Previous 1 2 Next 17 Replies Latest reply: Sep 13, 2014 9:30 PM by Black_Koga Branched to a new discussion.
Michael Brady Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

The internal DVD drive on my 2007 model iMac (one of the early 20" aluminum models) is on its last legs, apparently. The Apple Store guy on the phone said (a) cleaning disks are not recommended with vertical slot drives; (b) bring it in for them to look at; (c) the new aluminum iMacs (which I think I will get later this year) do not have an internal disk drive; so (d) they will need an external DVD drive to play movies.


So I went out and bought an Apple USB SuperDrive, which plugs into the back of my iMac with a USB cable. It gets all its power through that cable. I


I cannot get it to work. Nothing. I slide the DVD into the slot until it hits a spring and doesn't go any farther. Nothing happens. I tried to open the DVD from the Open command in the DVD player, but the drive did not show up. It doesn't show up with Disk Utility, either.


How can I get the SuperDrive to work?


Also: The packaging and brief little booklet says it's compatible with an iMac. The Apple Store tech guy said my iMac has enough power for the SuperDrive. But that same brief little booklet only says this:


"Choose Software Update from the Apple menu to  update your system software to the latest version. [I already am at the latest release of 10.8.2.] Attach the SuperDrive to a USB port on your computer. [Check.] Do one of the following to eject a DVD or CD. [ !!!!  ]


Eject? How about Insert or Start? That's my problem.


Anyone have any advice?


Danke, mes amigos

  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (282,075 points)

    Apple's USB SuperDrive doesn't work with Macs which originally shipped with an optical drive. Return it to the store.



  • Michael Brady Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Oh, wonderful. The Apple guy explicitly said I could use it with my current iMac and with the new one I'm thinking of buying. Thanks for




    Thanks for the info.

  • mende1 Level 10 Level 10 (91,380 points)

    There is a workaround to make the USB SuperDrive work on Macs with a built-in SuperDrive > c/

  • Michael Brady Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    This really fries me.


    Before I bought the SuperDrive, I looked it up at the Apple website. This is what they say:


    "Compact and convenient, the Apple USB SuperDrive connects to your MacBook Pro with Retina display, MacBook Air, iMac, or Mac mini with a single USB cable and fits easily into a travel bag. It lets you install software and play and burn both CDs and DVDs, including double-layer DVDs."




    "You’ll never have to worry about lost cables with the Apple USB SuperDrive. It connects to your MacBook Pro with Retina display, MacBook Air, iMac, or Mac mini with a single USB cable that’s built into the SuperDrive. There’s no separate power adapter, and it works whether your Mac is plugged in or running on battery power."


    On the box itself, it says in small, light gray type:


    "Compatible with Mac systems without a built-in optical drive." Note, it says "systems," meaning hardware, not OS.

  • ssls6 Level 4 Level 4 (2,850 points)

    Nice find

  • mende1 Level 10 Level 10 (91,380 points)

    It may be confusing for some users because Apple doesn't specify compatible models. The Apple USB SuperDrive, by default, is only compatible with the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro with Retina display, Late 2012 iMac and Mac mini, all of them without a built-in SuperDrive

  • Michael Brady Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    This whole thing started when I called Apple and asked them if they had a way to clean the optical scanners in the DVD drive. They said they didn't advise using any kind of cleaner disk on a vertical slot mechanism and that the only way to play DVDs on my iMac would be either to bring it in and replace the drive (probably pricy) or attach an external DVD drive ... such as the SuperDrive. Well, why not. But I bought it at BestBuy instead (it's a good deal closer to me). That's when I began to have trouble using it.


    I called Apple again and described what was going on. The guy on the phone asked around and their conclusion was that the drive was bad. But during that conversation, I asked if my computer had the oomph to power the SuperDrive. Here's the irritating part. The Apple guy asked me what model my iMac was. I told him, "07," and he asked someone at the Genius Bar, who told him that that model was powerful enough to run the SuperDrive. He never said, "Sorry, buddy, not compatible." So it's a 15-mile trip (one way) to the BestBuy tomorrow to return the drive and then even further to the Apple Store to tell them what's on my mind." Sigh.

  • mende1 Level 10 Level 10 (91,380 points)

    Have you tried to use it following the steps of the workaround? If you are decided to return the Apple USB SuperDrive, note that you can use any other external optical drive with your iMac

  • Michael Brady Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I looked at that link (thanks). I haven't tried it yet. I wondered if that simple hack (adding those two lines) would make the SuperDrive usable on an iMac, since the article was about Mac laptops.


    Since we're on the subject: I'm not too savvy about scripting and stuff like this. Is this a simple text file that I can edit with TextEdit? And I just add those two lines after <dict> as shown?

  • mende1 Level 10 Level 10 (91,380 points)

    It's easy to modify that file. Follow these steps:


    1. Open Terminal and type:


    sudo nano /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/


    2. Under <dict>, add:


    <key>Kernel Flags</key>



    Then, close the nano application pressing Command and X buttons, so changes will be saved. Then, restart

  • Niel Level 10 Level 10 (282,075 points)

    Download the free TextWrangler and use that to edit the file as described.



  • Michael Brady Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    Ding ding ding ding.


    Thank you, mende1.


    BTW, it's Control X, not Command X! But all is well, it worked and I can now watch movies on the semi-big screen.

  • mende1 Level 10 Level 10 (91,380 points)

    You are welcome

  • mikecj83 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thank you for this


    Easy and worked.

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