View Full Version : Optical Drive compatible with iBook G3?

11th September 2007, 05:01 PM
Hi all,

I am about to pull apart my iBook G3 to fix the backlight cable, and thought that while i was 'operating' i might as well replace the Optical Drive, which has been dead for a year or so now.

My question is, will any notebook-sized Optical Drive work in my machine, or do i need to get a specific type/brand?

Any help would be great :o


11th September 2007, 05:36 PM
Ideally go for a Matsushita drive, as the existing iBook faceplate will line up here (check tray/slot loading). Your second choice would be Panasonic, but you will probably need to hack at the faceplate to get it to fit.

The Superdrives go for about $60, and much less for the CDRW/DVD ready only models on eBay. Even better is that the older Matsushita drives can now be flashed region-free, something they've been unable to do for years :p


11th September 2007, 05:50 PM
Can it be any model of these Matsushita drives? Or should i go for one which has been pulled from an old iBook?

(thanks for the help, by the way)

11th September 2007, 05:58 PM
Go for a UJ-8xx model Superdrive - the later model the better. Or I'm using a UDJA740 Combo drive in my Pismo here which is working a treat.


11th September 2007, 06:13 PM
Would something like this work?

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/Panasonic-laptop-slim-internal-CDRW-DVD-combo-drive_W0QQitemZ330164130124QQihZ014QQcategoryZ3156 4QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

11th September 2007, 08:41 PM
Yes, definately. Seems Matshita/Panasonic combo tray drives are UDJA7x0 part numbers, so anything along these lines will be fine. The UDJA7x0 drive in my Pismo came from a Dell P4 Inspiron notebook, you might find these are cheaper because people think "they only work in a Dell". Often you might need to remove a little metal Dell-specific frame, then place it in your iBook.

Also, when installing make sure the proper master/slave jumper is set - usually a little tab on the back of the drive. Pretty sure it's set to slave on the iBooks.


14th September 2007, 11:03 AM
Thinking of doing much the same to my old G3 iBook. Anyone know of any step by step instuctions? and if so... how difficult is the project?

14th September 2007, 01:08 PM
Armed with a service manual, kaisersozay, from here:


... and a guide from here:


... and I also recommend a plastic spatula to snap apart the iBook's shell, and note and blu-tac down exactly where each screw goes on a piece of paper.

... then it's not too bad :D


14th September 2007, 01:55 PM
Thanks Byrd, but my old G3 iBook is a Clamshell 300 and from everything I read... even if you stick a dvd drive in it, it will not show dvds.
I'm not sure it's worth doing anything to it. It has a standard 3gb HD, just accepts OSX 10.2.8
Was planning a HDD upgrade but without dvd potentail... not much point.

14th September 2007, 02:41 PM
Sorry assumed it was a "white" Snow iBook. Oh well, the manuals etc and guides for a Clamshell can be found from the above links. It's actually easier to install an optical drive in a Clamshell - basically involves removing the surrounding plastic around the keyboard, undoing a few screws, and it's easy to access from there.

A DVD drive will work in a Clamshell (providing it's set as slave), so it will read DVDs, but unlikely it'll have enough grunt to decode DVD movies.


14th September 2007, 03:09 PM
One thing that you must take into consideration:

Normal slimline optical drives -- such as those sold by PC shops or on eBay -- are shipped from the factory with the 'jumper' set to Cable Select (CS). Whilst you can fit a suitable drive like this into a Mac laptop, you will not be able to boot from it. Apple insist that their optical drivs are set to Master (MA) and the onboard firmware expects to find a bootable optical in the Master position.

You can either buy a generic-supply slimline optical and move the 'jumper' (actually a zero-ohm resistor) with a fine-tip soldering iron, or import a suitable Master-ready drive from places like Wegener Media.