USB superdrive and PPC Macs?

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by RedCroissant, May 10, 2015.

  1. RedCroissant Suspended

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    #1
    Is there any way to make the Apple USB superdrive work my PPC Macs? What I have left is my iBook G4 and my PMG5 Quad and I was hoping to be able to do so.

    If anyone knows a way or has done it themselves, then I would love to know how.

    Thanks in advance for any help!
     
  2. MacCubed macrumors 68000

    MacCubed

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    #2
    According to Apple and my experience, if the computer did not ship with a SuperDrive, then it will not work. I also have tried to use it with non-Mac computers, and it won't work.
     
  3. RedCroissant thread starter Suspended

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    #3
    Hello!

    Yeah and I know that but with at least Intel Macs you can edit the Boot plist file and and "mcasb=1" within the file and then restart the machine and the Mac would recognize it and use it. I tried that method already and it's a no-go so far.

    I even got it to work with a Mac mini core solo, and even my wife's late 2009 iMac(both of which have a built-in superdrive). I just hope that it's not limited to Intel Macs.
     
  4. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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  5. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #5
    The first practical problem is that the Superdrive seems to require more power from the USB port than PPC macs provided. I use a HP USB optical drive with my PPC macs and I always use it via a powered USB hub because they cannot deliver enough juice to even get the drive recognised, let alone mount a disc.

    Apart from that, I don't know if there is anything in the USB Superdrive that sets it apart from a standard USB optical device. I would suspect it has a pretty much standard SATA to USB bridge circuit inside.
     
  6. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #6
    I can't get it working via the TiBook port or a powered USB 2.0 hub. Drive is detected but won't accept a disk.

    As wreckart says it can pull more than 500mA from an Intel Mac. Intel Macs from around 2008 onwards can supply up to 1500mA out of a USB port for approved Apple devices like the SuperDrive or iOS devices.
     
  7. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #7
    Sounds like there are some non-standard bits in that Superdrive. As a control I have just set up a Wallstreet with a generic NEC USB 2.0 card. That required the USB drivers 1.4.1 for Mac OS 8.6-9. My HP optical drive is rated for 2A at 5V so should require 1000mA, hence a similarly rated USB 2.0 hub was employed. One reboot to load the extensions, PC card gained a full icon and dutifully mounted a data DVD under Mac OS 9.2.1.

    The only thing I can remember with Apple's Superdrive is that Apple instructed that it would only work from one specific USB port on the 2010 MBA it was initially intended for but that had something to do with power draw, which could only be met from one of the two ports.
     
  8. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #8
    Not sure if the one I'm using is the same as the original MacBook Air Superdrive. Apple chucked it in for free when the replaced my 2011 MacBook Pro with a retina model, so it's under 12 months old.
     
  9. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

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    #9
    For whatever reason the MacBook Air Superdrive is IDE internally and the used Superdrive can be used for PowerPC PowerBooks or ibooks, that did not come with a Superdrive (probably iMac G5, too, no Mac Minis, but probably MacBook Pro 17" till 2008).
    http://store.apple.com/us/question/...-macbook-air-an-sata-or-ide/QTHADDYXA2JXFYK94

    I even once saw a taken apart Superdrive case, that had the internal connector being IDE. I wonder, why it doesn't work via USB.

    I have a cheap 6,-EUR china made slim-DVD-case where I put an IDE Superdrive in. When I first tested it didn't work over USB, then I tried again and again and again and somewhen it suddenly showed up and even played a movie DVD. I don't know what the trick was.

    Can you connect the drive to your Intel-Mac and look what Drive model is used in the case? Note the model number and look on the internet.

    Is taking the thing apart and putting it in your ibook permanently an option for you?
     
  10. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #10
    It identifies via USB as Apple MacBook Air Superdrive. As it's in warranty, and I need it ... I'm not pulling it apart to look inside. ;)

    I'd frankly be surprised if it's IDE internally. Most laptops went SATA for the optical drives in around 2007/2008.

    The Apple external drive obviously needs more that 500mA @ 5V. Most USB optical drives I've seen are externally powered, I'd assume to get enough juice to the drive motor.
     
  11. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #11
    Intel Mac laptops can supply insane amounts of power through the USB ports-they can charge an iPad as if it's plugged into the 10W wall brick.

    I've seen some external(non Apple) drives that came with two USB cables-one for data and the other for power. I also have some 2.5" enclosures that came with a "pigtail" USB cable to supply extra power. Some drives will work without extra power, but others require the extra connection(the first I recall encountering was a 7200 RPM IDE Hitachi Travelstar).
     
  12. weckart macrumors 68040

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    #12
    PowerBooks won't even power up
    My external USB hard drives without assistance and these are frugal compared with optical drives.
     
  13. California, May 11, 2015
    Last edited: May 11, 2015

    California macrumors 68040

    California

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    #13
    Surprised you PPC guys never saw this post on Macbook Air SuperDrive Hack

    Surprised you PPC guys never saw this post: The Macbook Air SuperDrive Hack

    http://tnkgrl.com/2008/06/24/macbook-air-superdrive-for-all/

    The breakthrough hack by tnkgrl was done two years into the Intel era, didn't read it through again to see if she tested it on a PPC mac.

    It's IDE, or at least the first generations of them were all IDE. See tnkgrl's post above.


    Powerbooks can power a USB drive only with the pigtail double USB cords, and it is bootable with the 320gb IDE 5400 WD 2.5". I have an old IDE double usb enclosure that was used for that very reason (it was made to go around the whole Powerbook, which had one usb port on each side). But it leaves no ports free -- which is a bummer.
     
  14. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

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    #14
    As California said, it is IDE. The link I gave you in post 9 is from 2012. So around 2012 they were still IDE. Apple will use old crap, if they have it laying around or it is cheaper, as long as it is not visible from the outside.

    Oh, and my china made USB drive had the double-USB connector, too. I don't know if that work for the Superdrive.

    @ California
    exactly that link was, what I was talking about, when saying, I once saw a taken apart Superdrive.

    On the no port left. Well at least a firewire port can be used for hooking up a HDD with the stuff on it, that one wants to burn. ;)
     
  15. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #15
    I said I'd be surprised, on the basis that demand would be virtually zero for IDE/PATA optical drives in a mobile form factor given the primary market would be for laptops and they went native SATA in about 2006. Would have made sense for Apple to add a USB interface to one of the existing MacBook superdrives they could buy at discount already.

    Nothing wrong with IDE, so "old crap" is a bit strong. ;)
     
  16. bunnspecial macrumors 603

    bunnspecial

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    #16
    I think ATAPI actually stuck around a fair bit longer.

    Yes, most laptops went SATA sometime around 2006/2007, but I'm almost positive that the Superdrive in my early '08 MBP is ATAPI. I think that the ones in my Macbooks(late '07 and mid '09 pre-unibody) are as well. I believe that Apple kept IDE/ATAPI for the optical drives in the Mac Pro pretty late into their life cycle as well.

    Even a fast optical drive is still slow enough that it doesn't really see any benefit from SATA speeds.
     
  17. California macrumors 68040

    California

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    #17
    Pretty sure that you are correct, the early mbpros all had IDE optical drives.

    This was one of the reasons I bought a MacBook Air Superdrive, I had so many old Powerbook combo and CDR drives, if the superdrive failed, I could swap it back into the case.

    On the other hand, I still have a "Sandisk" firewire CD-R burner with IDE connections that Apple shipped out with the first wave of Titanium Powerbooks in 2001. Trayloader. But I have experimented with it over the years and it will accept any CD IDE optical drive (no DVD firmware). Even slot loaders. It's saved my life several times with difficult installs.

    Why did Apple send me a free external CD burner? Because my original 400mhz Tibook shipped with a CDRom read only optical drive. Apple wanted to make sure I could burn media.

    That Tibook shipped with only 128gb ram, too, as I recall. And a 10gig hard drive, that seemed enormous.
     
  18. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #18
    The unibodies are SATA, as is any Mac Pro and the 2009 Mac Mini onwards. The older Intel 945/965 chipset MacBooks/Mac mini are most likely IDE. I had my MBP in bits a number of times but can't remember!
     
  19. mikiotty macrumors 6502

    mikiotty

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    #19
    Early Mac Pros (I believe until the 2009 ones) use IDE optical drives. As all MacBooks earlier than the 2008 ones, all non-unibody MacBook Pros and all iMacs earlier than the Early 2009 ones do. :D
     
  20. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #20
    OK, I stand corrected. I swear the 2006 Mac Pros at work had SATA.
     
  21. California macrumors 68040

    California

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    #21
    The MP hard drives are SATA, same as the Powermac G5 hard drives were SATA, while their optical drives were IDE
     
  22. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

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    #22
    But, there are two extra SATA ports under the front fan housing labeled 'OPTICAL', wonder what that means :D. I got a right angle SATA and ran it from there to my optical drive. It seems Macs are more picky about their IDE drives than SATA. I tried about three IDE drives, then I placed my $16 ASUS 16x writer in with SATA and it works very well.
     
  23. California macrumors 68040

    California

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    #23
    That's weird, everymac lists the early MPs as having PATA (IDE) optical drives.
     
  24. MagicBoy macrumors 68040

    MagicBoy

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    #24
    I swear the pair of MacPro 1,1s we had at work had SATA optical drives. Possible they may have been fettled by the supplier before delivery with upgraded optical drives though. They were on lease, so we didn't have much to do with them.
     
  25. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

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    #25
    They come factory with an IDE cable in the drive bay, but it wasn't long until users found the SATA ports under the fan assembly. Its a cheap and great upgrade, especially if you want another HDD slot.

    Very possible, I remember one upgrade guide complaining that his IDE drives kept dying, so he just put a SATA one in there. Honestly, I really doubt IDE drives are in much demand any more.
     

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