Previous 1 2 Next 22 Replies Latest reply: Sep 13, 2012 4:59 AM by john@arms
Joseph Grcar Level 1 (0 points)

I have an older mac mini running 10.5.8.  Does the macbook air superdrive work with my mac mini?

  • JustSomeGuy Level 3 (575 points)

    Yes.  I bought a MB Air Superdrive for use with my 2009 mini when its internal drive died.  Works great, and the insert/eject mechanism is much faster.  I eventually got my internal drive replaced under warranty (10 days to spare), but I still prefer the external superdrive since it's so much snappier when inserting/ejecting.

  • Joseph Grcar Level 1 (0 points)

    I went to the Genus bar at my local Apple store.  They tried a lot of stuff.  My mini was puchased in January 2009.  Bottom line is, the OS on the mini and the computer inside the superdrive are configured so that the superdrive only works with minis that do not have internal optical disks.  Bottom line, the external superdrive only works with the "server" version of the mini.  The Apple store recommended looking at Best Buy for a cheap external optical drive that is compatible with the mac.  There are some from LG for as little as $49.  So thanks Apple, at least the Genius guys can figure it out.  I called Apple sales before buying my superdrive and they assured me it would work with the mini.

  • den.thed Level 7 (25,960 points)

    Be careful to check the spec's, not all LG's support Mac OS X.


    I really like my LG GE24LU20 Reviews it's big and bulky, but way faster and more reliable than any SuperDrive. Others here have also recommended the  GP10 DVD and Blu-ray™ Drives IT Products


    Plus, don't forget to look at > LaCie - LightScribe DVD±RW, Duplicators and Blu-ray - USB 2.0 & FireWire


    and > SuperDrive DVD, DVD Dual-Layer, CD-R/RW, Blu-Ray Optical Drive Solutions FireWire, USB2, eSATA

  • JustSomeGuy Level 3 (575 points)

    Joseph Grcar wrote:


    I went to the Genus bar at my local Apple store.  They tried a lot of stuff.  [...]  So thanks Apple, at least the Genius guys can figure it out.

    That's odd.  I have the same OS level, same machine (Intel iMac late 2009) and it works fine with both drives connected.  I would say the geniuses were, ah, mistaken.  The reason I went with the Apple drive (besides the looks, which matches reasonably well - but it is smaller) is that I didn't have to worry about compatibility or lack thereof.  And it was less bother than me prying open the Mini and replacing the internal drive myself.  Turns out my warranty was still good enough for an internal replacement, but as I said, I'm liking the new superdrive more anyway.


    Maybe the superdrive you have is defective.  In the "lot of stuff" they did, did they try connecting another drive?  Using other USB ports?  Trying on a different mini?

  • Joseph Grcar Level 1 (0 points)

    I am interested in your situation.  My mac mini is a "Macmini2,1" according to the "about this mac" hardware overview.  My machine never had a superdrive only the cdrom burner. Your machine evidently had some more either hardware or software.  If you could please give me copies of the hardware and software overview I will take it back to the genius bar.  They were willing to upgrade my OS if necessary.

  • Joseph Grcar Level 1 (0 points)

    Yes, they connected my drive to a macbook air and it worked.  Thanks!


    <Email Edited By Host>

  • Gerry Brown Level 3 (795 points)

    Yes, you CAN hook it up. Check out this link.  However there are a lot of external burners that are faster and cheaper than the Apple branded one.  Check out this link.

  • jfgrcar Level 1 (0 points)

    Final word on macbook air superdrive with mac mini.  The people at the genius bar showed me an internal apple advisory that said the external drive would not work with mac minis built prior to the mini refresh that occurred in early 2009.

  • Dah•veed Level 7 (33,645 points)

    You need to pay closer attention. He said that he bought his mini in JAN 2009. He has a Mid 2007 Mac mini. His is not the same model as yours, in fact your is two models after his. The superdrive in question will not work with his Mac mini. Unless he takes the risky hack of the OS suggested below.

  • Gerry Brown Level 3 (795 points)

    Read the WHOLE link. It's a simple change to a prefs file.  Not dangerous at all.

  • Dah•veed Level 7 (33,645 points)
    Not dangerous at all.


    You are certainly entitled to that opinion. Playing with kext files can wreck havoc on the OS, it can be risky. It isn't a preference file, it is a driver file. And there is no guarantee that his older mini, that predates the drive, can use it even with the hack. This drive has no external power supply, it draws its power through the USB port and it needs more power than the standard 500mA @ 5V = 2.5 W that most USB 2 ports can offer. I'm not familiar with his Mid 2007 Mac mini's USB ports, so even if the hack of the driver kext file was executed properly, his mini may still not physically be able to power and use the drive.

  • Gerry Brown Level 3 (795 points)

    Good grief!  Read the entire article, INCLUDING COMMENTS.  It's a change to a PREFS file.  Also, if the USB pulls too much power, the driver will shut it down.

  • Joseph Grcar Level 1 (0 points)

    Guys, I appreciate your exchange of comments, but what should I do?

  • Joseph Grcar Level 1 (0 points)

    By the way, big brother is whatching this dicussion.  You will note that my email of May 8, 2012 4:20 PM was edited by Apple because it contained some stuff the Genius Bar told me that Apple does not want to have disclosed.

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