A 8x Superdrive +/-R slot-in in a Pismo
(webmaster's note: As usual, I cannot be responsible
for any damage to your machines when you will experiment the
Very easy mod this time.
No welding, no machining...
Almost not a mod, finally, rather a feedback of the
Target: to install a 4x DVD+/-R burner (and RW, of
course!!) internally in a Pismo, replacing a standard DVD
Why: not for iDVD, neither for tuning, but for the fun...
and for my best client, Alain B.!!
Which burner: Alain chooses a Panasonic 4x DVD+/-R (it is
a Matshita, both makers joined) UJ-825 slot-in. Burns CD-R
at 24x, and CD-RW at 10x speed. It is the (almost) identical
model in the PowerBook G4 Alu. Almost because the firmware
is different, and this OEM burner is made to go in a Windoze
A 8x or a 4x?
After 2 weeks delay, the burner arrived at the shop, and
once at the desk, I realized it was an UJ-835 (easy, it's
written on it!!!). 8x burner instead of 4x, same CD-R/RW
burning speed, and... same price as the UJ-825!!! Great
Very easy when we have the right tools (= quality
screwdrivers, I personally use Facom AEFP.00 and AEP.000).
The 4 side screws position is standard. Be careful, the 2
screws on the plastic side are a little longer than the 2
screws on the metal side. 000 screwdriver for these 4 ones,
but a good 00 should work. Please don't tight as a fool, M2
screw torque is 2 Nm.
I personally prefer to remove the 2 screws on the top
cover, to remove the printed board, and mainly to ensure
that this board is correctly connected at re-installation.
And, of course, put back the bay in the Pismo.
Black original flat cover, not the same beautiful black
as original Apple, sh
. And as it is a slot-in, the
original curved cover can't be adapted.
System Profiler and Boot
Once started, System Profiler shows the burner as a
Matshita DVD-RAM UJ-835S, not supported by Apple for burning
G100 firmware (UJ-825 OEM firmware is D100, different
from UJ-825 of PowerBook G4 Alu DAM5 firmware, and from the
iMacs G5 DBN7 firmware).
Master (0) as the original DVD reader, it will boot
without firmware hack and without printed board
Toast 6 immediately recognizes it.
To directly burn from within the iApps (Finder, iTunes,
Disk Utility), just use the fabulous PatchBurn 3 ("http://www.patchburn.de"),
freeware generating the right "profile" at the right place.
System Profiler now recognizes (after reboot) the UJ-835
as "vendor supported".
iTunes does it as well, and I can burn a big disk image
directly from within Disk Utility.
I don't have a 8x-certified DVD (and I don't want to buy
expensive Apple ones). I successfully try a 4x-certified
On the other hand, a "low-price" 4x-certified DVD+R
failed and was allowed at 2x speed. Quality has a price.
I insert a OS9.1 CD, shut down and restart with C key.
Bingo, it boots on CD, no problem.
DVD Region free
I "push" the Gladiator DVD, and the movie starts.
At the time I write this, there is no region free
firmware flash directly from the Mac. Neither in PC
As this one has a PC firmware, it should not last too long,
but you'll have to use a PC... Qu'en conclure?
The Pismo is a wonderful machine, and easy to upgrade
(you already understood it, I love my Pismo G3 900 Mhz
The UJ-835 is fully working in the Pismo, and would be
welcome as well:
In a PowerBook G4 without Superdrive, if the faceplate
In an iBook slot-in except master/slave configuration
problem (hard disk is master and combo is slave, we will
have to set this) and faceplate fitting
Ther are also 8x Superdrives tray-loading (Toshiba,
Pioneer, TEAC, LG) and also double-layer DVD Superdrives
(NEC). For now, double layers are uneasy to find and also
very expensive, so such a burner capabilities are not fully
Original curved faceplate adaptation is still THE
challenge. With a slot-in, no way at all. I did adapt the
original LG faceplate to a Toshiba SD-R2312 combodrive and,
a little more tricky, on a SD-R2412. I quit trying with the
TEAC DW-224E-A combo and even with a LG combo (stupidly,
fixing points differs even with the same maker). God, if the
manufacturers could ALSO standardize the faceplate fixing
points (outside rectangular dimensions are!!!), what a
I really would buy a SD-R6472 Toshiba, tray-loading, to
try the faceplate mod.
Finally, a 8x or 4x Superdrive in a Pismo is only
interesting if you burn data DVDs, or movies, as direct burn
from latest Apple apps will fail (when these apps even fail
to install on a G3). Maybe the first versions will do...
Upgrade your Pismo with a Daystar G4/500 or 550 might lead
in a too-low processor speed range for the apps. Even if
hacking the installation could succeed, the needed power
would not make it useable.