! The cables are a simple push fit. The first ribbon cable was removed very easily but the second smaller one needed quite a bit of pull for it to come loose.

The only tricky bit was removing the tiny front plate on the replacement drive. You have to do this or the tray won't eject. It just the small flat plate on the front of the loading tray. It's tricky - in the end I used a paper clip to open the drive tray and just sort of carefully wiggled the little plate off. (I found a flat bladed blunt table knife helped hugely with the prising here!) There might well be a clever way of doing it but I couldn't figure it out.

Just fitted it all back together and it just worked... (There are instructions on setting Jumpers etc but I didn't need to change any off them)