The alternative to the Apple Superdrive: external USB DVD burner on the Mac

external Samsung SE-218CN DVD burner

After Apple banned the optical drive from all models, you now have to make do with an external solution if you want to burn DVDs or CDs. For many Apple users, the Apple SuperDrive was certainly the first choice, but after looking around for a USB hub for my MacBook Pro, I read that the SuperDrive has an integrated lock so that it only works if it is connected directly to the Mac. A connection via a hub means that the device is not recognized. On the corresponding Apple support page for the “SuperDrive” you can find this simple entry:

The SuperDrive is specifically designed for use with MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini that do not have an integrated optical drive. The SuperDrive must be connected directly to the computer's USB port. Use via a USB hub is not possible.

Cheap alternatives with faster technology

I will now sell my Apple SuperDrive used and buy another external DVD burner. Devices that have already passed a number of tests by Apple users and have been classified as 100% working are of course an alternative. Don't make the mistake of assuming that any cheap external USB DVD drive will work on your Mac. It doesn't work very well with some models.

Current recommendation DVD burner for the Mac

Since I keep updating this article because the range of DVD burners as a SuperDrive alternative changes very quickly, I will not go into detail about a specific device that would be outdated in a month anyway. Instead, here is my current recommendation for people who are looking for a reliable external DVD burner to connect to the Mac and do not want to spend the very high cost of an Apple SuperDrive:

4,00 EUR
Amicool USB 3.0 DVD / CD burner
The Amicool DVD burner has
at the same time some positive properties combined:

  • works with all MacBooks Pro / Air
  • USB-C adapter for current MacBook models is attached directly to the cable
  • only requires a USB port for power supply and no external power supply or a second USB port
  • robust housing
  • Of course, it also reads audio CDs and plays / burns DVDs

USB 2 or USB 3 burner - which device should I buy?

The external DVD drive mentioned above works with USB 3. On the other hand, Apple's SuperDrive only supports USB 2 - another catch that makes the drive uninteresting for newer Macs. However, when playing and burning films, the difference from USB 2 to 3 is not as noticeable as it is with hard drives - which is why USB 2 DVD burners such as the Apple SuperDrive are not really "bad".

However, it is much more interesting that the USB 3 port delivers significantly more current than the USB 2 port (USB2: 500 mA and USB3: 900 mA). This has the advantage that the burners work less "hard at the limit" and produce fewer dropouts because they consistently get enough power. For this reason I would strongly recommend a USB 3 burner. If you still have an older Mac with USB 2 outputs, it might help to get another one active USB 3.0 hub (for example this one from anchor) upstream. This then supplies enough electricity to operate the burner. And since USB is backwards compatible, it is technically no problem to plug a USB 3 hub into a USB 2 port on the Mac.

Apple SuperDrive external with USB plug
The Apple SuperDrive can be connected externally to Macs with the USB connector. If you still want to buy the original from Apple, you will find it here at Amazon.

In terms of speed, USB 3 is likely to have less of an impact when playing movies than when burning. I have this for it found on Wikipedia: “Drives for use in film players are operated at up to 1,6 times this speed, i.e. 54 Mbit/s”. This means that even with a 12x BD drive, the data rate is only 432 Mbit/s. With the maximum data rate of the USB 2 port of 480 Mbit/s, you can easily get by in practice. A USB 3 burner is only faster when writing data.

External Blu-Ray burners on the Mac

For those who want to burn DVDs and Blu-Ray discs with USB-3 quickly, I can recommend this external Blu-Ray burner, which has also been tested on the Mac and runs without any problems. Incidentally, the SuperDrive from Apple is not able to burn or play Blu-Ray discs:

techPulse120 USB 3.0 External Blu-Ray Burner Burner Superdrive portable Blueray Rom Drive BD DVD ...
  • Simply connect via the USB cable and get started. Compatible with any operating system from Windows, Linux and MacOS....
  • Compatible with every computer, notebook, PC and Apple in the world! Whether old or new. Whether new computer or old,...
  • Ultra-fast superspeed USB 3.0 connection, downward compatible with USB2.0 and USB1.0 / Burns and reads Blurays, DVDs ...

Warning: Problems caused by anti-virus software are possible

One reader had problems with the techPulse device because it refused to play DVDs and audio CDs. After various discussions with the manufacturer and support at Apple, it turns out that she uses the Kaspersky antivirus program that somehow managed to interfere here. After uninstalling Kaspersky, the techPulse burner ran without any problems.

Current BSI warning about Kaspersky (15.03.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX): Read all the background here

My tips & tricks about technology & Apple

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94 Responses to "The alternative to the Apple Superdrive: external USB DVD burner on the Mac"

  1. Pingback: USB 3 Hub for the Mac - a preselection »Sir Apfelot

    1. Hi

      I can't get the salcar usb3 dvd burner to work on the MacBook Pro,
      is deactivated because of too much power consumption.
      What should I do before I return the thing to Amazon?
      thanks for any reply


      1. Hello Tom! So if you get the message that it is using too much power, your MacBook Pro must probably be an older model, right? The new MacBook models have USB 3 support and deliver up to 900 mA. That can't really be too little. The only solution I could think of would be to switch an active USB 3 hub in between. Or if you have a passive hub in between, plug the Salcar drive directly into the port. Maybe you have a few more details for me? LG! Jens

  2. Pingback: MAC DVD Ripper from Leawo - my test »Sir Apfelot

  3. I have now bought the Samsung SE-218CN ... I have no idea how to get it to work on my MacBook Pro. No description and only an installation CD for Windows included. Certainly no problem for freaks ... so I'll just send the part back ...

    1. Hello Egon! Just a few days ago I helped another user on the phone who also thought the burner wasn't working. Do the following: Connect it to your MacBook Pro via USB, insert an audio CD and open iTunes. Then the audio CD should appear there. Drivers don't have to be installed, it's actually plug and play ... If that doesn't work for you, it might be interesting what kind of system you have on the MacBook Pro. I wish you success! Sir Apfelot

      1. Hello Sir Apfelot,
        your tip to Egon worked very well for me too. First I inserted an audio CD and played it on iTunes (after puzzling for days why no DVD could be played). I have an LG DVD burner on a MacBook. Thanks Jennifer

    1. Thanks for the feedback. Unfortunately, the LG burner has some bad reviews. I think it will be difficult at the USB 3 port, because according to a customer report it draws 1,5 A current, which is not supplied via USB 3. Here is the feedback from one customer:

      The burner draws 1,5A !!! Electricity. This is not possible with a USB port. In this way the burner is recognized and switches off immediately when you want to access a DVD. There is no connection for an external power supply unit.

      I think the device I recommend above is probably a better (and safer) choice.

      1. Hello Luparte! I'll answer quickly before Bergmann writes anything. I think your problem is that you don't see the burner on the Mac's desktop or as a drive. But that's completely normal. For example, if you put some files in a folder and then right click on the folder, a context menu should come up saying "Burn FOLDER NAME to CD/DVD". This menu item can ONLY be found if the Mac has also recognized a burner. So you can test it quickly.

    1. It's not a problem either. I think it helps when others know that it works for some people, too. I just wanted to note that there are also negative voices about it. In any case, thank you for your report!

  4. I connected the Samsung SE-218 via a hub with its own power supply. now he's getting going.
    Before, it was a gamble whether the Mac Book recognizes the burner or reads the CD.

    1. Hi Ede! Thank you for your reference with the active USB hub. This could certainly also help some other users to solve problems. In terms of the hub, I would always go back reach for the anchor hub (USB 3.0)which also has 3 fast charging ports for iPhone and iPad. And you can only give 5 stars to support Anker. They are really great and accommodating when there are problems with the devices.

  5. Hello, Jens! I bought an external Samsung burner SE-208GB/RSWDE on Friday. He reads DVDs but stubbornly refuses to read audio CDs. The error message is "The media you inserted could not be read by this computer". This comes with purchased audio CDs as well as with an audio CD you have burned yourself with this burner. :-((
    I am completely at a loss, do you have a tip for me?
    Mac Book Pro, Retina mid 2012
    OS X 10.9.5
    Burner with supplied USB cable to Lindy-HUB with its own power supply (I also tried both USB ports directly on the computer, without success)

    1. Hello Bettina! But that's a very strange mistake. If it only happened to CDs you burned yourself, one could still wonder whether it is due to the brand of the CD. But when he refuses to buy audio CDs, I'm really overwhelmed. In English forums I found the tip to try playing with different programs, but if it throws the error when inserting the CD, then it doesn't even seem to be able to read it. Do you know someone with a Mac that you could test to see if it works? If it doesn't work there, maybe the burner is down. LG!

  6. Hello Jens, thanks for your answer! Yes, I just connected the burner to an old MacBook Pro (OS X 10.6.8) - the audio CDs are recognized immediately! Oh no!! I will contact the support tomorrow.

    1. :-D Yes, kind of stupid when you know it's up to the computer. :( But maybe just the system is different? Or a driver is missing or something? I think it can't be anything great. Keep your fingers crossed that he'll do his audio service tomorrow!

  7. Hi Jens,
    About 6 months ago I bought the LG BE14NU40 Super Multi Blue external BluRay burner (14x speed, USB 3.0) to use on my iMac 27 inch (OS X El Capitan 10.11.3), which I also bought 7 months ago have to operate. Initially it worked without any problems, both under OS X and Parallels (WIN 7). No problems on the second partition with Windows 8 either. No matter which data carrier I inserted.
    Haven't used the burner for about two months now and suddenly it's not recognized anymore. I just booted up WIN 8 again and there are problems there too. First the DVD that I inserted appears, then again it doesn't. Nothing works at all on OS X and Parallels. The burner sounds like it's working at first, but then it goes "off". I'm pretty clueless. Maybe you have an idea what it could be.

    Kind regards


    1. Hi Michael! The description sounds strange. Normally, standing around for 2 months shouldn't change anything. But the fact that it just turns off sounds a bit like a lack of power at the USB port. I would try running the LG Blu-ray burner on an active USB hub or test it on another Mac. If it works there, the device isn't getting enough power from your iMac's USB port. If it doesn't work there either, I'd say it's a warranty case. I would be interested to see what comes out of it if you try it on an active hub or another computer. Could you give feedback here in the comments? LG! Jens

  8. Good evening Jens!
    Thank you for your prompt reply! It was actually due to the power supply. The burner is powered by an external power supply unit. The socket apparently wobbles;) New socket, new luck :) It works again.

    Have a nice evening and thank you!

    Kind regards


  9. Hi

    when i click on the last offer with the salcar blue ray burner i only get to the normal dvd burner. In any case, Amazon says "Size: DVD-RW".

    Best regards, Sonja

    1. Hi Sonja! Thanks for the hint. Amazon changed something ... I have now reinstalled the correct Blu-Ray burner. Hope it stays up to date for a while. :)

  10. Hi
    am looking for an external CD / DVD drive or burner for my MacBook Pro early 2009. The external Apple Superdrive should only work from Retina upwards, what about the drives presented here?
    Greetings, Patrice

    1. Hello Patrice! Where did you read that the SuperDrive only works with newer MacBooks? I don't think that's the case because the SuperDrive was around before the MacBook Pro Retina. The external DVD or CD drives presented here are also downwardly compatible with older USB standards. So you can choose a cheap alternative here and it should work. LG!

    1. You're right. A new device was installed by the dealer with the same URL, but it is no longer capable of Bluray. I have now installed a suitable Bluray burner! Thank you for your hint!

  11. Raphael Schmitz

    Hello Sir Apfelot,

    I bought the Samsung Bluray Burner SE-506 2 years ago. Back then, I could easily burn videos to Blurays. It sat in a drawer unused for 2 years. Today I wanted to burn a new one and now I always have the problem that it keeps ejecting the disc when I click on "Create Bluray".

    I always did the burning with Adobe Encore (video project from Premiere).

    A few more facts: use an iMac; the Bluray burner gets power and lights up and makes noises when you connect it, but I don't see an icon on my desktop. I haven't really changed anything about the procedure and the blank discs are still from the same packaging from 2 years ago.

    Any idea why he keeps ejecting the disc? Encore then always pops up a window saying “Please insert the Blu-ray media, close the tray and click OK”. But even after several attempts it didn't work...

    1. Hello Raphael! So an icon has not been on the desktop under macOS for a long time. It used to be like that, but has also confused me several times. :) The fact that the Bluray is ejected is probably due to the fact that it does not recognize the medium. How to localize the problem now is the next question: Perhaps the burner doesn't like the media of this brand or he doesn't burn anything anymore. If you have the time, you could burn an audio CD and see if that works. Or whether he can read existing CDs / DVDs would be another question. Remote diagnosis is always a bit difficult. ;)

      1. Raphael Schmitz

        Thank you for your prompt reply!
        So I was able to burn an audio CD, it worked! Hmm, what else could it be? Probably then only in the Adobe Encore program (do you know that?). I link the video sequence from Adobe Premiere with Encore and then you can actually burn it. It worked 2 years ago. The blanks are the same as last time ... If you are not familiar with Encore, what would you recommend me to try as an alternative? Possibly burn the exported file (mov) directly on it, but how exactly and with which program? Is the finder enough? I once bought the LEAWO Bluray Creator for 20.- but wasn't very satisfied with it ...

        1. Hello Raphael! Yes, that sounds like a problem with the software. I don't know Encore, but after a short research I couldn't find a recommendable alternative. LEAWO still seems to be the best.
          When looking for Encore problems, there were only the hints: Have you installed the latest firmware in the burner? Is there enough space on the Blu Ray Disc for the data? Unfortunately, I cannot contribute more. :(

  12. Raphael Schmitz

    I just tried it again with LEAWO. It doesn't work there either. But here comes the error message “No writable disc inserted”. So I'm 1000% sure that it's the same blanks as when it worked, because I still have the pack with the rest. Apparently he doesn't like the blanks NOW anymore. Then I'll buy another one and try again. Can you recommend any that I could try so I don't buy the wrong one? at the moment I have the “BD-R disc 25GB”. Possibly completely different? do you have a link to a related article? Thank you in advance for the replies!!

  13. Raphael Schmitz

    ...from the manufacturer "Freestyle" were mine. I need one that can also be printed on, i.e. with a white coating. THANK YOU!!

  14. Hello Sir :),
    the post is interesting. I've been looking for a solution to my drive problem for a long time.
    I have an iMac Bj in mid-2011 and I'm lucky enough to have an optical drive in my Mac. However, errors have recently occurred with it, it does not recognize film DVDs, finds some blanks obnoxious, etc. pp. Now I have considered whether it is possible to connect an external optical drive and thus circumvent the problem. Would that from you og drive to burn such a variant? I would also like to watch movies with it, because I don't have a separate DVD player, but I still have a lot of DVDs (dinosaurs, I know).
    do you have any ideas? Thank you and best regards from Anne

    1. Hello Dino-Anne! :)
      It could be that the internal drive is just dirty. You can try cleaning it with cleaning CDs, but the danger is that it won't help. In addition, its use with slot-in drives is critical. Not recommended by the manufacturer. And if it doesn't help, the external DVD drive would still be necessary. So maybe you better take that right away, then you are on the safe side. And yes, that Salcar DVD-RW (not the Blu-Ray model) is the right one for a use case. It will run fine on the iMac. I have already received positive feedback several times from other readers who have also got the drive. And greetings from the Stone Age: I still have my C64 in a well-protected box. ;-)

      1. Thank you for your quick reply, sir. that sounds really promising. I'll just put a question that also relates to this drive. I bought an iPad Pro for on the go. Can the drive also be used on it?
        Thank you very much and oh yes, the old C64 ... :)

        1. With pleasure! In that case, there is unfortunately no good news. There is currently no way to install any burner on the iPad or iPhone. A tiny glimmer of hope can be made with iOS 11, which Apple is introducing here for the first time something like a file system that allows the user to manage folders and files. But I think the only correct answer is currently: No, there is no burner for the iPad. Without going through the Mac / PC, you can't get anything from the iPad to a DVD.

      2. Hello Sir-Appleot,
        I also bought the Salcar DVD-RW you recommended. However, it does not play an audio CD on my new IMAC.
        Should it be given back or is there a trick? Which device is compatible with this Mac (so far only Sierra, but I will probably install High Sierra in a few months) for burning (also as high a performance as possible) and reading?
        Thanks in advance

        1. Hello Christiane! So actually that shouldn't be a problem. Did you plug the drive directly into the iMac or into a hub? If it is a hub, it would have to be an active one (with external power supply) so that the drive gets enough power. Then when the CD is inserted, you have to go to iTunes and it should actually be displayed there. Usually iTunes will ask you if you want to import or play the audio tracks. If that doesn't work out, I would send it back, but I suppose you can still get it working. :) LG!

  15. Angelica Burnham

    Hi! I ordered the new Imac yesterday. Since I still need an external DVD burner, I'm not so sure whether the Apple Superdrive is the right model. As I have already noticed, the model is already old. Can you still recommend this to me or should I get another one? If so, which model fits Imac best without any problems.

    1. Hello Angelika! Yes, the new iMac has USB 3.0. I would you for the reason the Salcar Brenner here recommend. The Apple Super Drive (here on amazon) would work too, of course, but it only supports USB 2.0, which is a bit slow. Otherwise there are no restrictions. Both work with the iMac without any problems. Have fun with the new device! :)

      1. Thanks for the tip. I have a question about this, do I have to use a certain Apple cable to connect the burner? I am in a new area at Apple.
        I also need a USB hub with a few USB ports. Which one can you recommend to me? From Apple?

        1. Hello Angelika! No, you do not need a special cable to connect the burners. Each burner comes with a USB cable that fits your iMac.
          Because of the hub: Apple itself does not offer any USB hubs. But that's not a problem, because there are other companies that have good equipment in their product range. :)
          I would currently recommend one of these two active USB 3 hubs, as they have enough power to charge your iPhone or iPad when it's connected:

          I've been using the Anker Hub for a long time. Works fine with Macs. But even the Aukey will certainly not cause any problems on the Mac. That would be my choice if you don't necessarily need the 3 charging ports.

          VG! Jens

  16. Hello Sir!
    I am completely at a loss and hope for your expertise.
    I have a Macbook 12″ (latest OS X Sierra) and connect an external BR burner “Archgon MD-8107S” (contains Panasonic UJ272 drive) via USB-C digital AV multiport adapter. But the Macbook doesn't recognize the drive at all. No matter what media I put in (and I've tried ALL), the LED will flash, the drive spins up very briefly and then falls silent, spins up briefly, then falls silent again,......
    It also shows the same stupid behavior on my iMac with OS X El Capitan. Only on a Windows laptop does it run flawlessly with all media and immediately!
    Do you have any idea what might be going on?

    1. Hello Geordi! I strongly suspect that you are trying to play Blurays on Mac. To my knowledge, you currently need a player like this one from Leawo (App store link). However, if it doesn't play normal CDs with data or audio, then I would say that's a case for Archgon Support. I hope, but the player will help you ...

      1. Wow. You're a turbo answerer. Top!
        Yes, it is also about BR (I bought the app especially for this), but as you write correctly, it accepts NOTHING. The drive doesn't even show up in the finder (although CD/DVD is selected in the settings). Well, I think support will say the drive is ok since it's running on the Windows PC. So I thought it was incompatibility, but this drive is explicitly marked as “compatible for OS X” :-(

        1. Well, not that turbo. Was gone a couple of hours. But I have one more tip: The drive CDs no longer appear on the desk of the Mac as they used to. Maybe that's the problem? You can see if it recognizes the drive when you open Disk Utility. At least the drive should be visible there.

          I've also looked for drivers on Archgon's homepage before, but once you click on a product, everything is only in Chinese or Japanese. And English is no longer offered as an alternative. That's a bit weak from the manufacturer. But maybe they at least offer mail support. Especially if it is explicitly marked as macOS compatible, they shouldn't just fobbe you off with "it works on Windows". You can also just play dumb and not mention Windows. If you only had a Mac, they should be able to help you too.

          1. Sir Apfelot, you are really very imaginative and committed - I raise my sword in your honor!
            Here it comes: I found out why it was, which is actually an important note for this forum: obviously this drive draws so much power that it 1. needs two connections on older iMac USB 2.0 ports (now I also know why they do that Y-cable ran along) and 2. on the Macbook (unfortunately because of the only USB-C connection) the USB-C digital AV multiport adapter I used does not transmit enough power. So I tried a cheap (not active!) USB hub, and lo and behold: the drive worked right away! That's what I call scrap for over 50 € (the Apple adapter!)!

          2. Hi Geordi (Laforge)! Don't you have to pull the phaser sooner? : D Well, I am pleased that we have now figured out the matter together! I wouldn't have thought of the USB-C adapter. But now we already know that this brief starting and pausing and starting again is a symptom of insufficient electricity. A helpful thing indeed! The Apple adapter is definitely stupid in this case, because it probably draws more power than the cheap adapter for the other built-in converters. With me he has been doing his job nicely for some time, so I wouldn't classify him as derogatory. ;-)
            MacBook users must therefore be careful that they buy a burner without a Y-cable. They all need less power than the MIT Y-cables. Would probably be the better choice when buying a new one.

  17. Hello Sir Apfelot,
    After reading this post, I bought an external DVD burner for my MacBook Pro for the second time. The salcar recommended above. Unfortunately, it does not work 2% - of all things, the drive cannot play DVDs (films).
    I tried the trick of playing music first. Strangely, I can burn data DVDs too.
    Since I first thought it was the playback program, i.e. Apple’s “DVD player”, I also installed VTV. No film can be played here either (that was the original intention when buying it...)

    About the computer: MacBook Pro (OSX Sierra) in which the defective DVD drive was removed and replaced with an SSD (Fusion Drive). The drive is connected directly to the computer (USB) (not via a hub).

    I've already done a lot of troubleshooting, searched various forums. Still, no solution has been found for my problem. What can that be because of?

    Greetings, Susanne

    1. Hello Susanne! I'm sorry that the Salcar mucks about with you with the DVDs. I believe this is a problem that is not necessarily related to the drive. I've had readers with problems on the phone who have explained to me what isn't working and we've usually been able to spot the "troublemaker" somewhere else: USB adapter, USB hub, not enough power at the USB port, etc. There are there many possibilities. I would test the drive on another Mac and see what happens. Are you using the DVD Player program to play the DVD? LG! Jens

  18. I have just connected the drive to my iMac, the drive with the DVD inserted is working fine. DVD-Palyer starts immediately. I would have expected it to be the same with the Mac Book.
    On the Mac Book I connected the drive to the 2 USB ports with 2 cables (according to the operating instructions: if 1 USB label is not enough to have enough power, connect the 2nd cable ...)

    Do you have any ideas what might be the cause? On the conversion of SSD / Fusion Drive?

    Greetings, Susanne

    1. Hello Susanne! Yes, I almost thought so. I think the two USB ports don't have enough power to power the external drive. One idea would be: You connect one of the Y-cables to the USB port of the MacBook and plug the other cable into a power bank. Then it might provide enough power to keep the burner running. If that works, you could also get a normal USB power adapter or take one from the iPhone or iPad and with that and one USB extension feed the burner. It's not elegant, but it should work. I would be happy if you could give me a little more information when you have tried it out. LG! Jens

      1. Hello Jens, here's an update: it's not the power supply. The drive works fine with the VLC media player, but not with the usual presets. You have to turn off the “DVD Menu” in the settings, so the movie will start automatically. (It still doesn't work with Apple's own DVD player.) Maybe the info will help someone again.
        Thanks for the help! Greetings, Susanne

        1. Hello Susanne! Thank you for your hint! VLC is a good tip for playing movies on a Mac anyway. The software somehow plays all formats that I've got my hands on so far. And with significantly less jerking than the DVD player. But your hint is also interesting for other people, for whom it does not work. I think many people first think that the DVD drive is failing. LG! Jens

  19. Hi Jens,
    I ordered the Salcar Super Slim Drive USB3.0 from Amazon based on your recommendation. After unpacking, I now read the “Product Details” for operating systems Mac OS 10.1 – 10.11. I'm currently the proud owner of a new iMac with OS 10.13.1 and would like to hear if you or anyone around here knows if this works.

    LG Claudia

    1. Hello Claudia! You don't have to worry about that. Not much has changed in terms of USB in recent years and the new macOS High Sierra also supports this Salcar drive. I assume the manufacturer hasn't updated the product info yet. In any case, nothing can break. You plug the drive into the iMac, insert a DVD or an audio CD and should then be able to access the media. You can download the VLC program for free to play DVDs. LG! Jens

  20. Thank you for your super quick reply! I also asked the manufacturer and got the answer in record time that no problems were known. That was a bit too vague for me, but according to your statement I dared;): everything works without any problems! thanks again
    + LG! Claudia

    1. Hello Claudia! Nice to know that not only is the drive fast, but also the support from Salcar. Then I can keep you on the recommendation list with a clear conscience. : D Have fun with the device! LG!

  21. Hi

    I also have a problem with my Samsung portable writer SE-208. It is older and worked flawlessly on my even older Macbookpro (playing music CDs and film DVDs).

    Now I have a new Imac with MACOS 10.13, connect the part and the computer only recognizes it as "removed CD/DVD" without displaying the content of the inserted DVDs (purchased music CD + self-burned music CD). iTunes doesn't show anything either.

    The burner / player was supplied with a simple USB cable (not Y) and it is plugged directly into the Imac, in a functional socket.

    The Samsung device also starts up when I insert a CD, also ejects it (when I press the button on the front). But after about a minute, the device is always silent and doesn't light up either (although I don't know whether it lights up at all in the "waiting state" or only when it reads data again).

    Can you help me?

    1. Hello Stephanie! Unfortunately, that sounds a lot like “insufficient power”. If you have a new iMac, these are already USB 3.0 outputs and deliver up to 900 mAh of power. If that's not enough, unfortunately, there's no detour via a hub or something like that. So if you don't have a Y-USB cable included, I'd get this from Amazon for just under five euros:
      It's designed specifically for "bundling" power from two USB outputs to power a power-hungry device. If you order a different Y-USB cable, you must make sure that the power is used from both ports. With some, the power is used with one USB line and the data channel with the other. Unfortunately, that wouldn't do you any good. If you have tried it with the cable, I would appreciate feedback. But I think that should be the problem in your case: The Samsung SE-208 tries its luck with little power for a minute and then gives up.

  22. Hello Sir,

    my new iMac will probably be delivered in the next few days and I need an external drive to read audio and data CDs and to occasionally burn both.
    Is your recommendation still up-to-date or has something changed in the fast-moving world of data?
    Please take a look at my maybe a bit silly question, I am a 'silverback' and happy when my switch from a Windows PC to Mac goes as smoothly as possible and I am a bit concerned with the technical subtleties that are being discussed here Overwhelmed.
    I just need a drive that I plug in and it works without any problems. Speed ​​plays a less important role, durability is more important.
    I would be happy to receive a short answer and a tip!
    Greetings from Hessen and best wishes for the year ahead

    1. Hello Willi! Congratulations on switching and a Happy New Year to you too! Your requirements are easy to meet. The Salcar DVD burner (in aluminum look) can read data CDs as well as burn and import audio CDs. Here is the link to the product:
      I wish you every success with your plans. If you have any questions after receiving the burner, feel free to write! LG! Jens

  23. Hello, I bought an external DVD player for MacBook Pro 2017. Model: Unfortunately, it just works unreliably. Sometimes the player is not recognized and sometimes communication seems to be lost. First I tried the AUKEY USB C Hub HDMI Port. The right USB-C ports don't seem to be working at all. The left are more likely, but not always. I also tried VLC as an alternative. There are now DVD players with USB-C. I would be very happy to receive a tip.

    1. Hello Stefan! Thank you for your feedback signal. I have to admit that I didn't have a burner or DVD player for USB-C on my screen - even though I have a 2017 MacBook Pro myself, which only has USB Type-C sockets. A quick research did that AUS ZenDrive U9M (model with Type-C USB cable) brought to light. This is a budget USB-C model that customers have reported will also work with the new USB-C MacBooks. If you can, I would send the Salcar drive back. An adapter should be able to supply enough power to the drive, but if it's unreliable, there's a good chance that "lack of power" is the problem. But there's not much you can do to change that. Except maybe an active USB-C hub (for example this one from anchor) to switch in between. It should then provide enough power for the DVD drive. But the more elegant solution is of course to use a DVD drive with a USB-C cable. Best wishes! Jens

  24. Hello Sir, I have ordered a Salcar Super Slim Drive USB3.0 burner from Amazon (25,00 euros), I only want to burn CD's and DVD's.
    I have an iMac (late 2015) and have just switched from Sierra to Mojave, version 10.14.3.
    If blanks are inserted, the message "The inserted medium could not be read by this computer" appears. Alternatively, 1. Initialize ... 2. Ignore 3. Eject (works)
    At 1. the disk utility is displayed, but that doesn't really help me.
    Under -System Report -Burning media it says: “No burner was found. If it's an external device, make sure it's plugged in and turned on."
    The device works as a playback device on the Mac. In Windows 10 -Parallels Desktop- both playing and burning work.
    Should it be due to a driver? And where do I get this from?
    I would be very happy to receive support for the solution.
    Greetings Ralf-Rainer

    1. Hello Ralf Rainer! Thank you for your report. Mac doesn't have drivers for it. You plug it in and it should work. Do you have a hub between Mac and burner? Most of the time, such problems are caused by the drive not getting enough power for some reason. What irritates me, however, is that it works on the same Mac under Parallels Desktop with Windows 10. But a question, what do you want to burn? For example, if you only want to burn data, you create a new folder and fill it with the appropriate data. Then right click on the folder and select “Burn Folder” (or something like that). Then you put the blank in first. If you put it in earlier, the Mac thinks this is a medium to read data from. And he can't do that because the blank disc is empty and without a file system. So presumably the behavior that you describe is not an error, but an attempt to read something from the blank disc. I hope this is of some help to you. LG! Jens

  25. Hello Jens, thank you very much for the quick response!
    The burner is directly on the Mac. I mainly want to burn my own videos.
    Create folder: yes; Right click: ok; Burn option: nothing
    In the Finder the Burn option is greyed out and the system report says that no burner is connected. Installing another burning software didn't help either (no burner found).

    LG! Ralf Rainer

    1. Ok, but since this is grayed out, it means that he has already recognized the burner. Otherwise the menu would not be there. I just tried it on my MacBook Pro with the Apple Superdrive. What could be: If you are already using the burner under Windows, then it may no longer be accessible for the Mac. Would you stop the Parallels Desktop virtual machine and then right-click to try again to burn the folder?

  26. I explicitly assigned the burner to Mac and shut down Parallels completely. Icon still removed, no "Burning offer" in the selection menu and previously installed burning program (LiquidCD): no burner found.

    1. Oh man! Stupid thing ... ;-) Maybe try turning the Mac off and on? Somehow you have to get this thing to work ... but I'm running out of ideas.
      I found another approach: With some Macs that have an internal drive installed, you have to “allow” it to also use an external one. To do this, enter this command in the terminal:

      sudo nvram boot-args=”mbasd=1″

      Then he asks for the admin password. Once this has been entered, restart the Mac and try again with the burner. I hope this might work for you too!

  27. Brilliant!!! The terminal didn't work, just a simple restart. I connected the burner before restarting. And can now lead him to his destination. Many Thanks. I'm sorry you had to wait a moment. Have a nice evening.
    Ralf Rainer

    1. Ralf-Rainer: High Five! : D Now I can go to sleep with peace of mind. ;-) I'm glad it worked out ... you have a nice evening too!

  28. Moin
    which part is recommended if you want to rip your CDs? Should of course be quick and error-free.
    Thank you!
    The thing

    1. Hello things! Today there is a drive on offer that can read Bluray as well as DVD and audio CDs: Link to Amazon. If you don't care about Blurays, so can you this device from Amicool to take. This has an integrated adapter to USB-C on the cable and also does its job reliably - for less than 30 EUR.

      1. Hi
        the Amicool also works on a 3.0 hub. According to the description on Amazon, it should be connected directly to the MBP. Are there any empirical values?
        Thank you for your answers in advance ...
        Greetings from Rodgau, Tom

        1. Hello Tom! I'm fairly certain that the Amicool will work on the hub if it's an active hub. Otherwise there is always the problem with the power supply and for this reason the manufacturers like to write “directly on the MacBook Pro”. If you use it a lot on the go, maybe the Nolyth Brenner a good choice because he has a transport case with him.

          1. Thank you for the prompt answer and your recommendation. I'll take a closer look at both devices.

            And sorry about the double post. I had not waited for the activation ... Will not happen again ...

            VG Tom

    1. Hello Birgit! What exactly do you want to play? Audio CDs, DVDs, Blurays? And do you want to burn this media too? Or just be able to read?

  29. Hello Sir Apfelot. I've been using a Super Drive on my iMac for about 7 years. The drive always ran very reliably, both with original CDs and with burned CDs from different manufacturers. Now after a long time (approx. 1 year) I found some 10 year old burned CDs and wanted to transfer some of the songs to a media library. The first CD was recognized, I was able to play and save it, but it is no longer possible to eject it. It doesn't quite make it out and seems to get stuck somewhere or to be blocked just before the exit. I've tried it umpteen times - I'm gradually losing patience and wondering whether I should help with the ejection slot with a knife. Then I found your site here and hope you have some advice for me. Thanks in advance!

    1. Hello Otmar! Normally you can eject the CD by restarting the Mac and then holding down the mouse button. In your case it sounds like the mechanics of the SuperDrive are no longer strong enough to eject the CD. In this case you can try a trick that I read in the iFixit forum and which, judging by the answers, seems to work very reliably: You hold the SuperDrive upside down with the opening facing down. Then you start the ejection again and gravity should help the SuperDrive to eject the CD.

  30. Hi Jens,
    Thank you for the tip to carry out the ejection upright, but unfortunately it did not work despite many attempts, not even when I knocked on the device from above. After I even tried the (well-meaning) tip from a colleague - he said that at the moment of ejection, which you can recognize from the background noise, I should help with the ejection slot with an old credit card - the whole drive may be wrecked because it has been very loud during the reading process since then.
    I found tutorials on YouTube on how to get the whole thing open, but unfortunately I don't have the right tools and a good set of precision screwdrivers is certainly not cheap either. In addition, I don't even know whether I will ever be able to use my Superdrive normally again even after removing the stuck CD. The problem could reappear when you insert the next CD. I probably have no choice but to get a new drive. I trust your expertise and will probably access the Amicool. Can you assure me that it is also suitable for MAC OS 10.14 and higher, otherwise it would unfortunately not be usable for me? Thanks again for your help!

    1. Hello Otmar! Oh shit. :( I'm sorry about the SuperDrive. That's annoying ... The Amicool should work. You don't need a driver for it and so it should work with every macOS. Especially with the newer ones, there shouldn't be a problem, otherwise you would have it in the Amazon -Reviews read. Unfortunately I can't guarantee it ... ;-)

  31. Hello Sir Apfelot,
    does the Amicool also work on a USB 3.0 hub? The description on Amazon says: "direct connection" to the MBP (not wanted at home). Are there any empirical values?
    Or a recommendation for another LW that works on a hub and also has a USB-C connector (for travel)?
    Thank you in advance and best regards from Rodgau, Tom

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