Introduction: Apple MacBook Superdrive Repair Not Replacement

About: Professional work in various electrical and mechanical fields, obscure sense of humour and typically willing to help... Currently under contract designing environmental monitoring equipment.
This is the first in a series of repairs aimed at making this Macbook fully operational again. There are also power issues with the battery and main connector.

This MacBook had a Superdrive problem where the drive lock was up preventing disk insertion, also the drive would frequently go through eject cycle even though there was no disk in the drive.

I was hoping to avoid having to purchase a new drive. This is NOT REPLACEMENT BUT REPAIR!!! Yes it worked and was 100% effective and brought it back from the dead... Zombie MAC...

I will not cover part of the dis-assembly here as that has been done to death on the internet. You will need to remove the hard drive so follow that procedure.

This model is the Mid 2007 13 inch MacBook.

You will need a number 0 and a number 00 Phillips screwdrivers along with an X-Acto type knife.

Step 1: Remove the Drive

There are 2 hidden screws that will need to be removed in order to take the drive out of the chassis.

The first is in the hard drive bay and the second is along the upper edge of the drive hidden by some wires.

The drive also has a hidden locking mechanism that will need to be disengaged in order to lift it out.

All of these screws are a number 0 Phillips but the lengths are different, be sure to note which screw came from which location.

Once all of the screws are removed, you will need to disconnect the sensors and wires, Use extreme care since the wires are tiny and limited in length.

Step 2: Open the Drive

The problem seemed to be mechanical...

The drive is held together by 4 screws, 3 are visible and 1 will void the warranty of the drive.

You will also need to remove the wire clip metal strip which is glued on and the drive ribbon cable which is also glued on.

Once all of the screws are removed the top cover of the drive will slide backwards away from the disk slot approximately 4mm and the cover will lift off without any force at all.

Step 3: Repair the Problem

Once the drive is open inspect the mechanical parts. This cam be a little trick as you may have never seen the inside of a drive like this before. Specifically look for any broken bits or alignment problems indicated by scrapes on plastic or metal.

This drive had a misaligned pivot point on the gray metal arm near the back of the drive.

Re-seating the arm is just a matter of gently pushing it with your finger until it clicks back into place. Do not force or pry on it since that will damage the drive beyond repair. It wants to be on the pivot and gently moving it slightly will cause to to click into place.

NOTE DO NOT touch the optics...

Step 4: Reassemble the Drive and Computer

Repeat all of the steps in reverse order to reassemble the drive and the computer.

NOTE when first powering up the computer you may hear some unusual sounds including several cycles of the Superdrive eject mechanism. This is the hardware realigning itself.

All should be back to normal within a couple of minutes of power up. The drive lock should reposition itself out of the way making disk insertion possible and the constant eject cycling will cease. Test the drive with your favorite disk!

Dead Computer Contest

Participated in the
Dead Computer Contest