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How to use an external USB Apple SuperDrive on a Macbook Pro running Mountain Lion

I recently removed my superdrive from my Macbook Pro to add a secondary hard drive. In this case a 750 Seagate Momentus XT. I then ordered an external USB Apple SuperDrive; not knowing it didn’t work on my MacBook Pro right out of the box. To make it work I had to do the following:

  • Go to /System/Library/Extensions/, right-click on AppleStorageDrivers.kext and choose ‘Show package contents.’
  • Then go to /Contents/PlugIns/, right-click on AppleUSBODD.kext and choose ‘Show package contents’ on that file.
  • Then edit the file AppleUSBODD with Hex Fiend.
  • By searching the file, you should find two chains of this type: Supported Mac Models MacBookAir Macmini Macmini1 Macmini2.
  • You must replace one of the values by your model identifier. In my case, I simply replaced MacBookAir by MacBookPro to keep a file of the same length. Pay attention to spaces, do not put any between MacBook and Pro. Normally, just use the beginning of the identifier and it should be enough, so : MacBook, MacPro, iMac, etc. Also pay attention to capital letters.
  • Once it is done on the two chains, just save and replace the original file AppleStorageDrivers.kext by the new. If everything is OK, Mac OS X will ask for a password.
  • Then launch Kext Utility to clear caches and repair permissions, and restart the Mac. If everything went well — this was the case on my MacBook Pro — the external drive should work right away.

Some portions borrowed from http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=20111107064435227

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Eric Sarakaitis

Virtualization Engineer at CBTS
I'm Eric, I love to cook, sing, garden and enjoy cold beverages!

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  • Haytham Elkhoja

    I don’t know what this is about, I bought the new MacBook Pro Retina with the USB Apple SuperDrive, worked like a charm, no configuration whatsoever.

    • Nicnacnic

      Yes, that model does not come with a built-in DVD drive and is therefore compatible out of the box. This article is about making it work with models that come with an internal DVD drive.

  • http://www.vmwareadmins.com Eric Sarakaitis

    Rumor has it that the new Apple SuperDrives work with every device now that they’ve removed the superdrive from the traditional model.

    Thanks for the heads up!

  • Reminisce

    Apple without Jobs is just getting evil… evil… evil

    • dvtsea

      The decision to restrict compatibility almost certainly precedes Jobs’ passing. You’re kidding yourself if you think the company was “on your side” before then.

      Based on development timelines, the massive takeaways we’ve seen (in terms of features and control) are likely to have been put in motion long ago.

      On topic: I just tried to burn a DVD of our wedding the other day (using my new Superdrive on my new macbook air). I didn’t realize that iDVD was no longer a feature on newer macs!

      I’ve purchased a new Mac (mostly laptops) every 18 months or so for the past 12 years, and I realized the other day that, for years, my ongoing experience with Apple used to be one of excitement and joy with regard to new features on both the software and hardware side, and for the past 2-3 years the experience has shifted, dramatically, to one of frustration with OS features lost, utter disinterest in mediocre features added (“Save a Version”?), and plenty of frustration with hardware design as well (magsafe 2, anyone?).

      • Reminisce

        The venture into iPhone sealed the coffin for the Mac Addict.

        It’s not all entirely Apple’s fault, as entering the cell phone industry always creates a contract fuelled mess of locking, SDKs and hardware protection, but It’s hard to not deny, iPhone put Apple into limelight mainstream. With that, the company evolved to grab the largest share of the pie, no longer focused on the professional niche and “thinking outside the box”.

        Sure, perhaps Jobs was not the only anchor to the “classic” Apple, but nevertheless, there has been a significant change. These blasted super drives, lightning connectors; then there’s hiding the user library directory, the app store, notifications etc.

        I remember the days when you could throw an OWC auxiliary RAM card in your G3’s PCI slot and run OS 9 faster than a bat out of hell with nothing more than a flathead screwdriver. There’s nothing like cutting a hole in a beige plastic to make the chip fit!

        … but now we’ve got pentalobe screws….

        WHY???!!!!!

  • C. P. Smith

    Thanks for posting this. Just ran into this problem myself. Wanted to mention that 0xED is an alternative to Hex Fiend, it’s a free hex editor that works brilliantly

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