OK, really need some help here. Thousands have posted complaints that the superdrives, particularly Matshita, just suddenly stopped working in Macs. No one yet can definitively classify the issue as a problem relating to poor drive manufacture, Apple update issues, poor media compatability or just crappy discs.
Personally, I have tried nearly everything I could find to get my drive to recognize blank dvd discs that I have used for several years without a problem. I have used Sony 1x16, Memorex, Verbatim, etc. successfully, but now not one is recognized, simply get the whirrrrr, then it spits out in about 20-30 seconds, with NO ERROR MESSAGE... not even the dreaded "Device failed to calibrate the power level necessary to..."
I tried the RCP1 Region free firmware flash, lens cleaners (5 of them), the "International language change in preferences", the "try different media", the "check Apple, manufacturer, and third parties for updates", have searched Apple, Intel, Panasonic (Matshita).
What is interesting is that last week, my drive suddenly wouldn't read or write CD or DVD. After using the 5 different lens cleaner discs (all dry), I can now read AND write CD, read ANY commercially pressed DVD or DVD burnt on my MAC, whether it's DVD movies or simply data backups.
It would seem that if all those aforementioned things began working OK after cleaning, would it also mean my drive's inability to recognize blank DVD's is related to a dirty lens? I can find no info on how many laser lenses are in my particular drive, and I am planning to very shortly break open my Apple to directly clean the drives lens. Is this wise? Does anyone have specifics on this procedure? I have seen some photo postings on the net on how to disassemble the iMac, but it was not "drive replacement" specific. Still, because of the timing of many of these drive failures, many in the know suspect the issue may be related to Apple updates which have changed the level at which blank media will be recognized. We all know that the burn speeds have increased, and some think Apple may be setting up recognition of only the higher speed, newer DVD blanks, thereby the drive would not recognize the older slower speeds. Some think the opposite may be true, since my drive is not known for burn speed, and maybe Apple does not want the drive recognizing blanks intended for anything above 2x-4x.
Can anyone speak to this issue before I tear apart my Apple? I would greatly appreciate it, since I am a newbie. I can't even seem to get a straight answer on what slot drive replacement options I have. I realize I could, and probably should, get an external quality drive, but even if I do, I still would like to fix the internal ATAPI drive if only for esthetic reasons. As far as an external drive working directly with iMovie and iDVD, I always create a disk image first, anyway, so an external would not limit me there.
This website is so intensively devoted to burning that I cannot believe there is no one out there that knows what the issue is with my hardware, firmware or other software. I am running Mac OSX 10.4.11 on the following machine with the following drive:
Model Name: iMac
Model Identifier: iMac4,1
Processor Name: Intel Core Duo
Processor Speed: 2 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache (per processor): 2 MB
Memory: 512 MB
Bus Speed: 667 MHz
Boot ROM Version: IM41.0055.B08
SMC Version: 1.1f5
Serial Number: W8603VXRU2P
MATSHITA DVD-R UJ-846:
Firmware Revision: FB2U
Burn Support: Yes (Apple Shipped/Supported)
Cache: 2048 KB
Reads DVD: Yes
CD-Write: -R, -RW
DVD-Write: -R, -RW, +R, +RW, +R DL
Burn Underrun Protection CD: Yes
Burn Underrun Protection DVD: Yes
Write Strategies: CD-TAO, CD-SAO, DVD-DAO