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Notebook OEM Combo DVD/CDRW DrivesReturn to News Page

Build Guide for Matsushita UJDA 710 OEM Combo DVD/CDRW Drive:
(Ebay Low-Cost Combo Drive in PB G3 Firewire)
By iCruise.
Published: 8/23/2001

Note: This article is a followup to the original reader's reports/photos, etc. on the OEM Matshita UJDA 710 combo DVD-CDRW drive sold at auction. The previous article includes a download link of a modified iTunes/Disc Burner support file for the drive. Note I have removed the company contact info since they only sell by bids apparently now (they had sold drives direct in the past as readers noted previously and was quoted to me - but today (8/30/2001) they even refused to sell me a drive via phone based on a previous email offer. So rather than get more mail from readers upset over the pricing others got via phone/direct sales vs bids, etc. I removed the company contact info. (They no longer wanted their phone number listed apparently due to calls wanting to buy the drive direct for prices that other readers had gotten previously. The auctions are bringing much higher prices, so I guess they only want to sell that way. (Please - no more mails on this, there is nothing I can do.)

Problem Reports from Owners of This Drive: Although the report below is postive as at least one other report in the drive database, there have been several owners of this combo drive reporting problems with DVD playback, setting region codes, wake from sleep, etc. - see this problem reports page for detailed comments.


Note on Different Brands of Original PB DVD ROM Drives: Apple uses several manufacturers for components like hard drives and CD/DVD drives typically and there are at least two models (brands) of DVD ROM drives used in the expansion bay. The reader's guide below may not apply to your PB G3's DVD ROM drive. I hear the LG model does not have the screw-on side cover for instance, which the reader shows below (removing it for use with the combo drive). His drive was a Matsushita model however. A reader with the LG made drive noted he did not have a removable sideplate.


What follows is a reader's email and attached photos of the drive's install-Mike


" Hi, I visit your site every day and I was very interested to see the piece you had about using the ebay OEM combo drive in the Pismo. I wonder if you would mind publishing this piece about my experience installing the drive. I think that some might benefit from a bit more detail about the installation process. I have some tips that haven't been covered before, and I also came upon a couple of problems that your readers might be interested in. I've included some pictures that I will make reference to throughout the piece.

I bought one of the drives on ebay. I paid about $200 for it, and it seems that a few days after that the drive were going for $250 and $300 -- apparently there is a lot of interest in this. The drive arrived today, and I got to work installing it in my pismo.

I had taken apart my pismo's drive according to the instructions on your site before placing my bid, since I wanted to make sure that I was capable of the modification. It was actually pretty easy. The pismo drive just sits in a kind of caddy that allows it to interface with the computer. The drive itself is almost identical in construction to the combo drive. My drive is a Matsushita model, although some people have LG drives. I would think the process should be the same for either.
[Note: A reader with the LG DVD ROM drive noted he did not have a removable sideplate.-Mike]

There are six screws you need to remove in order to take the drive out of the caddy.

stock pismo drive

There are two on the top of the drive (screws are circled in red).

right screws

Two on the right-hand side of the drive.

left screws

And two on the left.

pismo dvd slide out

dvd drive and caddy

Once these are removed, the pismo's dvd drive should slide out of the caddy without too much trouble.

ujda710 slide in

Then all you need to do is to slide the UJDA710 combo drive into the caddy and replace the screws. You'll need to remember which screws go where, since they are different sizes. When I was testing if I could open the DVD drive before, I put the "left" screws on the right and the drive wouldn't close properly.

ujda710 in caddy

Here is the combo drive in the pismo's caddy. It looks just like the pismo drive, with the exception of the face plate.

The face plate was sort of a sticking-point with me. I've spent a fair amount of time customizing my computer (painting it, changing the apple logo and keyboard, etc -- see http://www.applefritter.com/hacks/sapphire/index.html for more info on this). So, I wasn't sure that I would want to have a face plate that was a different color or that didn't fit perfectly. I thought of possible spray-painting it, so that at least color might match. However, in the end the solution was much simpler.

face plate screws

It turns out that the faceplate from the original pismo dvd drive will fit on the combo drive with very little trouble. You remove the faceplates by taking out three screws -- two on top and one on the right side. Let me just say here that I had a devil of a time removing these screws -- in particular the left one on the original DVD drive just wouldn't turn. After struggling for 45 minutes or so, I went out to the local hardware store and found a set of small screwdrivers with bigger handles. With these, I was finally able to get the screw out.

Only two of the three screws on the old faceplate will match up with the combo drive -- the far left one is the problem. There is a little nub there that you will have to remove so that the tab sits flush with the drive. I then superglued the tab to the drive. If you don't do this, the left half will stick up a tiny bit and make the faceplate catch on something as you close it. You could also drill another hole for the screw, but that was beyond me. Otherwise it fits perfectly. This is a much better solution to my mind than altering the combo drives face plate to fit. The only problem I have noticed is that you have to push the eject button pretty hard to get it to eject. It still works, but maybe using the CD player control panel for ejecting when there is no disc in the drive would be a good idea.

drive installed

As you can see, the drive looks identical to the old DVD drive when installed.

Before I completed the entire installation I detail above, I tried installing the drive in my Pismo. However, I found that the drive door wouldn't stay shut. A few seconds after I shut it, it would open again as if I had pressed the eject button. I tried the drive with both face plates and with non at all, but the results were the same. I began to worry that I had a bum drive or that I had broken something.

Luckily, I discovered that the problem didn't occur when booting from a different install of OS 9.1 I had on a firewire drive -- it was a software problem. I eventually narrowed it down to my copy of the Apple CD/DVD Driver extension. I had an older copy on the firewire drive, and for some reason that worked. I replaced the newer copy I had on my pismo with that extension and it works fine now.

Anyway, I am quite happy with my new combo drive, and I have succesfully burned several CDs at 8X and have also watched parts of a couple of DVDs with no problems. It seems like a complete success to me. Thanks a lot for the information, and I hope my experience can help others who may be trying the same thing.
-iCruise

Remember to check the Original Article on these drives for more info and where to buy, as well as a modified iTunes/Discburner support file. ** That article was also updated to show mods required to make the drive a "Master" vs. Slave. (Master is the usual setting for expansion bay PB drives.)


Other PowerBook Drive Related Articles:

 
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