Discs? Leopard don't need no stinkin' deescs.
November 21, 2008 4:55 PM   Subscribe

The Superdrive on my iMac started acting strange, but I didn't notice at first as I rarely use it. Blank Media means nothing to it, DVDs are foreign and it only (sorta) likes the odd tracks on Audio CDs. Add to this the fact the drive shows up weird in 'About this Mac'... what do I do?

2Ghz iMac, early 2008 model. Out of 90 days, but still in the 1 year warranty, so I officially don't get Phone Support. Would prefer not to be without my computer, though I do live near the Apple Store in Charlotte, NC.

- The computer does nothing after inserting blank media, CD or DVD. It does not mount it, burn it, acknowledge it, or eject it. To Eject, you have to reboot & eject it during the boot up.

- If you insert a manufactured off the shelf Audio CD, the drive will mount it to the desktop as an Audio CD, open up iTunes... and that's it. It will not mount the disc in iTunes, and opening the Finder will show only the Odd (1,3,5,etc) numbered tracks and they will not play. Using 'Get Info' on the disc reveals that OS X thinks the disc is 8GBs and completely full.

- Inserting a manufactured, off the shelf DVD will result in an error message that the computer does not recognize that type of media.

- Computer doesn't burn discs from Finder, Toast, or Disco. In fact, all of them swear there's no burner. Well, Finder and Toast swear. Disco just crashes. I uninstalled Toast & Disco, to no avail.

- Starting DVD Player returns an error message that there is no DVD player.

- On a few occasions inserting a manufactured, off the shelf DVD has resulted in... (wait for it...) the "Blank Media" dialog box.

- About this Mac states that there is no burning device on this computer.

- In the ATA device listing in 'About this Mac,' The DVD player appears like this:

OPUIARC !DWD!RW AD-5731A! ! ! ! ! ! ! !:

Model: OPUIARC !DWD!RW AD-5731A! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Revision: 1AIM! !
Serial Number: ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Detachable Drive: No
Protocol: ATAPI
Unit Number: 0
Socket Type: Internal
Low Power Polling: No

- I have rebooted 3 times today. 1st time, the DVD player appeared as above. Second it appeared as "NPTI@RB DVD RV 5360A" (this was when it'd mount DVDs as blank discs). Third time was back to the above.

In case it's any help... here's the other info from About This Mac:
Hardware Overview:

Model Name: iMac
Model Identifier: iMac7,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 4 MB
Memory: 1 GB
Bus Speed: 800 MHz
Boot ROM Version: IM71.007A.B03
SMC Version: 1.20f4

Many Thanks!
posted by aristan to Computers & Internet (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Yeah, it looks like the drive or controller is starting to go. If it's the drive, they'll swap it taking about 3-5 days. If it's the controller, they'll probably swap the whole logic board taking 3-5 days. Either way, it's the vendor's problem.

You could try flashing fresh firmware onto it (there are a few, um, "dubious" utilities going around for changing SuperDrive firmware) but I wouldn't risk it if you're still in warranty. This is almost certainly nothing you're going to fix yourself, so plan on sending/taking it in.
posted by majick at 6:11 PM on November 21, 2008

you could always find a third-party to do the repair. (as long as they're an Apple Authorized Service Provider, they'll bill AppleCare and won't void the warranty, unless the drive died because you broke it. doesn't look that way though.) sometimes, a third party service provider can be faster (and cheaper, when your machine goes out of warranty) than Apple's own repair service. the Apple Store may be able to direct you appropriately. or, buy AppleCare (it's 169 on an iMac, so fairly cheap) and get them to set up in-home service - mostly, that means "we'll call an authorized support provider for you".

don't reflash firmware. i still hold on to the hope that busted drives like this are occasionally sent back to the manufacturer for a post-mortem, so maybe they can figure out why it died and improve the drive. or, if it looks like you screwed with it, they'll just blame you for it being broken.
posted by mrg at 12:06 PM on November 22, 2008

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