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  1. #1


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    Swap Macbook Air SuperDrive into Macbook
    Can I swap a Macbook Air superdrive into a Macbook? My drive got fried with the 2.0 Firmware update and I can't get it working again.
    21.5" iMac - iPhone 4 - iPod Nano 3rd gen - Time Capsule - TV 2 - iPad

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmdreads View Post
    Can I swap a Macbook Air superdrive into a Macbook? My drive got fried with the 2.0 Firmware update and I can't get it working again.
    MacBook Airs don't have a "superdrive"...in fact they have no internal optical drive at all.

    Are you maybe talking about "hard drives"?

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
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  3. #3


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    Sorry, I was referring to the external superdrive for the Macbook AIr. What do you know about the Macbook Superdrives and the 2.0 firmware update?
    21.5" iMac - iPhone 4 - iPod Nano 3rd gen - Time Capsule - TV 2 - iPad

  4. #4

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    First let me ask you. Did You flash the superdrive with an update you found on the net or was this an Apple supplied by Software Update update that came down?

    If you are sure the update killed the drive then lets move on.

    Are you talking about opening the external Superdrive for the Air and putting it inside your Mac? Something makes that MB Air drive work ONLY with the Air and I am thinking it's the Firmware, and if that is the case it will not work.

    I would go to OWC and get a replacement Superdrive for your machine. The cost would be the same but it would for sure work and be under warranty.

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/optic...es/superdrives

  5. #5

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by farmdreads View Post
    Sorry, I was referring to the external superdrive for the Macbook AIr. What do you know about the Macbook Superdrives and the 2.0 firmware update?
    Yeah...I was going to mention that. I thought there might have been an outside chance you were talking about the MacBook Air's external Superdrive.

    Like "dtravis7" mentioned...I also think that the MBA external Superdrive may only be compatible with the MBA.

    You may also want to consider that "cannibalizing" an external MBA Superdrive (that may be worth more money)...it might be better to purchase an internal superdrive replacement for your MacBook...or purchasing an external USB optical drive for your MacBook.

    HTH,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  6. #6


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    I got the Macbook from someone off of craigslist and he said the drive stopped working one day. He thought it was from picking up the computer when a disk was spinning. I didn;t think this was the problem. So I did some research and it seems that a lot of MB superdrives stopped working after the 2.0 firmware. I am assuming that he installed the Apple update and it probably stopped working after this. I don;t know for sure. I tried to flash the drive with a patch (simpleflash) but that didn't seem to work. How can an update kill a superdrive? Can't it just be reversed?
    And yes, I was talking about opening up a MB Air superdrive and swapping them out. The MB Air drives seem to be cheaper - maybe it's because they aren't compatible.
    21.5" iMac - iPhone 4 - iPod Nano 3rd gen - Time Capsule - TV 2 - iPad

  7. #7

    Slydude's Avatar
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    Firmware updates/patches can indeed kill a drive if they do not install properly for some reason. This is why when Apple releases such patches the read me files suggest making sure that the computer is not turned off or does not loose power before the process finishes.

    I'm not as well-versed in this as some of our members but remember with these types of updates you are writing low level instructions to the drive. It can be impossible to recover from this process if something goes wrong.
    "Got Time to breathe. You got time for music." Denver Pyle as Briscoe Darling

  8. #8

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    Could very well be a failed firmware update. You will never know though since it was not yours at the time. Those Superdrives do wear out though with a lot of usage. It just could be tired.

    I would still go with the drive from OWC. That way you are covered if its defective. Just be careful installing the new drive.

  9. #9


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    I"m guessing you could pull the innards out of a MacBook Air SuperDrive and install it into a regular MacBook. I think this is the case because there's a hack that lets you run the SuperDrive from any Mac or Windows machine, it involves replacing a bit of the USB board within the SuperDrive enclosure but doesn't touch the drive itself.

    Here's a link to the hack:
    MacBook Air SuperDrive for all tnkgrl Mobile

  10. #10


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    Here's an article by someone who did exactly what the OP is talking about:

    Pull Apart: External USB MacBook Air SuperDrive | Jacob Pierce

  11. #11

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beaulen View Post
    Here's an article by someone who did exactly what the OP is talking about:

    Pull Apart: External USB MacBook Air SuperDrive | Jacob Pierce
    Here's a quote from the article you linked:

    the internal drive component is interchangeable with the internal 12.7mm 17″ Macbook Pro and most G4 PowerBook drives. It will not work with 15″ MacBook Pro or 13.3″ MacBook models since they need a slimmer 9.5mm SuperDrive.

    The VAST majority of MacBook & MacBook Pro owners own the 13" & 15" models. The article clearly states that this external MacBook Air superdrive will not fit into a 13" or 15" MacBook or MacBook Pro.

    The OP has a MacBook...which is generally a 13" model...thus swapping the MacBook Air external superdrive into his/her MacBook WILL NOT WORK!.

    But yes I agree (according to the author)...it appears that the external MacBook Air optical drive will fit into some Macintosh laptops...the 17" MacBook Pro's & older G4 Powerbooks.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  12. #12


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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    :

    It will not work with 15″ MacBook Pro or 13.3″ MacBook models since they need a slimmer 9.5mm SuperDrive.
    Good catch! I tried slipping it into a MacBook and it is just a tad tall, 3.2mm too tall I guess. The drive is the same height as the drive from my Titanium PowerBook, so I imagine it would work fine those machines. I understand it would also work on all Mac Minis and G5 iMacs, but not the OPs MacBook. I slipped it into an enclosure and it's recognized as an Apple drive and seems to work well, so there don't seem to be any firmware or power issues, just the height.

  13. #13

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by beaulen View Post
    Good catch! I tried slipping it into a MacBook and it is just a tad tall, 3.2mm too tall I guess. The drive is the same height as the drive from my Titanium PowerBook, so I imagine it would work fine those machines. I understand it would also work on all Mac Minis and G5 iMacs, but not the OPs MacBook. I slipped it into an enclosure and it's recognized as an Apple drive and seems to work well, so there don't seem to be any firmware or power issues, just the height.
    Yes...the article you linked was a great find as well! It definitely suggests that the external MacBook Air superdrive can be installed in specific Macintosh computers...unfortunately the "OP's" 13" MacBook (I'm assuming that's the model we're talking about) is not one of them.

    Good informative discussion,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

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