MacBook Air SuperDrive for all! Cool

Discussion in 'Apple' started by David Moyer, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. David Moyer

    David Moyer Guest

    from the below link:

    So like me, you have a MacBook Air SuperDriveŠ It¹s affordable, it¹s
    functional, it¹s sexy. If only it was usable with other Macs and PCs!

    Well rejoice :) I have successfully hacked my MBA SuperDrive to work
    with other Macs and PCs. All you need is a $9 part (shipping extra) and
    a bit of soldering and you too can do this mod.

    First, take a look at pictures of this mod and a video where I connect
    my hacked SuperDrive to my Mac mini and my HP Mini-Note running Windows

    Now here¹s a bit of background. The MBA SuperDrive is designed to work
    only with the Apple MacBook Air. How is that possible?

    Some people have speculated that perhaps the MBA SuperDrive draws more
    than 500 mA and that the MacBook Air provides more than 500 mA via its
    USB port. This is not the case. My attempt at connecting the SuperDrive
    to several PCs and Macs while injecting additional current using a
    special cable was unsuccessfulŠ

    What about drivers? I (and others) have scoured the MacBook Air system
    folder or additional and modified .kext files (kernel extensions) by
    comparing them with the ones available on other Macs - nothing.

    Other people have suggested that perhaps the optical drive within the
    MBA SuperDrive uses special firmware. This is not the case either. After
    taking apart the SuperDrive and mounting the optical drive directly into
    a PCs removable bay, it was recognized just fine.

    This leaves the IDE to USB bridge. It¹s a small circuit board that
    allows an IDE device like the optical drive within the MBA SuperDrive to
    work as a USB device. It uses firmware too - and Apple appears to have
    designed custom firmware for it!

    There appears to be some sort of handshake happening between the MacBook
    Air and the IDE to USB bridge within the MBA SuperDrive. I looked into
    re-flashing the controller (which is a standard part) with generic
    firmware, but after several hours I was getting nowhere.

    The alternative was of course to replace the IDE to USB bridge with
    another one, which is exactly what I ended up doing. The trick was to
    find a small enough circuit board. I was about to give up on this mod
    when I stumbled upon the aforementioned $9 part on a series of tubes.

    The part is small enough to fit within the MBA SuperDrive, but requires
    removal of the daughter-board (containing a power connector, a USB
    connector, and several capacitors), as well as the relocation of the 12
    MHz crystal.

    And the rest is history - you can figure it out from the pictures :)
    David Moyer, Jun 24, 2008
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