or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Current Mac Hardware › Apple investigating alleged issues with SuperDrives
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Apple investigating alleged issues with SuperDrives

post #1 of 58
Thread Starter 
As scattered reports of failing SuperDrives across the Mac lineup continue to grow, Apple has reportedly begun to investigate the matter by contacting at least one user.

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.
post #2 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

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.

Bummer! So according to the last sentence, since they attempted to install Snow Leopard leaves me to believe that the user was unsuccessful in the Snow Leopard install and now has to contend with SuperDrive issues... that sucks!

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

Reply

Ten years ago, we had Steve Jobs, Bob Hope and Johnny Cash.  Today we have no Jobs, no Hope and no Cash.

Reply
post #3 of 58
Any honest developer worth a lick would know the driver for these two drives requires ROSETTA. Install Rosetta from SL's DVD or from Apples site and the issue of burn support goes away.

For those still on 10.5 and has an older Mac with the Hitachi or Mashusta drives (Pioneer's are in the new units which run an Intel driver).... Choose "Customize" before you select install and click "Rosetta".

Edit: This was found by me 3 weeks ago and reported to Apple, as well as two forum posts.
post #4 of 58
The matshita drive in my Fall 2006 MBP died a few weeks ago while burning a CD-R (hilariously, it was a copy of Windows XP). Thankfully, AppleCare took care of it...
Goats and Monkeys!
Reply
Goats and Monkeys!
Reply
post #5 of 58
I just got my MacBook back YESTERDAY because it was getting it's SuperDrive replaced. It was able to read, but not burn. I find this pretty hilarious. I feel like my MacBook was the final straw for Apple! (Well maybe not....)
post #6 of 58
I've been on the aforementioned thread over at apple discussions for a while and I am certain the majority, if not all, of the users experiencing the SuperDrive failures are having a problem that is not related to Snow Leopard at all. The fact is, many people do not use their drives that often, and many only learned they had a problem when trying to install SL from the DVD.

I took mine into Apple and had the drive replaced under AppleCare. (It's worth noting a few users reported that using a disc cleaner or compressed air solved their issue.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by xwiredtva View Post

Any honest developer worth a lick would know the driver for these two drives requires ROSETTA. Install Rosetta from SL's DVD or from Apples site and the issue of burn support goes away.

For those still on 10.5 and has an older Mac with the Hitachi or Mashusta drives (Pioneer's are in the new units which run an Intel driver).... Choose "Customize" before you select install and click "Rosetta".

Edit: This was found by me 3 weeks ago and reported to Apple, as well as two forum posts.
post #7 of 58
During the past 3 years, i've had my DVD drive in my Mac Book Pro replaced TWICE. Both times, the drives stopped recognizing empty DVDs. Thank goodness for Apple Care...

Adi
post #8 of 58
One more point: If you look at the related apple discussions (http://discussions.apple.com/forum.j...D=1154&start=0), the view/post count for the threads directly related to this issue are pretty high: 37,607 views, 26,956, 20,788... when compared to other threads on in the forums. That may imply that there are whole lot of us out there with the same problem, or at the very least that this problem is getting a lot of attention. I wonder how an issue escalates from a 'isolated incidents' to something that they will cover for users out of warranty? Does anyone know?
post #9 of 58
I had one fail on a late 2007 MacBook Pro, not mounting some disks and having a hard time reading DVDs (skipping etc). Took it to the Apple Store (Regents Street, London) and the genius said that it was "just a matter of when, not if."

The replacement has been fine so far...
post #10 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Magicite View Post

The matshita drive in my Fall 2006 MBP died a few weeks ago while burning a CD-R (hilariously, it was a copy of Windows XP). Thankfully, AppleCare took care of it...

Apple should just roll Applecare into the prices of their products. Those too cheap to buy it are the ones screaming the loudest when something fails out of the one year warranty period.
post #11 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by stereoscott View Post

One more point: If you look at the related apple discussions (http://discussions.apple.com/forum.j...D=1154&start=0), the view/post count for the threads directly related to this issue are pretty high: 37,607 views, 26,956, 20,788... That would imply that there are whole lot of us out there with the same problem. I wonder how an issue escalates from a 'isolated incidents' to something that they will cover for users out of warranty? Does anyone know?

You can't equate "views" with people having issues. That's ridiculous. Just because someone looks at a thread doesn't mean they have the alleged issue. Your statistical logic is simply wrong.
post #12 of 58
The drive in my first generation Unibody macbook pro died after about 4 months and I used it less then 10 times. It is a matshita UJ-868. I have applecare just havent had it replaced yet because I dont want to be without my laptop for a couple of days and I hardly use the drive.
post #13 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by stereoscott View Post

One more point: If you look at the related apple discussions (http://discussions.apple.com/forum.j...D=1154&start=0), the view/post count for the threads directly related to this issue are pretty high: 37,607 views, 26,956, 20,788... That would imply that there are whole lot of us out there with the same problem. I wonder how an issue escalates from a 'isolated incidents' to something that they will cover for users out of warranty? Does anyone know?

The number of replies does not equate with the high numbers of views. This is particularly true if you read through them.

A significant number out of the ~300 repliers are either from the same persons, have been resolved by various means that were not 'drive' related, and some because of bad disks.

I like the one where every other disk worked fine, but the MS Office Install disk.
post #14 of 58
I've had no issues with with either the drive on my old 17-inch iMac from '06 (still in use), or my 2008 MBP.

In any case, I can't wait until Apple decides to just yank out these optical drives a la Macbook Air, and just make them available as a separate add-on. But optical media is still something enough people want, so it'll be a while . . .
post #15 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

You can't equate "views" with people having issues. That's ridiculous. Just because someone looks at a thread doesn't mean they have the alleged issue. Your statistical logic is simply wrong.

I agree. I meant that compared to other threads on the apple discussion boards, the threads relating to this issue have a larger percentage of views, which can either imply that people are either having the issue themselves (likely), or they just want to read about failing super drives more than they want to read about other threads (possible, but not as likely).
post #16 of 58
Just sent my iMac to the local authorized repair dealer this morning because the Superdrive started to scratch my DVDs
post #17 of 58
Most of you miss the obvious. The slot-load drives are crap. Too many mechanics involved in loading the disc, etc. They are prone to failure at some point. Has nothing to do with Snow Leopard or Rosetta (SL has native Intel drivers). It was just a coincidence that people discovered their drives didn't work when they tried to install a new OS, because the article mentioned that most don't use the drive that often. Has nothing to do with the SL DVD.

I use an external FireWire Pioneer SuperDrive because the full size drives are faster, quieter, and rock solid. No cheap mechanisms to fail when loading a disc. There were rarely any drive failures when Apple used the 5.25 size drives. Even my AppleCD300i still works in my vintage LC 575.

Even this thread has an ad for Mac SuperDrives starting at $37.99. What do you expect for a $37 drive? The other issue with burning is finding DVD media that can burn well, especially dual-layer. Memorex DVD DL+R are ones to avoid. I get so many failures with that media.
post #18 of 58
My friend bought a Unibody MacBook in early June and the superdrive needed to be replaced in the first month. It had nothing to do with Snow Leopard. It would randomly not mount the CD image, it would sometimes refuse to burn or rip cd's, I remember it would bug out when installing The Sims 3. Unfortunately in frustration she sold The Sims 3 thinking it was a problem with the game until later with my suggestion calling Apple and got her superdrive replaced. Hopefully Apple figures out what the problem is and attempts to fix it on a large scale.
post #19 of 58
Sounds like a bad situation...

Maybe Apple should consider renaming these drives - SubStandardDrives, not only due to their 'alleged' lack of reliabilty, but also for their glaringly absent BluRay playback/recording capability.
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
Reply
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
Reply
post #20 of 58
The consensus that I've seen on various forums is that the Matshita drives are pretty lousy. I don't know about the other one mentioned in the article. I suspect that this problem doesn't have anything to do with Snow Leopard, but it's just that a lot of people haven't used their optical drives for a while before they had to install the new OS. The lousy drives have gotten wonky over time, but many people are just noticing the problem now.
post #21 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

Most of you miss the obvious. The slot-load drives are crap. Too many mechanics involved in loading the disc, etc. They are prone to failure at some point. Has nothing to do with Snow Leopard or Rosetta (SL has native Intel drivers). It was just a coincidence that people discovered their drives didn't work when they tried to install a new OS, because the article mentioned that most don't use the drive that often. Has nothing to do with the SL DVD.

I use an external FireWire Pioneer SuperDrive because the full size drives are faster, quieter, and rock solid. No cheap mechanisms to fail when loading a disc. There were rarely any drive failures when Apple used the 5.25 size drives. Even my AppleCD300i still works in my vintage LC 575.

Even this thread has an ad for Mac SuperDrives starting at $37.99. What do you expect for a $37 drive? The other issue with burning is finding DVD media that can burn well, especially dual-layer. Memorex DVD DL+R are ones to avoid. I get so many failures with that media.

http://www.digitalfaq.com/reviews/dvd-media.htm

Only buy the good stuff. I've been using Taiyo Yuden for years and had not ONE failure!! I am on a 2006 MBP. I get it only from supermediastore.com - free shipping.

2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
Reply
2011 13" 2.3 MBP, 2006 15" 2.16 MBP, iPhone 4, iPod Shuffle, AEBS, AppleTV2 with XBMC.
Reply
post #22 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Sounds like a bad situation...

Maybe Apple should consider renaming these drives - SubStandardDrives, not only due to their 'alleged' lack of reliabilty, but also for their glaringly absent BluRay playback/recording capability.

Good one! Of course the original SuperDrive was the 1.44 MB floppy disk drive that could read Mac and PC formats. Funny how they used the same name for a DVD burner.
post #23 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8CoreWhore View Post

http://www.digitalfaq.com/reviews/dvd-media.htm

Only buy the good stuff. I've been using Taiyo Yuden for years and had not ONE failure!! I am on a 2006 MBP. I get it only from supermediastore.com - free shipping.


That is a great reference! Thanks for the info! Looks like Verbatim is top-notch as well, especially for Dual Layer media!

"Verbatim DVD-R and Verbatim DVD+R DL are our top suggestions for the ultimate in disc quality, as Mitsubishi-made media have been a consistent high-quality performer since 2001. Taiyo Yuden media is an excellent second choice."
post #24 of 58
Dear all,

I have the same issue on my MacBook Pro (was the first one with the PC processor). Actually it is getting a bit old, so I thought it was linked to that. While installing the Snow Leopard, everything went fine, until it rebooted and failed to read the disc. Since that time it does eject all DVD drives and has issues with some CD as well. I had to make a dmg image of DVD on an iMac and restore it on an external hard disk, from which I made the installation. Guess, I will call the support ...

Patrick
post #25 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by stereoscott View Post

I've been on the aforementioned thread over at apple discussions for a while and I am certain the majority, if not all, of the users experiencing the SuperDrive failures are having a problem that is not related to Snow Leopard at all. The fact is, many people do not use their drives that often, and many only learned they had a problem when trying to install SL from the DVD.

Not related to Snow Leopard? You may be partially correct, my son's MacBook had super drive issues, we always have to press the eject button before putting in a disk. Now in Snow Leopard, the eject button doesn't work, you have to go into the Disc burning section of the System Profiler before you can insert a disc.

I am really glad we paid the price premium for top quality manufacturing...
post #26 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaHarder View Post

Maybe Apple should consider renaming these drives - SubStandardDrives, not only due to their 'alleged' lack of reliabilty, but also for their glaringly absent BluRay playback/recording capability.

I doubt that has anything to do with the drive. I think it has to do more with them not including the draconian DRM policies of the whatever association deals with Blu Ray.
post #27 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

Most of you miss the obvious. The slot-load drives are crap. Too many mechanics involved in loading the disc, etc. They are prone to failure at some point. Has nothing to do with Snow Leopard or Rosetta (SL has native Intel drivers). It was just a coincidence that people discovered their drives didn't work when they tried to install a new OS, because the article mentioned that most don't use the drive that often. Has nothing to do with the SL DVD.

I agree that this seems to be nothing to do with the SL DVD (more likely that's the first time in ages that people have used their drive), but the fact that slot-load drives are crap doesn't change the fact that:

a. they need to last the warranty period and
b. in the UK at least they need to meet "fair use" requirements for five years.
post #28 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostface147 View Post

I doubt that has anything to do with the drive. I think it has to do more with them not including the draconian DRM policies of the whatever association deals with Blu Ray.

... or maybe it has everything to do with the dictatorial Apple business model wherein Apple always decides what best for the customer to have (or not have in their computer), regardless of what the customer actually desires.

Gotta Love That!
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
Reply
"Why iPhone"... Hmmm?
Reply
post #29 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by xwiredtva View Post

Any honest developer worth a lick would know the driver for these two drives requires ROSETTA. Install Rosetta from SL's DVD or from Apples site and the issue of burn support goes away.

For those still on 10.5 and has an older Mac with the Hitachi or Mashusta drives (Pioneer's are in the new units which run an Intel driver).... Choose "Customize" before you select install and click "Rosetta".

Edit: This was found by me 3 weeks ago and reported to Apple, as well as two forum posts.

Wrong answer. I have two mid 2007 intel Mac Pro's and a late 2008 MacBook Pro and successfully installed Snow Leopard on all three AND Rosetta on the two Mac Pro's. Right after that the the two "OPTIARC DVD RW AD-7170A:" super drives in the two Mac Pro's stopped reading discs. I could not install the new iWork DVD that I just bought because neither one would read the DVD where both had just read the Snow Leopard DVD just days before. On the other hand, I did NOT install Rosetta on the MacBook Pro and its drive is working just fine. It is DEFINITELY Snow Leopard related.
post #30 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by stereoscott View Post

I've been on the aforementioned thread over at apple discussions for a while and I am certain the majority, if not all, of the users experiencing the SuperDrive failures are having a problem that is not related to Snow Leopard at all. The fact is, many people do not use their drives that often, and many only learned they had a problem when trying to install SL from the DVD.

I took mine into Apple and had the drive replaced under AppleCare. (It's worth noting a few users reported that using a disc cleaner or compressed air solved their issue.)

I used my drives in my two mac Pro's regularly until Snow Leopard killed them.
post #31 of 58
Once again ,I'm glad I waited
post #32 of 58
So it is not limited to drives by Panasonic? seems Hitachi-LG are also affected!!

iPod nano 5th Gen 8GB Orange, iPad 3rd Gen WiFi 32GB White
MacBook Pro 15" Core i7 2.66GHz 8GB RAM 120GB Intel 320M
Mac mini Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz 8GB RAM, iPhone 5 32GB Black

Reply

iPod nano 5th Gen 8GB Orange, iPad 3rd Gen WiFi 32GB White
MacBook Pro 15" Core i7 2.66GHz 8GB RAM 120GB Intel 320M
Mac mini Core 2 Duo 2.4GHz 8GB RAM, iPhone 5 32GB Black

Reply
post #33 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aizmov View Post

So it is not limited to drives by Panasonic? seems Hitachi-LG are also affected!!

My drives in my mac Pro's are OPTIARC DVD RW AD-7170A which doing a google brings up made by Sony... unless you are saying that Hitachi is making these for Sony?
post #34 of 58
I recently had my superdrive in my 15" MacBook Pro swapped out. I had it for a few months and it read CD's and DVD's fine but when I went to back up things before installing Snow Leopard I had problems. I had not installed Snow Leopard at that point. After installing Snow Leopard the problem remained and I ended up getting it replaced at the Apple store. I believe mine was the Sony.
post #35 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by lkrupp View Post

Apple should just roll Applecare into the prices of their products. Those too cheap to buy it are the ones screaming the loudest when something fails out of the one year warranty period.

Or, Apple could actually address the problem. Like in changing brand, or changing whole design.
post #36 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

Most of you miss the obvious. The slot-load drives are crap. Too many mechanics involved in loading the disc, etc. They are prone to failure at some point. Has nothing to do with Snow Leopard or Rosetta (SL has native Intel drivers). It was just a coincidence that people discovered their drives didn't work when they tried to install a new OS, because the article mentioned that most don't use the drive that often. Has nothing to do with the SL DVD.

I use an external FireWire Pioneer SuperDrive because the full size drives are faster, quieter, and rock solid. No cheap mechanisms to fail when loading a disc. There were rarely any drive failures when Apple used the 5.25 size drives. Even my AppleCD300i still works in my vintage LC 575.

Even this thread has an ad for Mac SuperDrives starting at $37.99. What do you expect for a $37 drive? The other issue with burning is finding DVD media that can burn well, especially dual-layer. Memorex DVD DL+R are ones to avoid. I get so many failures with that media.

Exactly my point. I think Apple is sacrificing too much for good looks.

I know slot loading looks cool, but compared to being able to easily eject jammed disk, clean lens and even replace whole unit in a few seconds if faulty... for me, that beats the crap of "looking cool".
post #37 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by hillstones View Post

That is a great reference! Thanks for the info! Looks like Verbatim is top-notch as well, especially for Dual Layer media!

"Verbatim DVD-R and Verbatim DVD+R DL are our top suggestions for the ultimate in disc quality, as Mitsubishi-made media have been a consistent high-quality performer since 2001. Taiyo Yuden media is an excellent second choice."

I believe Verbatim is doing a lot of re-branding, using others' media - mostly Ritek and Mitsubishi, to my knowledge.

That being said I had - and still have - a good go with Verbatim and "native" Ritek, but TDK and Sony as well, who ever is doing their media.
post #38 of 58
There must be other reasons - in addition to aesthetics - that Apple went with slot-loading drives rather than tray drives.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.

(I prefer the tumult of liberty to the quiet of servitude.)

Reply
post #39 of 58
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

I've had no issues with with either the drive on my old 17-inch iMac from '06 (still in use), or my 2008 MBP.

In any case, I can't wait until Apple decides to just yank out these optical drives a la Macbook Air, and just make them available as a separate add-on. But optical media is still something enough people want, so it'll be a while . . .

I'm slowly coming around to this reasoning. I just got an 8GB flash drive for $19 at Best Buy. I wasn't shopping for one, but when I saw it I couldn't believe I didn't have one. My 2008 MBP drive died, I posted about that when thread was running here last month(?) or so. It had nothing to do with Snow Leopard installs tho.
For "needing" a replacement, I really maybe have used the drive twice since then, and once was to install SL. So if they did away with it the only thing I'd really need it for is software installs. I guess I could just take an image of the disk on my Mini and install over the network, too. But an external option would be just fine in those cases.
post #40 of 58
I installed SnowLeopard on six macs and all were ok but one of my newer imacs. I thought it was the superdrive. Then i used the superdrive to install the softward on a lace rugged to use as a boot disk. I called my cousin over and replaced the hard drive. It then installed fine. Oddly enough the iMac that had problems was the only one we used with boot camp and had partitioned the hard drive to do so. My cousin said the hard drive was what was bad. I wonder if the other folks that are experiencing issues were also users of boot camp?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Current Mac Hardware
AppleInsider › Forums › Mac Hardware › Current Mac Hardware › Apple investigating alleged issues with SuperDrives