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Bolkonskij's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 3
External CD-ROM drives for PowerBook G4?

Hey everyone,

haven't played much on my PowerBook G4 lately, mainly due to the fact that its CD-ROM drive is broken and won't read inserted CDs anymore. Which is a bummer, since many games require the CD-ROM to be inserted for play.

Instead of finding a replacement CD-ROM drive, I was now thinking about getting an external USB CD-ROM drive. They can be had for just a few bucks. I just wonder if any of you guys have any experience with that ? What about the drivers, will I need special drivers for OS9 / OSX ? Any models known to work fine?

Thanks in advance.

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Protocol 7's picture
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Joined: 2010 Aug 7

I only have experience with external scsi ones, but so long as you're not planning to boot os9 or burn CDs I don't think you'll have any issues in 9/X out-of-the-box.

Booting would require a hacked or third-party CD extension and I think burn support in the Apple apps can be extended with some third party extensions.

24bit's picture
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Joined: 2010 Nov 19

One of my iMac´s CD drives is dead too, so I have been using a Samsung SE-S084, that I had bought for my Eee, originally. The Samsung USB is reading CDs with 9.2 and DVDs with 10.1 all right.
I am using a USB hub, as the drive wants a cable with two plugs on the Mac side.

xy's picture
xy
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Joined: 2009 Aug 7

As Protocol 7 mentioned the problem is that from an external drive you might not be able to boot. I have the same problem: My external drive is much better than the internal drive of my Lombard but it doesn't boot.

SwedeBear's picture
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Joined: 2009 Apr 18

About booting anything PPC from something USB, here´s some more about it. Seems not totally lost…
http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=20060301112336384&query=boot...

Bolkonskij's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 3

I'm totally fine without booting, I can always hook it up via firewire and use the good ol' target mode in case I would need it. i was more concerned whether it'll be able to do the startup check for the CD-ROMs when starting a game.

Great, that means I'll go and get me one. Thanks for the quick help, guys! Smile

bicostp's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 17

Do you have USB 1.1 or USB 2.0?

If you only have 1.1, you're much better off getting a FireWire drive instead. (Or at the very least, a FireWire 5.25" enclosure that can take a regular desktop drive.) USB 1.1's speed limitations really show when you use it for mass storage.

bertyboy's picture
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Joined: 2009 Jun 14

I was going to suggest buying another PBG4 for spares, as long as you can get it for peanuts. Broken screen PBG4's are usually cheapest.

If you get any success with this we'll hunt down a service manual for the PBG4 that'll show you how to take it apart, replace each part and put it together again. It's scary, but if you follow the instrictions and clearly label the parts (big sheet of paper with boxes drawn on it labelled with what is sitting in them) it's doable.

xy's picture
xy
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Joined: 2009 Aug 7

bertyboy is right: I once replaced a motherboard of a Titanium, and the CD-ROM drive was one of the first and easy items to access. No big deal. If you buy a used PB take care that it comes from a non smoker; otherwise it will stink like hell.

bertyboy's picture
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Joined: 2009 Jun 14

take care that it comes from a non smoker; otherwise it will stink like hell.

hehe, been there, done that, even totslly dismantling, cleaning every part and reassembling never gets rid of that stink.

Bolkonskij's picture
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Joined: 2009 Aug 3

yeah, I noticed the CD-ROM drive when I recently replaced my internal hard disk with a SSD (making the TiBook blazing fast now under OS9, really! Amazing speed gain). I just don't see why I should invest the money & time because I am not using the CD-ROM drive besides the games (that is, when i can't find a no cd patch for them).