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'09 iMac CD/DVD drive not working


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#1 Twin B

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 09:50 PM

Just saw another thread about a hard drive needing replacement. 

 

My CD/DVD in the '09 iMac stopped working awhile back - won't read the disks, sometimes ejects them sometimes not. Talked to the guy at my neighborhood Mac shop who wants $300 for the job, $150 for the drive & the same to install it. Seems pricey to me but haven't checked my local Apple store yet. Don't really want to drop this much dough into the old machine but would like to get the drive working again. Anyway around this price, I don't want to do it myself.


I've learned blood is not thicker than money. 

 


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#2 smax013

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Posted 17 November 2016 - 11:01 PM

The price for the drive alone seems high. You can get a replacement drive yourself for it for about $40 through OWC. Here is the link:

https://eshop.macsales.com/item/Hitachi-LG/HLDSGA31N/

So, you could ask if you can buy the drive yourself and then if he will still replace it for $150.

If for some reason you wanted to replace the drive yourself, then it would essentially be a little more than $40 as you would need to buy the tools needs as well. I will note that it is not an upgrade that is for the faint of heart to do. It is way more complex than just opening up a tower case that you might find on a typical Windows tower, pulling two cables and unscrewing the bracket screws...much more involved than that. To see if you want to attempt it, there are links to the installation videos for the various iMac models under the "Compatibility" tab in the link above. The process will vary depending on which 2009 model you have...you did not specify which (there is the 20" Early 2009, the 24" Early 2009, the 21.5" Late 2009, and the 27" Late 2009). If you want a step by step guide, then I can point you to the appropriate guide on iFixit.com if you tell me which model you have.

The other over all option is to get an external optical drive. This obviously does not require taking the iMac apart. Here are three USB 2.0 options that range from about $40 up to about $50:

https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/MRSSDSDT8X/

https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/VLU2SD24XS/

If you want a BluRay drive, then there are these two options.

https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/MRSSBDL6X/

https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/MRSSBDR6X/

Note that first external USB 2.0 CD/DVD drive and both external USB 2.0 BluRay/CD/DVD drives can either operate as USB bus powered drives or with a separately purchased external power adapter. The second external USB 2.0 CD/DVD drive ships with an external power adapter. This is important because for the drives to operate in bus power mode will generally require you to use two USB ports to get enough power. Those drives will ship with a special "Y" USB cables that have two connectors for the iMac side. If you only want to use one USB port, then you likely will need to buy the external power adapter, which are shown on each page for each drive towards the right side as the first item under the "Recommended Items".

#3 Twin B

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Posted 18 November 2016 - 10:28 AM

I'll get the second external drive. Didn't know about the PITA stuff connected with working on the Mac, still had the Windows type machine in mind. Thanks for telling me about these things. 

 

Joe


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#4 smax013

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Posted 18 November 2016 - 06:03 PM

Glad to help.

I will note that you would actually be forced to use an external optical drive if/when you reach the point you decide to buy a new iMac. Apple removed the optical drive from the latest incarnation of the iMac (as well as every other currently available Mac model) in 2012. It was partly due to Apple being "brave" (sorry, sarcastic reference to Phil Schiller's comments about removing the headphone jack on the iPhone) by proclaiming that people don't need (or use) an optical drive anymore and partly due to Apple's obsessive-compulsive need to make all their devices as thin and "sexy" as possible (while potentially sacrificing functionality).

Apple also shifted a few years ago into a mode of making theirs Mac significantly harder to upgrade or repair (i.e. worse than even your iMac model), if not out right impossible. A significant part of this is again Apple's obsessive-compulsive need to make all their Macs as thin and "sexy" as possible. For example, the MacBook Air and Retina MacBook Pro have had no user upgradable RAM for a while, but you could still upgrade the SSD (thanks to OWC again). They have now reach the pinnacle with the new "TouchBar" Retina MacBook Pro. Both the RAM and the SSD are solder to the motherboard and thus not user upgradable. All so Apple could shave another 1/2 pound off of an already excessively thin and light "Pro" laptop.

Sorry, for the rant.




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