Replacing dying Superdrive.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by PinkyMacGodess, Aug 22, 2013.

  1. PinkyMacGodess macrumors 68040

    PinkyMacGodess

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest America.
    #1
    My Mac Pro is OOW and the Super-drive is having issues where it won't recognize discs inserted at times. I can't get them to eject by any other way but reboot and then they auto-eject.

    I assume that the drive is bad, and the quote from Apple is $69.00 for a new Super-drive. They suggested that some third party drives would work well also, and would obviously be less expensive.

    What DVD writers work with OSX? I've never had to swap a drive like this before.

    Someone said to get a Samsung drive for some reason. No one stocks them, and I've seen multiple brand of drives that look exactly the same so who knows who actually made them...

    Thanks!
     
  2. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #2
    My stock SuperDrive is a an LG Model No. HL-DT-ST DVD-RW GH61N and has been working fine. When I added the second optical drive I first went with a Pioneer from my past experiences with the brand, but it turned out to be a piece of junk. I then put in another LG, this time Model No. HL-DT-ST DVDRAM GH24NS90. It's been working just fine.

    Lou
     
  3. Tesselator, Aug 22, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013

    Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #3
    Stay away from Samsung unless you wanna do this all over again in a year or so. So far, the consensus in Japan among media freaks for the past 15 years has been Pioneer, Pioneer or Pioneer. The only exception are the LightScribe fans who like to etch images on their CDs/DVDs. In those past 15 years I've accumulated about 60 dead CD and/or DVD drives and none of them are Pioneer. I have three Pioneer DVD/CD writers , one about 15 years old, one 8 years old and one I bought about 2 years ago. All see fairly heavy use although the newest one have only burned about 1,500 disks. It's in the MacPro and works great. Here's what the MP has to say about it:

    PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-116L:
    Firmware Revision: 1.06
    Interconnect: ATAPI
    Burn Support: Yes (Generic Drive Support)
    Profile Path: None
    Cache: 2000 KB
    Reads DVD: Yes
    CD-Write: -R, -RW
    DVD-Write: -R, -R DL, -RAM, -RW, +R, +R DL, +RW
    Write Strategies: CD-TAO, CD-SAO, CD-Raw, DVD-DAO
    Media: To show the available burn speeds, insert a disc and choose View > Refresh
    I never see any messages associated with "Regions" so I dunno what that implies. And occasionally a CD with hardware (pressed) copy protection takes a bit longer to rip than one without - and I dunno what that implies either. Normally a 12 to 15 track 50 min music CD takes very close to exactly 2min. to rip, encode to MP3 256k, place in iTunes, and DL and attach the Album art and track names to. I think writing a DVD is similar - about 2min. for 4GB but it's been a few months so I'm not positive. The only other long living burner I have is a Yamaha - it was the 1st CD writer ever and cost me $2k. I think it still works today but CDs at 4X with no DVD support isn't very useful. :p

    This drive http://www.pioneerelectronics.com/PUSA/Professional/Computer-Drives/DVR-A09XL looks the same and has the same specifications as the one I'm using in my MacPro currently. Of course you have to remove the bezel and mount it as far back as possible but after that it all works perfectly. The bezel is made to be easily removed on this model.

    BTW, if you're replacing such a device you might wanna consider a BlueRay unit. I dunno anything about them myself but here is Pioneer's offering at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Pioneer-BDC-2202B-Blu-ray-Combo-Drive/dp/B000S9V44Y/
     
  4. xcodeSyn macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2012
    #4
    Actually all PC desktop models would work with OS X, but you need to know what kind of interface used in your MP. The 2006-2008 MP used IDE/PATA interface while the 2009 and later models used SATA interface. You can find an inexpensive SATA DVD writer online such as newegg.com, but it's harder to find an IDE one. BTW you need to remove the plastic front bezel of the DVD tray before installing it in the MP.
     
  5. tamvly, Aug 22, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2013

    tamvly macrumors 6502a

    tamvly

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2007
    #5
    Have you considered upgrading to a BlueRay burner? Basically, the same function as a SuperDrive at the same cost.
     
  6. PinkyMacGodess thread starter macrumors 68040

    PinkyMacGodess

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest America.
    #6
    I do have a Blu-ray drive in it already but I thought that there was no support yet for writing Blu-ray discs natively.. Toast was the only program I'd heard that can write Blu-ray discs, or so I thought. I'd also never tried to rip a CD from that drive. I'll have to see how it works I guess. I like having two drives. No real reason, but perhaps this will have worked out for the better.

    I guess this segues into another set of questions, like do I need to get Toast to write Blu-ray discs? Could I watch Blu-ray movies?

    ----------

    My first DVD writer was a Pioneer drive as I remember. Now with them becoming a commodity item, I have noticed that many drives from different vendors look exactly the same. Like HP and LG's, and I think I had a Plextor too that all looked the same. It's becoming a bizarre world when the only thing that is different is the name on the outside. Sure, some claim to have different firmware but who knows for sure...
     
  7. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #7
    I guess our experiences differ. I have had good success over the years with Pioneer, but my last, a fully boxed retail version (not an OEM version) was, as stated above - garbage!

    Lou
     
  8. kenetic macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #8
    It's pretty easy to replace it. Any PC drive will work. Open the case and look around. If not, search video is Youtube on how to replace it.
     
  9. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #9
    If you were to open a few up you would notice fairly big differences. They're not really same but the form factor is a standard - including bezel dimensions, button placement, and so on. Looking inside you'll see different chips used, different dust handling systems, different lasers, different laser head landings for better/worst beam isolation, different motor manufacturers, different quality lenses (glass/plastic, MC and not), some have dust seals on the enclosure housing, and so on and so forth.

    I dunno much about them myself I'm not that into it - I just want something that will last forever and always "just work". :)

    But some people get really into it. There are whole sites devoted to the testing of the drives and which examine (optically and electronically) the media quality they produce. I was fascinated. iXBT Labs is one such place but there's fairly many last I looked. Here's the kind of review detail and tests I mean:

    http://ixbtlabs.com/articles2/dvd/dvd-pioneer117-test.html
    http://ixbtlabs.com/articles2/test2main/
    http://ixbtlabs.com/articles2/optical/asus1608p2s.html

    Here's a top 3 review kinda thing:
    http://www.consumersearch.com/dvd-burner-reviews/best-internal-dvd-drives

    And some general reviews (probably mostly BRDs these days <shrug>
    http://www.cdrinfo.com/Sections/Reviews/Home.aspx?CategoryId=1


    Ya, I suppose everyone gets a lemon from time to time. I guess true of any mass-producer these days.
     

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