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External optical drive not found by iMac?

2200 Views 34 Replies Latest reply: Jun 16, 2013 9:52 AM by LowLuster RSS
  • MichelPM Level 5 Level 5 (7,105 points)
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    Jun 15, 2013 8:23 PM (in response to cauchy)

    Where are you from and where did you purchase the drive from?

    It just may not be a Mac compatible drive despite what the box says.

    Does the box have a Mac OS X logo somewhere on the packaging?

    You may have to return this drive for a refund.

    If you live in The States, try OWC ( macsales.com). They are a Apple/Mac hardware supplier. They have optical drives that are known to work and are compatible with Macs.

     

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/optical-drives/superdrives/

  • MichelPM Level 5 Level 5 (7,105 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 15, 2013 8:38 PM (in response to cauchy)

    It's a possibility.

    Good Luck!

  • MichelPM Level 5 Level 5 (7,105 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 15, 2013 8:50 PM (in response to cauchy)

    One more thing we can try.

    Plug the drive directly into one of the USB ports on the back of your iMac.

    Then, try doing a restart of your iMac and see if the optical drive gets recognized.

  • babowa Level 7 Level 7 (22,015 points)
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    Jun 15, 2013 8:57 PM (in response to cauchy)

    Does your Mac have a Firewire port? If you decide to return this drive, I'd suggest getting one with Firewire.

  • MichelPM Level 5 Level 5 (7,105 points)
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    Jun 15, 2013 9:02 PM (in response to babowa)

    Agree with Babowa.

    Purchase a powered, FireWire optical drive.

  • LowLuster Level 6 Level 6 (11,765 points)
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    Jun 16, 2013 1:27 AM (in response to MichelPM)

    I see you haven't bothered to answer my question. That's ok I didn't expect an  answer from you.

     

    Simple fact is the apple mac dvd player app only works when there is an internal superdrive installed on mac computers that originally came with a internal superdrive. That is unless you apply a hack to get it to work with the superdrive removed. Then with that hack it will work with any external dvd drive connected to any port, USB or FW.

     

    A external dvd drive works fine if the superdrive is still installed.

     

    When you buy a Optibay, Brand name, caddy to install a hard drive in the optical bay they suppy a file for each version of os x that allows the mac dvd player app to work with either the superdrive installed in their superdrive external case or any other external dvd drive.

     

    Your suggestion to buy a powered FW external dvd drive still won't work with the mac dvd player app with the superdrive removed.

  • LowLuster Level 6 Level 6 (11,765 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 16, 2013 1:51 AM (in response to cauchy)

    All external dvd drives work with any mac. The problem is the mac dvd player app does not work with a external unless the superdrive is still installed. If you put any other cd oer dvd disc in that drive your mac can read it in finder and it should show up in disk utility. The advice you are getting from M PM is completely incorrect. No need to buy any specific drive from anyplace. Any external dvd drive will work with your mac. I use one from Asus and since I still have my optical superdrive still installed inside my mac notebook I can play movie dvds using the mac dvd player app from that external drive.

     

    This is with another external dvd drive I have, actually just a bare notebook size tray load dvd drive I have that I adapted to work connected to a USB port. The movie image doesn't show up in the screen shot but everything else does.

     

    Screen Shot 2013-06-16 at 4.42.25 AM.png

    The movie is Sherlock Holmes Hound of the Baskervilles.

    If I didn't have the superdrive installed the external can't be used with the mac dvd player app without a hack.

    So either find the hack or use VLC.

     

    And you are welcome.

     

    cauchy wrote:

     

    I live in the US...Los Angeles, CA. Bought the drive from Best Buy. There is a Mac logo on the box and it says Mac compatible.

     

    Will take the drive back and get a full refund. Then buy one from OWC, like you have suggested.

     

    I still don't understand how two different drives that say Mac compatible on the box could not work. Btw, I checked the back of the drive I have now and it says it was made in January 2013. So maybe the drives are like the Apple SuperDrive...only compatible with the newer iMacs. Just a thought.

  • LowLuster Level 6 Level 6 (11,765 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 16, 2013 6:46 AM (in response to cauchy)

    Now that is only with the built in mac os x dvd player app. You can still use any external dvd drive, other then the apple branded external dvd superdrive, to install software, burn disc or copy data from it.

     

    To check if the drive is being seen use disk utility as it will not show up in finder until there is a cd or dvd disc in the drive.

     

    As to the apple branded external superdrive that drive only works with apple computer that never came with a built in dvd drive. Like the mac air, retina and the newest imacs. None of those macs have a built in dvd drive.

     

    You can still watch movies on your mac from that external but you will need some other dvd movie player program like VLC.

     

    If for some reason your superdrive in the external enclosure is not shown in disk utility then it is either the enclosure is bad or it needs to be connected to 2 usb ports at the same time to supply enough power to it. Or it could be the superdrive has failed.

  • LowLuster Level 6 Level 6 (11,765 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 16, 2013 6:55 AM (in response to cauchy)

    A hack is a file or set of files or a change to the base system to expand what the system can do or what it can work from.

     

    The hack I am talking about is a system to change the dvd player app to work with a external dvd drive when the apple mac supplied internal superdrive has been removed.

  • LowLuster Level 6 Level 6 (11,765 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 16, 2013 7:08 AM (in response to cauchy)

    Yes you are correct and that is exactly what I am saying. The DVD player app only works if the superdrive is installed inside the system. It is set to look for the built in dvd drive. If it does not find one installed inside the system it does not work.

     

    There are mods (Hacks) to make it work. If you google "Mod to make dvd player app work with superdrive removed" it should turn up the modifications needed to make it work with the superdrive removed.

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