Aug 072005
 

As much as I like my new Apple gear, I have to say that Apple SuperDrives suck. I mean really suck. SuperDrives have to be the black hole of DVD writer suckyness. When I bought my gear, I decided to put DVD writers in both the 12″ PowerBook, and the Mac Mini. Stupid me – and here’s why.

When you put a DVD into these units, you will be very lucky if you happen to pick a brand of media that these units actually like. Chances are, if you don’t say a prayer to your prefered diety first, your media will only be recognised as 2x media. It doesn’t matter what the label on your media says – the SuperDrive will only treat it as 2x media. Different brand of media you say? What about 5 different brands? Heh. Still the same issue. Throw these discs in any other writer on the face of the planet, and they’ll burn perfectly!

After months of trying to get Apple to actually do something about this firmware issue, as well as contacting the drive manufacturers (who said it’s all Apples fault for using defective firmware!), nothing has happened. So now I’ve started a petition to get these drives to be a little less suckier. If you are also affected by this issue, please sign the petition at http://superdrive.crc.id.au

  40 Responses to “Faulty Apple Superdrives.”

  1. twice I tried to subscribe to your petition but my name does not show…
    weird isn’t?
    I posted your url on
    http://forum.macbidouille.com/index.php?showtopic=106850&st=30
    (latest post) hopping some french mac user will submit too…

    > [quote=Lionel,24 Jan 2005, 06:45]
    > Que nous manque-t-il ? Une mise a jour Apple des firmware de ces superdrive l. Merci donc Apple de prendre en compte ce problme et de nous offrir une solution.

    Six mois plus tard ca n’avance pas, on dira meme que ca empire.
    Regarde ce qui se passe sur discussions.info.apple.com/
    MATSHITA DVD-R UJ-835E 2X–REQUEST FIX HERE!!

    304 posts de plaintes sur le fait que les PowerBook ‘Superdrive’
    UJ-835-E vendus pour faire de la gravure DVD x8 ne font que du x2.
    (A quoi je rajoute, qu’ils sont brids pour ne pas ecrire sur DVD-Ram,
    contrairement l’original UJ-835-B de chez Panasonic).

    Devant la colere montante, Apple vient aujourd’hui de COUPER ce thread !!!!
    “This topic is locked.”
    Acte INCROYABLE de la part d’Apple tel que nous le connaissions.

    Pour s’en sortir, Steven Haigh Melbourne Australia en est reduit
    ouvrir une petition, aidons-le !!! http://superdrive.crc.id.au/

  2. Interesting. I did have an issue with the web server that required a reboot today, and you may have been unlucky and your name was in the time the system was rebooted. Give it another go, and if you still don’t have any success, let me know and I’ll see what I can do about it.

  3. While I sympathize with your difficulties, your conclusions are baseless. The fact that others have similar issues and discuss them in a public support forum in no ways means that an issue is pandemic. If you walk into a doctor’s office and see sick people will you conclude that every American is sick? I’d hope not.

    How many machines with these drives have been sold? Of those, how many are having the exact same problem? Of those, how many were able to resolve their issue by changing media or software? How many were not? Answers to these questions with actual numbers is necessary before jumping to some wild arse conclusion.

    Have you bothered to confirm that it actually is a firmware issue by updating the firmware in your SuperDrive with non-Apple firmware?

  4. Well, let me start that I’ve been a tech with computers for years. I’ve tested software and hardware since Windows 95 was a gleam in its creators eyes. I have seen this issue before on DVD writers, and it has always been firmware. That’s not to say I have just assumed.

    To verify this issue, I have tested every PowerBook I have been able to get my hands on with a SuperDrive (specifically a UJ-835) and tested the detected speed of 5 different brands of media (or more if I had them on hand). All drives have shown the same problems.

    I have contacted the drive manufacturer (Matshita) and discussed the issue at length with them. It seems that Matshita supply the drives to Apple in an OEM state with no firmware. Apple then flashes them with the correct firmware for the system they are putting them in. This limits burn speed to 4x for Mac Minis and 8x for Powerbooks.

    I would love to try and test the firmware upgrade with a none-Apple based firmware, except for the fact that it doesn’t exist. Then take into account that I would have to remove the drives from my PowerBooks and Mac Mini – voiding the warranty in the process.

    If places like MacInTouch can verify my claims on a brand new PowerBook, then I really doubt that this is an isolated issue.

  5. My parents have a mini and my has one of the PowerBooks. Confirmed the drives are Matsushita UJ-835. They have never had an issue burning DVDs. Confirmed it by burning DVDs last night on the wife’s 12″ PowerBook.

    As far as updating the Firmware in your optical drives, no, you do not have to remove them from the machines to update their firmware. I’ve updated the firmware on my optical drives (for Region Free and/or speed gains) via the GUI in Mac OS X. One application that will do this is called DVRFlashX I believe. The key is then finding the firmware, which is platform agnostic.

    BTW, removing the drive wouldn’t void the warranty on your Mac but messing with the firmware certainly will void the warranty on the drive. 🙂

  6. I would be interested in what type of media you have used. I found 1 brand of media that would burn in Apple SuperDrives at the rated speed. I would assume that this is the brand you used also.

    You are correct about the firmware not being platform specific, however Matshita have said that only Apple can provide the firmware – and I’m not going to go against Matshitas advice on this one. I like my warranty in one piece 🙂

    This is why I am doing what I am doing. If this was the PC world, the burner would have gone back to the store the very next day for either a changeover or a refund.

  7. Have you noticed that the original Matshita-Panasonic UJ-835-B is x8 _and_ DVD-Ram writing, whereas the Mac UJ-835-E is not?

    This DVD-Ram burning capability disappearence is so weird (why to have a DVD-Ram drive if you can’t write on the media? it defeats the purpose of the DVD-Ram media itself!!) that it made me think about the reason for Apple to eliminate this feature.

    My guess is that Apple either installs the -E ‘Economical’ version
    to save $$ in buying underated Panasonic stuff (cheap laser diode), or purposedly limits (by firmware) the laser diode recording current because the PowerBook supply which is available for the burner is not strong enough.

    If Apple is not answering our mails and calls for months, it is because they have no other solution than an expensive hardware exchange: replacing the burner itself by a new one, equipped with a more efficient laser diode, such as the latest UJ-845-B.
    That’s a guess only 😉

  8. The UJ-835 that Apple use is firmware limited to suit various bits of hardware that they want to put together. The burner in the Mac Mini is the exact same model as the one in the PowerBooks. Apple load a 4x firmware on the Mac Mini, and an 8x firmware on the PowerBook drives.

    My bet is that this is for marketting reasons only.

  9. if this is the case, why do they eliminate the dvd-ram burning
    ability of the uj-835 ???

  10. Hi!
    Have you tried Toast Titanium 7 on your PB ? in my PB, i get a positive result after Toast 7 installation. my test media is Verbatim DVD-R 8x.
    Goodluck

  11. Hi,

    I have tried as many software programs as I could get my hands on. The issue is definatly hardware related and not something as simple as software. I wish it was only a software issue 🙂

  12. I have a windows based laptop pc and I chose the panasonic uj-845 slimdrive dvd writer. I have run into the same problem as you have. I am only able to write dvds at a speed of 2x. I have tried 6 types of media and all of them are only recognized at 2x speed. I know it is a firmware issue because they replaced my drive twice. They don’t have a firmware update for the drive. I also have contacted panasonic support and they also told me the drive is shipped without firmware and the computer manufacture flashes the drive with firmware. I am getting disgusted with this drive and hope that the issue is resolved very soon.

  13. Hi

    I recently bought a 20″ iMac G5 with a Matshita UJ-845 Superdrive. After having burned some DVD-Rs (2x rated) which worked no problem on a number of DVD players I thought I would try 8x media. I bought a batch of Traxdata 8x DVD-Rs and commenced burning. What a nightmare!! The bottom line is that burning at 8x and 4x using Roxio Popcorn 1.0.3 produced DVDs that failed in all the DVD players I owned including an iMac G3 and iMac G4 (they worked OK in the iMac G5 though). When I burned them at 2x they were OK on all machines. I thought that maybe the media was a bit ropey so I tried burning one on the iMac G4 which I recently fitted a Pioneer DVR-109 (patched with Patchburn). It appeared to burn at just over 8x speed (Popcorn was set for best speed). The DVD worked fine. My suspicion is that the UJ-845 devices fitted to the iMac G5s require Apple firmware updates if you want to burn at greater than 2x and want to play your DVD-Rs in something other than an iMac G5. This is also reinforced by the fact that i have encountered hardware write failures constantly when burning DVD-Rs using DVD Studio Pro 3 even though the simulation run passed every time. I am not a fan of Panasonic drives, having had failures occur on expensive commercial DVD players (crap spindle motors) but I believe that Apple are at fault with this one. Hope this is of some help.

  14. Hi I have an iMac G5 2Ghz and am also experiencing problems with my drive. I keep getting Medium error Sense code 0x73 0x03 with Toast and have tried about 4 different media’s mainly CD-R’s. Using the Apple software also rejects the media. Sometimes it writes but most of the time it doesn’t. I placed a service call with Apple and should be getting a replacement drive installed next week. I’ll let you know the outcome is. Hope it’s not the same drive, judging from all the complaints I do hope it has been sorted out
    In relation to the DVD media I have yet to try the fast media so I cannot comment about the speed issue. Will keep you posted.

  15. I bought a G4 Mac mini in early 2005 with a 4x SuperDrive in it. I’ve always used 4x or 8x Ritek Ridata brand DVD-Rs on my Windows box without problems. Those same discs show up as 2x in my mini, though. I tried Verbatim 8x discs and they show up as 4x in my mini (as they should). It’s annoying considering that this SuperDrive cost me $100 to upgrade over a Combo drive and it blows. I shouldn’t have to go brand hunting when I buy DVD-Rs that have already proved themselves reliable in my PC’s Pioneer A06 drive.

  16. I have a imac 20″ with isight, and after burning several dvds at 4x, the same Mashishita drive now refuses to recognize any disk I put into it. ANY disk. Even music ones. I put in a call to apple here in japan, and they replaced my whole machine with another imac that had a big black spot on the display. I complained, and they took that one back and sent me another one… but it turns out it has a faulty DVD drive as well (or perhaps, gasp, its the original imac again!) they are completely incompetent. I’m hoping someone out there has firgured out a firmware fix for the drive so I don’t have to call apple again, just for them to swap back the machine with the dead pixels.

    –angry at apple service

  17. […] Yesterday I got a call from Janine Beach (Executive Relations, Apple Asia/Pac) to state that Apple regards that the problem with the SuperDrives (as reported here, here, and here) is a correctly functioning SuperDrive. Apple’s official line is that there is no problem burning on 8x Apple media so the drive is fine – even if it fails to recognise any other brand or speed of media. This means you can ONLY use Apple media in the drive – as even 16x TDK discs do not work correctly. There was no notification of the fact that Apple SuperDrives would only burn as advertised on Apple media – and when I stressed this point, I was told by Janine that the drive works as it should, and Apple would not be doing anything about it. After telling Janine that this was unacceptable, I was basically stonewalled. […]

  18. UJ-835E Apple firmware policy is not fair

    The superdrive UJ 835E from Panasonic/Matshita that equipped most of recent iBooks is capable to write DVD at 8x speed.

    But Apple has modified the firmware to force users to buy DVD media only from Apple. All other media are burned at 2x speed!

    In the technical spec of theses models, Apple never mentioned this limitation. They defraud us.

    But making errors like this, give the opportunity to solve the problem.

    Be fair ! give the users a firmware upgrade that correct this aberration.

    The benefit for Apple is clear : giving the same capability than other PC’s make Mac user’s happier, with better machines than before => guarentee of more clients for the Mac platform !

    Sincerely

    Denis Pommier
    Mac user since 1985

  19. Hi all forgive me for not going into detail but have you noticed that the Intel Imac with Superdrive make no mention of only working with Apple media for 8x

    Spec as follows:

    8x SuperDrive (DVD+R DL/DVDRW/CD-RW) installed; writes DVD+R DL discs at up to 2.4x speed, writes DVD-R and DVD+R discs at up to 8x speed, writes DVD-RW and DVD+RW discs at up to 4x speed, reads DVDs at up to 8x speed, writes CD-R discs at up to 24x speed, writes CD-RW discs at up to 8x speed, reads CDs at up to 24x speed.

    Am I to assume that these drives will work at 8x on any media and we are being punished for buying Imac’s with G5 processors!

    Incidentallly my Imac G5 has a MATSHITA DVD-R UJ-846
    Firmware Revision: FA0G

    So it seems the problem is not just specific to the 835 or is it a coincidence that the 846 has the same issue, I think not (am I being paranoid?)

    Regards

    Les Pix

    Another Mac User/Buyer since 1985

    PS Ever wondered why they’re called Matsushita? (sorry)

  20. Hi again

    I am now more enlightened about DVD media. Bottom line for Mac users is that the recommendation is to use Japanese manufactured Maxell or Verbatim disks. Apple disks are made by Maxell and are regarded as the best quality disks you can buy. Beware though, both Maxell and Verbatim have outsourced manufacturing to Taiwan and the quality can be iffy. Make sure that the disks are “Made in Japan”. The following website provides more info: http://www.digitalfaq.com/media/dvdmedia.htm

    Regards

    Gary

  21. Hi Gary,

    Thanks for the recommendation, but have you actually done any experimentation yourself, or are you just passing along more anecdotal information? And what drive model do you have?

    I am in the process of running numerous experiments, and my data does not align with what you are saying. For example, as far as I can tell, Maxell 8x disks are always seen and burned as 2x by my UJ845S, so I disagree with your “bottom line” recommendation. The link you provide also does not say anything about how to tell where a given bit of Maxell media came from, so I wonder what the basis is for your statement about outsourced manufacturing vs. Japan-based manufacturing for Maxell. It may be true, but that info ain’t on the page.

    That same site talks about Verbatim having switched to CMC (acknowledged to be crappola, as I have verified by personal experimentation), and then back to better manufacturers again. That said, I have had problems with at least some non-CMC Verbatim media.

    Please expand on what you posted. All of us need hard data, not more guesswork.

    Here’s my data, all for DVD-R, on UJ845S [sorry, no ID codes for the last several entries]. In all that follows “works at 8x” only means that the OS reports the media as 8x, and that the burning programs (variously Toast 5.2 and NTI Dragonburn) allegedly do the burn at 8x. Burn times are around 14 minutes, though, which is what my external drive manages at 4x. Why 8=4 is a topic for a different time…

    GQ no-label “4x” only works at 2x (LEADDATA01)
    GQ no-label “8x” only works at 2x (OPTODISCR008)
    GQ “16x” white silkscreen only works at 2x (CMC MAG. AM3)
    Memorex “16x” only works at 2x (RITEKF1)
    Maxell “8x” only works at 2x (RITEKG05)
    GQ 16x transparent silkscreen stuff works at >= 8x (SONY08D1)
    TDK 16x works at >=8x (TTH02)
    Fuji 16x only works at 2x
    Verbatim 8x sometimes works at 8x, sometimes at 2x
    Verbatim 16x sometimes works at 2x, sometimes rejected altogether
    Ridata 8x works at 8x

    As you can see, my drive consistently recognizes 8x media only for Sony-made 16x GQ stuff (real cheap from Fry’s), for TDK 16x media (much costlier than the GQ stuff), and for some random Ridata disks that a friend got as part of a purchase from Other World Computing (aka MacSales.com). Other, name-brand stuff doesn’t. My data clearly shows that it’s too facile to simply declare that it’s a media quality issue.

  22. Hi Tom

    Yes, I have carried out some experiments (have a look at my entry dated 7th january), but admittedly haven’t tried Maxell disks yet. I don’t burn many DVDs so I am just finishing of the Traxdata ones which I have to burn at no more than 2x or they will fail if burnt on the G5 iMac (they are fine on the G4 iMAc). I will however purchase Maxell disks (Japanese MXL) next and give them a try.

    I noticed however that your Maxell disks are in fact RitekG05 (Made in Taiwan) which strangely enough is the same as my Traxdata disks. Maxell Japanese disks are MXL lead in code. Looking at your data, it provides further credence to the media web site that I have provided a link. I also noticed that your best quality disks happen to be the only ones manufactured in Japan i.e. TDK and Sony!!

    There is a Mac application called DVD Media Inspector (http://homepage.mac.com/raktajino/dvdmediainspector/dvdmediainspector.html) which scans the disk and tells you what the lead in code is. Also some companies provide lead in codes in their descriptions.

    I am pretty well convinced that Apple developed firmware for their built in DVD burners is optimised using Apple DVD media. That’s why their hardware specifications state “UP TO” nX burning. There’s no way they will guarantee burn speeds for people that may wan’t to use ropey media (as stated by the Apple lady in the entry dated 10th April above).

    If it wasn’t a media quality issue then all your disks should burn at the same speed (I think, in your case 8x on the UJ845).

    Like I already said, Apple could maybe do a bit more to make their firmware a bit more compatible with a variety of disks and it may be a little bit misleading when they state how fast their built in DVD burners are. Always read the small print!!

  23. Hi Gary,

    There’s no question that media makes a difference — no one is denying that. On my Windows machines, I use name-brand media for that precise reason, and I am rewarded with good results. The issue is that Apple’s drives are excessively fussy. By “excessively” I mean that a great variety of media, from respected vendors, that work just fine on other drives will not work with Apple drives. That tells us that it is not simply a media quality issue. In fact, Apple’s superdrives are unique in this limitation. That uniqueness bears scrutiny.

    “Always read the small print!” seems intentionally provocative; I read very well, thank you. The media I buy reads “8x” on the label, but that’s not what I get. So, let’s dispense with this line of attack.

    I hasten to point out that Apple does not provide any small print that reads “this drive will reject media that most other drives on the planet will burn reliably; you must use only pricey Apple-branded media to achieve our advertised maximum burn speeds.” You seem to support Apple’s legalistic parsing of “up to 8x”, but consumers deserve a bit better treatment, IMNHO. Apple charges a premium for their wonderful products, and we’re happy to pay it, but not if they have crippled the hardware in a way that gives us less functionality than is enjoyed on other platforms, for no defensible reason, and if they then compound that error by steadfastly refusing that there is a problem to be solved. Also, thanks for your link to dvd media inspector, but obviously, I already have a way to read ID codes, as is evident from my having provided many of them in my post. Btw, another way to get this basic information is simply to open up a terminal window, and type “drutil status.”

    The bottom line remains: Apple’s superdrives are limited in ways that are unique in the industry, and for reasons that are technically hard to defend. Further, asking consumers to pay more for less is not a long-term success strategy for most companies, so Apple again shows its uniqueness in disregarding a basic tenet of marketing.

  24. Apologies if were going over this too much.

    BTW thanks Tom for the info on drutil status.

    Just a brief list of media I’ve checked with the “drutil status’

    Ritek G05 (8x) Full face printable white = 2x (RITEKG05)
    Ritek G05 (8x) Full face printable silver = 2x (RITEKG05)
    Datawrite (8x) Yellow (datasafe) = 8x (RITEKG05) this is wierd as it is the same dye!
    Datawrite (8x) Full face printable white = 8x (CMC MAG. AE1)

    Just thought I’d throw a few more in the mix if it helps as these are obviously a lot cheaper than Maxell and Apple DVD’s.

    But this takes us away from the original argument, why should we as Apple users be constantly searching around for solutions, when all they have do is sort that darn firmware issue. There’s always a solution to a problem and I think Apple may find that the users that have been with them through thick and thin may start to look elsewhere for their needs, after all it won’t be long beofre we have a decent dual core PC running OS X reliably. It seems that Apple has forsaken us for the millions of Ipod users out there, maybe they don’t need us anymore (boo hoo)

    Anyhow, rant over!

    LesPix

  25. Thanks, LesPix, for the additional info — it is much appreciated! It is very interesting that the Datawrite media differs from the Ritek-labeled stuff, even though the ID codes are the same. Do the disks have the same appearance? Color, etc.?

    And just out of curiosity, what model Superdrive do you have? A UJ845 like mine, or a UJ846 (or something else)?

    I’m trying to assemble a database of what media works with what drives.

    –Cheers,
    Tom

  26. Hi Tom

    All the disk look the same, Ritek’s are very deep purple and the Datawrite Yellow slightly paler, although the same dye.

    Datawrite (8x) Full face burns art 8x, however, there is a tolerable amount of break up towards the end of the film, however I put this down to my DVD recorder getting a bit too hot

    Incidentallly my Imac G5 has a MATSHITA DVD-R UJ-846
    Firmware Revision: FA0G

    Cheers

    LesPix

  27. *sigh*
    Glad to know it’s not just my powerbook. I should go check my brother’s

  28. Hi. I’m very untechnical however my mini mac has stopped recognising CDs. Have you found a solve or direction to head to find a fix. thanks skye

  29. Actually, this thread hasn’t been about working drives that subsequently fail (which seems to be your problem). Rather, it’s about a design limitation that prevents the superdrive from working to its full potential. If your drive was working and now doesn’t, that’s a different problem altogether.

  30. Hi all.

    For those who have problems with their drive writing DVDs at 2x only, I might have found a solution. To keep the story short, after noticing my drive does the same, and the firmware search didnt give any results, I stumbled upon this list of DVD media clases:

    http://www.digitalfaq.com/media/dvdmedia.htm

    Even though I still have about 20 blank Datawrite 8x discs (Nero 7 says max write speed is 2x), I decided to spend a little and buy some media stated as 1st class, just to check what will happen. Guess what, without any firmware updates or similar, both DVD Identifier utility and Nero 7 say the new discs are 8x and I have just burnt one at 8x.

    My laptop is Acer Ferrari 4005, the drive Matshita UJ-845S (factory firmware D200). I chose to buy TDK 16x DVD-R, media layer TTH02. They are working on my UJ-845S as 8x, just tested.

    I hope this helps someone. I wish I knew before buying my Datawrite.

    Dont know if other models of UJ will do the same. Just make sure to buy them from a shop which specifies the layer type also, not just the brand (in the UK I got them from http://www.svp.co.uk, they put the layer type for every DVD media they sell).

    Cheers.

  31. Thanks, Darko, but if you read through the posts carefully, you’ll see data that contradicts your assertion. Not all “first rate” media will burn at the rated speeds. That is in fact the entire problem! I’m glad you found media that works; I have, too. But that does not affect the original argument, which is simply this: Apple’s firmware causes the Matsushita drives to be much fussier than their Windows counterparts about what media they’ll work with. Media quality is unquestionably important, but not all highly-rated media will burn at rated speeds in Apple drives. Hence the petition, and hence all the sturm and drang about this issue.

  32. I totally agree, the Apple Superdrives are appallingly picky about the media you use and what burn speed you get. I have the 8x UJ-846 in my iMac G5 and i’ve encountered problems with a variety of different brands, the most recent of which are the Verbatim (Mitsubisi) 16x DVD-R discs. “drutil status” does identify the burn speed as 8x and the write process (i use Toast 7.0.2 btw) will appear to be sucessful at that speed but the verification process always fails and subsequently nothing can be read off the DVD after burning.

    Other labels i’ve encountered many medium errors with are Datawrite Titanium 8x -R, Mitubishi 8x -R, PC-Line 4x -R, and Philips 4x +RW. I’ve also used BeAll Best “White Top” 16x DVD-R’s which will only burn at 2x in my UJ-846 but will burn at 8x in a collegues iBook G4 UJ-845-E.

    It really is appalling that Apple supply such restrictive firmware, the only reason i can think as to why they do is to shift their own label DVD-R’s at 45 for a spindle of 25!

  33. Out of the box you are better buying a DVD burner from China than buying a Media Center run on MAC!!!
    On top of burning issues, the drive Region Code for DVD’s and Hollywoods/Apples has unfair firmware/DVD disk codeing. I run a media center in my home based on a MacMini that has a MATSHITA DVD-R UJ-846 that there is no way of stopping the Region Code counter. Whats more is that there is no way to automate so you do not see the drive region change. So who does this efect, well for one my kids that got a leggal version of Bob the Builder from thier grandmar in the UK. Makes people want to use aMule or Torrents and bypass all the bullshit.

  34. I have the same problem with the fucking Mashita DVD-R-UJ-846.
    Its the fourth Superdrive I have in my iMac G5 in one year!!!!! and Im fed up.
    I havent warranty now , and Im not going to spend my money in another superdrive. I preffer less design and more quality with the crap you put inside the computer. Burn your ass slowly Steve Jobs.

  35. I own a Powerbook & a PowerMac G4 and I am furious that I have to only buy Apple Media Disks to burn DVD’s. The Apple disk are ridiculously expensive compared to most other brands on the market.

    Apple should have disclosed this information to all buyers. They need to drop the prices on their Media Disks and release a software patch to fix the problem or replace both of my superdrives for free.

  36. Hi all, it’s been a while but just as a matter of interest with regard to the UJ-846, I have used the following disks with no problems whatsoever at 8x and being Taiyo Yuden, not a single duffer!!

    ” ‘Taiyo Yuden FF White Printable 16x speed DVD-R (100 tub) These Full-Face White Inkjet Printable DVD-R discs use the ‘Taiyo Yuden’ dye formulation for superior compatability and archival live. They support 8x max burning speed and have a standard 4.7Gb data or 120min video capacity. Supplied in tubs of 100 discs.

    19.79 Inc VAT ”

    http://www.ukdvdr.co.uk/shop/Printable-DVD-R-c-293.html

  37. My ibook had a superdrive to begin with, it was replaced due to failure, and now the new drive is failing. All of this within two years, I think next time I’m buying a Thinkpad, I love OS X, but no way I’m putting up with this crap!

  38. Well, this is a very interesting site, but for all the talk of updating firmware and whether or not to do this and whether or not it works, there is never a mention of where to find this non Apple firmware. Any links to where I might download and try firmware for my MATSHITA DVD-R UJ-846 Superdrive. It suddenly will not recognize blank DVD media it has used for years and it also has a good deal of trouble playing CDs, both home made and store bought. Very annoying. Any help here in the way of links?

    Thanks,

    Loopy

  39. I think you’re drive is slowly or quickly on it’s way out. My drive of the exact same make started with loads of sense key errors when burning from Toast, now even brand new commercial DVDs are beginning to rattle the drive, it has sincere trouble reading movie dvds. Luckily I’m under AppleCare (bought 3 years with my mac) – will take it in for replacement.

    I think you should do the samecall AppleCare in your country, give them your serial number and report the issue. AppleCare will know if you are under warranty or not.

  40. One more thing. Do an erase and install or before that try burning from a different user account, create a new account and burn a DVD and quality branded media.

    What else? Run software update, see if there are any updates for your machine, especially firmware updates for your optical drive, I doubt the latter exists

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