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MacGenius1289's picture
Joined: 2013 Mar 16
iMac G3 (Slot Loading) DVD Replacement

Hi all,

Just wanted to ask what is the best option/alternative for replacing the internal DVD drive. Last year I bought two iMac G3's quite cheap for the purposes of restoring/upgrading. It was only just yesterday that I replaced the internal speakers as they had suffered from the common issue of speaker rot and maxed one of them out with 1GB of RAM, the internal DVD drive is the last thing I need.

I just would like to get some feedback and see what the general consensus is, or if anyone has any experience with the MCE slot loading drives.

Upon doing some Googling and reading forums I found a website that does offer replacement drives for iMac G3's- MCE Technologies. These drives are DVD-R/RW and cost a stupid $149 USD.

Looking further on their site I also found a replacement internal DVD drive for a G4 Cube, which has identical specs to the iMac G3 one and for less than half the price $69 USD.

To me it seems quite strange how one drive can be $149 USD and the other $69 USD, when specification wise they are 99% identical. The only things I found that where different are the product names, item numbers and minimum requirements. (iMac G3 stating Mac OS 9.2.2; Mac OS 10.2 or later and the G4 Cube stating Mac OS X (10.2.x; 10.3.6 or later). But this shouldn't really matter should it?

My thinking is that both drive are basically the same and it shouldn't really matter what the target OS is. Why should I have to pay twice as much just because it says "for iMac G3"??

I did email MCE Technologies asking them if a G4 Cube drive could be used in an iMac G3 with no response.

Doing some more further investigating I came across an Apple Optical/Zip Drive Matrix PDF, that lists all the present and past models of the time (September 2005) and their associated drives with part numbers and vendor/model makes.

It seems that the drive in my iMac G3's (P/N: 661-2342, Model: MKE/SR-8186) is the same as what is used in the G4 cube anyway (P/N: 661-2459, Model: MKE/SR-8186). So really they are interchangeable, this theory was also confirmed by a forum post I read where a guy takes out the DVD drive from his iMac G3 and installed it into his G4 Cube. I just can't find the link to that at the moment.

The other option is to try and find/buy an Apple OEM DVD drive, but as these would be just as old or older than what I'm trying to replace they could very well end up with the same issues. I did find one place selling these, however a slightly older model (P/N: 661-2225, Model: MKE/SR-8184).

Thanks all for your help.