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  1. #1
    MacBook optical drive not working, how to upgrade?

    Member Since
    Apr 29, 2013
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    3
    MacBook optical drive not working, how to upgrade?
    So I have a pretty old MacBook, a 2 GHz Intel Core Duo with 2 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM. About a year ago, I managed to upgrade the HD myself to a 500GB, but I may have met my match here.

    I'm running OS 10.5.8. A few weeks ago, Firefox started giving me a hard time, saying I needed to upgrade my browser -- but to do that I'd need to update my OS.

    After doing some research, I learned that I could only upgrade to Snow Leopard. I went to the Apple Store and bought the Snow Leopard DVD.

    The problem is, when I inserted the DVD, my optical drive spat it out. I did some more research. I repaired permissions multiple times. I zapped my PRAM. I did the "stick a cleaning cloth wrapped around a credit card" trick. Nothing worked. I even stuck in an old CD to test if it was the drive or the DVD. No dice.

    So I am left with one option, it seems, and that is to buy an external optical drive. I suppose it could be worse. These things are pretty cheap nowadays. Will this do?
    Amazon.com: AmazonBasics USB 2.0 8x DVD Writer External Optical Drive (Black): Computers & Accessories

    My only qualm is, I hate buying new things, and if I can avoid it, I certainly will.

    I have a PC whose optical drive works.
    I also have a brand new 2TB external drive.
    And I have access to a black MacBook whose screen died, but other parts presumably work ok.

    Can I use these to get around buying a new drive?

    Can I use the PC's optical drive to boot my MacBook or create a book disk on the external drive?

    I could cannibalize the other MacBook for a new drive, but I think that would risk harming my MacBook. I'm not 100% sure if the other MacBook's optical drive even works.

    What do you think? Is there a better way to solve this issue than "buy something"?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    MacBook optical drive not working, how to upgrade?
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    45,212
    Specs:
    27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Yosemite
    What do you think? Is there a better way to solve this issue than "buy something"?
    Well, an external optical drive is the easiest way to go and is not expensive, but yes, you can copy your Snow Leopard DVD to a flash drive and install that way. Of course that means you'll need access to another computer with a working optical drive.

    Follow the instructions given here.

  3. #3
    MacBook optical drive not working, how to upgrade?

    Member Since
    Apr 29, 2013
    Posts
    3
    Thanks! yes, it seems like buying an optical drive is the best option unless...

    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    you'll need access to another computer with a working optical drive.
    When you say "another computer" here, you mean another mac, correct? I can't do it from a PC, can I?

    I really don't want to buy an optical drive though. Do you think if I went into an Apple Store with a USB Flash Drive and my DVD of Snow Leopard they'd let me create a boot disk?

  4. #4
    MacBook optical drive not working, how to upgrade?
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
    Posts
    45,212
    Specs:
    27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Yosemite
    When you say "another computer" here, you mean another mac, correct? I can't do it from a PC, can I?
    Did you go to the link I provided in my first reply? Those instructions are for creating the bootable flash drive on a Mac. Maybe someone at an Apple store will do it for you if you don't have another Mac. Give it a try.

  5. #5
    MacBook optical drive not working, how to upgrade?

    Member Since
    Apr 28, 2012
    Posts
    12
    Help! Replacement H/D Advice?
    Hi AACHANG,
    I also own a (black) MacBook with the same or very similar spec to yours. However, I'm having serious problems with my hard-drive. Unfortunately, I'm not savvy when it comes to Apple Mac computers. I need to buy a new replacement hard-drive and could do with a bit of guidance as to which one to invest in - can you assist at all please? If so, can you tell me, what make and spec is your replacement hard-drive? Do you know what the maximum capacity is for the macBook? I understand the SSD type of Drive is the best and quickest so I'd like to opt for that.
    This is my only computer and I use it every day. I'm also just starting a home-study course and I have deadlines so I really do need to get this sorted asap! Any advice and / or guidance would be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks in advance,
    Bravenger.

  6. #6
    MacBook optical drive not working, how to upgrade?

    Member Since
    Apr 29, 2013
    Posts
    3
    Glad to help. I bought this one, looks like it works fine:

    Samsung 8x Slim DVD+/-RW Slim USB External Drive, Black SE-208DB/TSBS
    Amazon.com: Samsung 8x Slim DVD+/-RW Slim USB External Drive, Black SE-208DB/TSBS: Computers & Accessories

  7. #7
    MacBook optical drive not working, how to upgrade?

    Member Since
    Apr 28, 2012
    Posts
    12
    Hi again AACHANG,
    Thanks for your reply, however, I was actually asking for some advice and guidance for replacing my Hard-Drive not my DVD Drive.
    As I mentioned, I'm not well up on MacBooks and I don't have a lot of time to go trawling around the forums and various other sites... So I thought I'd simply ask someone who has done what I am intending to do.
    Are you able to advise me, please? I would like to know how big a drive I can install in my MacBook? Where did you buy your 500Gb Drive? Is yours SSD? And if you installed it yourself, was it fairly straightforward or somewhat tricky?! Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Many thanks,
    Bravenger.

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