Free Shipping on most orders over $100!*
Your Shopping CartYour Shopping Cart: 0 Items Your Shopping CartYour Shopping Cart: 0 Items

Your cart is empty.

Call the Mac experts! (888) 769-7629
Sign up for our Max Mail Newsletter!
Meet Max the Sasquatch
Apple Authorized Reseller

Ask Max: Do I need to replace my G4 optical drive?

Asked on 04/27/2010:


I recently bought a G4 MDD 1GHz dual processor Power Mac. The problem Im having is with the optical drive. The Apple CD burner that it came with didnt show up on the desktop when I inserted a disk. I thought I got a bad CD burner, so I replaced it with my old Pioneer 110D DVD burner, one I knew worked perfectly. It also does not seem to be able to read disks.

When I start up DVD player it says that there was no DVD player found. An audio disk inserted does not show up on iTunes, nor the desktop. Data CDs dont show up. Yet, when I check through system profiler, it says that the burner is there. When a disk is in the drive, it shows in system profiler how many MBs are used on the disk. But when I go to disk burning on the system profiler, they report I have no burners on the computer.

Any ideas whats going on? I suppose I could buy an external drive, but Im vexed and really want to understand whats happening. Thanks.



Do I need to Replace G4 Optical DriveWhat version of the Mac OS are you running on this system? Perhaps you need to run an update to support those drives. Also, If your System is a Mirrored Drive Door G4 tower, your optical drives have to be set with the Jumper pin to Cable Select. In the MDD G4 you also need to have the Super Drive on the topmost drive slot and Combo drives (or lesser optical drive) bellow the Super drive.

If that does not help, could you send me the serial number and OS version so I can dig deeper into the issue.

Also, if you want to replace that G4 optical drive, I've included Apple's guidelines on how to do accomplish that:

Replacing G4 optical drive involves five simple steps:

- Turn off the G4 computer.

- Open the computer.

- Remove the installed CD/DVD drive.

- Install the replacement CD/DVD drive.

- Close the computer.

All you'll need to replace the G4 optical drive is a #2 Phillips screwdriver.

A Note About Electrostatic Discharge (ESD)

Static electricity can build up on your body as you walk around - you've probably experienced the shocking sensation after dragging your feet along the carpet in your home. An electrostatic discharge occurs when you touch an object generate a small electrical spark. ESD can damage to the internal components of your computer, so avoid walking around while replacing the optical drive in your G4.

Opening the G4 Computer

Warning: Always turn off your computer before opening it to avoid damaging internal components.

  1. Place your computer on a clean, flat surface.
  2. If your G4 has not shut down, but is in sleep mode, press the power button on the front of the computer to wake it.
  3. Shut down your computer by opening the Special menu and choosing Shut Down. Then wait five minutes for the computer's internal components to cool down.
  4. Remove any security cables you may have installed in the G4's lockable cover latch.
  5. Except the power cord, remove all other cables from the computer.
  6. On the back of the computer, touch the metal PCI access covers . Important: To avoid electrostatic discharge, before you touch any parts or install any components inside the computer - always ground yourself by touching the port access covers. From this point forward - to avoid static electricity building back up in your body - do not walk around the room until you have completed your installation and closed the computer. No dragging your feet around the house!
  7. Unplug the power cord.
  8. Carefully lift the latch on the right side access panel (these can break off)
  9. Gently lower the access panel onto a clean towel or cloth until it lies flat.

Warning: Close the side access panel and shut down the computer if you see any lights glowing on the main logic board. Lights indicate the computer has not been shut down.

Removing the Installed CD/DVD Drive

  1. Press the clips behind the drive faceplate assembly, rotate the assembly forward until the clips are free of the front panel, and carefully continue rotating the assembly forward to remove the faceplate.
  2. Remove the two screws that hold the drive carrier in place and push the carrier forward far enough that you can reach the cables behind it. Note: You will feel some resistance as you push on the carrier.

  3. Disconnect the power and ribbon cables from the back of the CD/DVD drive.

  4. If a Zip drive is installed, disconnect the ribbon and power cables from the back of the Zip drive.

  5. Slide the drive carrier assembly the rest of the way out of the computer.

  6. Remove the shield from the back of the CD/DVD drive.

  7. Remove the four screws that mount the CD/DVD drive to the carrier and remove the drive from the carrier.

Installing the Replacement CD/DVD Drive

  1. Position the drive in the upper bay of the drive carrier, lifting the back of the drive slightly so that it is flush against the carrier. Insert the screws from the old drive through the holes in the carrier and tighten to secure the drive to the carrier.
  2. Replace the shield on the back of the replacement CD/DVD drive.
  3. Partially insert the drive carrier into the computer. Leave room behind the assembly so you can reach the connectors.
  4. Connect the cables to the Zip drive and CD/DVD drive:
    1. Connect the middle connector on the power cord bundle to the Zip drive.
    2. Connect the middle connector on the ribbon cable to the Zip drive.
    3. Connect the end of the power cord bundle to the CD/DVD drive.
    4. Connect the end of the ribbon cable to the CD/DVD drive.

  5. Push the drive carrier the rest of the way into the computer.
  6. Reinsert the two carrier mounting screws you removed earlier.
  7. Replace the faceplate assembly by aligning its left edge on the computer case, reinserting the clips into their slots on the right side, and pressing the plate until it snaps into place.

Closing the Computer

  1. Raise the side access panel, lift the latch, and press the panel against the case until it snaps securely into place.
  2. Reconnect all cables and restart your computer. Warning: Never turn on your computer unless all of its internal and external parts are in place and it is closed. Operating the computer when it is open or missing parts can damage your computer or cause injury.


- Jacob

Check Out with PayPal