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My Superdrive in my Mid 2009 MacBook Pro Unibody has failed, I have been through all the usual checks and cleaning steps but no joy.

Therefore I need a new one, but does anybody know whether I can just buy any 9.5mm Slim laptop style drive for it, or does it have to be a special Mac version one?

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Specifically, what model? Use this tool to find out. –  evan.bovie Jul 5 '11 at 22:05
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Keep in mind if you actually need the drive still. Optical drives are a dying breed. –  Resorath Jul 5 '11 at 22:47
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3 Answers

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Typically, a replacement drive needs a few things to work:

  • Correct connector: Make sure you get a SATA or IDE/ATA drive as needed. Your Mac is new enough that it takes a SATA optical drive.
  • Correct height: Some optical drives are 9.5mm thick, and some are 12.7mm thick. This is important.
  • Slot-loading: Obviously.

There are also a few setup things you'll probably need to do:

  • Remove the bezel. It just won't fit with it on.
  • Unplug/desolder/snap off the pushbutton on the front, as it's unpopulated on the OEM drives Apple sources.

You'll probably also want to do some searching before buying, just to see if there are any odd-ball compatibility issues -- xlr8yourmac is a great source for info.

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I wouldn't be surprised if it has to be a very specific one. One you can probably find on ebay from some China-based seller.

I'd personally consider something like this, since I rarely use my own drive.

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Buy a USB external optical drive (with dual power/usb cable) and remove the internal optical drive. Replace optical drive with a SATA converter and as big as you can afford SSD/1TB + HDD. Use velcro to keep drive still.

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