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Friday, September 04, 2009, 09:55 am PT (12:55 pm ET)

Apple users report SuperDrive failures; more iPod camera cases

Reports of dead SuperDrives on Apple's Macs have been cropping up; and once again, third-party iPod cases show camera holes, like they have numerous times in recent months.

Complaints of SuperDrive failures grow

A developer Friday told AppleInsider the drive on his Mac mini was only used a handful of times before the attempted install of Snow Leopard. After he inserted the installation disc for Mac OS X 10.6, the drive would not mount any other optical discs. Now, he said, the drive will not read or write any CD or DVD.

"Unfortunately, I have not been able to get Apple’s cooperation on resolving this," the developer said. "For now, I am advising all my Mac clients not to upgrade and I am not guaranteeing that any solution I build will run on Snow Leopard."

He also cited a colleague who had a similar problem on a two-year-old MacBook Pro. After the user attempted to install Snow Leopard, an error code was displayed. The drive would read CDs, but stopped mounting DVDs. When Apple replaced the SuperDrive in the MacBook Pro, the problem was not resolved.

However, the problem seems to go well beyond Snow Leopard. While a handful of users attempting to install the operating system have posted in recent days on the Apple Support discussion boards, user reports of failing Mac SuperDrives go back months, well before last week's release of Snow Leopard.

Numerous users have claimed problems with the drive models "MATSHITA DVD-R UJ-857E" and "HL-DT-ST DVDRW GSA-S10N," though other models appear to be affected as well. Given numerous claims that the drives were rarely used, it's possible that the SuperDrives had problems all along, but were not accessed often enough for the issue to surface.

The developer said he spoke with AppleCare support, and was told that when a drive ejects more than one disc without playing it, the hardware is replaced, as there are no tools for troubleshooting software errors with optical drives.

"Of course, if replacing the hardware doesn't solve the problem (as appears to be the issue for some people who have tried) they're going to have to come up with a better strategy," he said.

New iPod cases again suggest inclusion of camera

Once again, third-party iPod case manufacturers appear to confirm that Apple will announce new iPod touch and iPod nano models with cameras at next week's press event. In new photos from Engadget, cases once again show holes for camera lenses on the presumed new hardware.

Rumors of the new hardware developed earlier this year and were later given more concrete support when a plethora of cases showed camera holes.

While a recent report suggested the iPod classic could also receive a camera upgrade, no third-party cases so far have suggested such a device is forthcoming.

Engadget iPod camera 1


Engadget iPod camera 2