As first reported by AppleInsider earlier this month, some people have seen their drives fail in a range of Mac models. Numerous users have reported drives that fail to mount discs, particularly with the models "MATSHITA DVD-R UJ-857E" and "HL-DT-ST DVDRW GSA-S10N," though others reportedly have issues as well.
One person, who is a developer, has now said he was contacted by Apple recently regarding the reported SuperDrive failure on his Mac mini. A representative from Apple Developer Relations reportedly told him that the company was investigating the matter.
Previously, the developer spoke with the company's technical support, and was allegedly told that the company has not devised a method to diagnose firmware or driver issues with its optical drives.
"Apparently, they have been directed to treat every SuperDrive failure as a separate, isolated incident," the developer said.
Some have suspected that the failure had something to do with attempted installs of Snow Leopard, Apple's new operating system, due to a high correlation with the reported failures. But given that many users have said their drives were rarely used, it's possible that the SuperDrives were problematic all along, but were not accessed often enough for the issue to become evident.
The person had previously said that his Mac mini failed to mount any optical discs after an attempted install of Mac OS X 10.6. He also cited a colleague who had a similar problem with a two-year-old MacBook Pro, which displayed an error after an attempted Snow Leopard install and then stopped mounting DVDs.
A thread on the matter at the Apple Support forums continues to grow, with many users who attempted to install Snow Leopard to no avail.