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How to disable an optical drive System
The SuperDrive in my PowerBook failed recently. Attempts to query the drive from System Profiler (disc burning), mount disks, or interact with the drive in any way cause the calling application to just hang in an unkillable (E/zombie) process state.

I'm planning on buying a new drive, but in the meantime, I figured there must be some way to disable the drive from software. I didn't want to screw up my machine just by accidentally opening up the System Profiler, and I didn't want to take apart the laptop and disconnect it. I couldn't find any documentation on how to disable the inernal drive via Open Firmware's nvram settings, but I did find one approach that actually worked: removing the IODVDStorageFamily extension (IODVDStorageFamily.kext bundle) from /System -> Library -> Extensions.

I simply created a new folder called DisabledExtensions and dropped it there. There's also an IOCDStorageFamily extension, presumably if you're using a plain-old CD-ROM drive, you'd want to nuke that one.

After moving the extension, I rebooted and confirmed that the drive no longer showed up (nor did it cause hangs) when opening System Profiler or other applications that want to interact with the optical drive.
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How to disable an optical drive
Authored by: digitol on Dec 09, '05 11:22:59AM

I wonder if just using the kext unload command in the terminal would do it. ?? Hmm. interesting hint, thanks, this could also be good to secure your computer in lab setups.



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How to disable an optical drive
Authored by: spodie on Dec 09, '05 11:08:44PM

Maybe I'm just being Mr. Obvious here, but wouldn't it be a heck of a lot easier to shut the machine down, open it up, and disconnect the ATA cable from the drive? Beats messing around with the OS.



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How to disable an optical drive
Authored by: vonleigh on Dec 10, '05 02:27:47AM

How obvious, how could he have missed that taking apart an iBook or PowerBook is so much simpler than dragging and dropping a file into a folder.

Oh wait... "and I didn't want to take apart the laptop and disconnect it". Thank you Captain Obvious.

v

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How to disable an optical drive
Authored by: entapple on Dec 11, '05 05:28:40PM

That's a powerbook,that's not use to disconnect the CABLE
thx for the author's tips
similar problem ever come to me,
but i didn't solve it,
now 3q for your guide



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How to disable an optical drive
Authored by: IamACIMcom on Jun 28, '08 12:20:07PM

It Did not work for my MacBook Pro, any more Ideas?



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How to disable an optical drive
Authored by: spookybathtub on Jan 27, '09 10:37:54AM
Great hint. I tried it just to save battery on my Macbook since I never use the optical drive. But of course, now I need to use the optical drive and I'm having a heck of a time enabling it again. I moved the IODVDStorageFamily.kext back into the proper Extensions folder. Then I did:
sudo chown -R root:wheel IODVDStorageFamily.kext
sudo chmod -R 755 root:wheel IODVDStorageFamily.kext
sudo kextload IODVDStorageFamily.kext

Then I rebooted, and my system still can't see the optical drive. I think I need to somehow load the kext before login every time?

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How to disable an optical drive
Authored by: spookybathtub on Jan 27, '09 11:43:45PM

Nevermind, I found the solution. I simply had to plug a flash drive in and the optical drive was immediately recognized.



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How to disable an optical drive
Authored by: WaterCooled on Mar 02, '09 03:16:51PM
Just found out how to do this tweak by a more "cleaner" manner : you just need to unload all the kext dependencies of IOCDStorageFamily, then unload IODVDStorageFamily itself :
sudo kextunload IOSCSIArchitectureModelFamily.kext/Contents/PlugIns/IOSCSIMultimediaCommandsDevice.kext
sudo kextunload IOBDStorageFamily.kext
sudo kextunload IODVDStorageFamily.kext
sudo kextunload IOCDStorageFamily.kext
You can actually see all the dependancies by just looking at the command "kextstat".

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How to disable an optical drive
Authored by: apophasis on Nov 07, '09 07:14:16PM

G4 Titanium PB 1Ghz DVI Superdrive. Superdrive failed, eating my hardware test disk. I opened it up and took the disk out. Upon boot, the newly-empty Superdrive started cycling endlessly, annoyingly. Looked online, saw this post. Tried deleting IODVDStorageFamily.kext to no avail; upon restart, drive kept up the annoying cycling. Dragged and dropped IODVDStorageFamily.kext back into System > Library> Extensions. Upon restart, my external Firewire DVD drive is no longer recognized; upon opening DVD Player, I get an error message that IODVDStorageFamily.kext was installed improperly, and I should contact the vendor. Also, no DVD drive recognized.
Oh, boy. So, my Superdrive is cycling endlessly, and I'd like to stop that. I'm fine with opening the PB up and pulling a plug. Which one? Can I remove the Superdrive entirely? I'm assuming not, as the modem and inverter mount on it, but how can I disable it or stop it from spazzing out?
Worse, I cannot now play a DVD from my (recently) working FW DVD drive.
A little help, please! And thanks in advance...



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How to disable an optical drive
Authored by: apophasis on Nov 07, '09 07:49:01PM

Okay, I went back in and unplugged the Superdrive, so that's that. And now when I insert a DVD in the FW drive, it shows up in System Profiler, DVD appears on the desktop with the right name... But when I try to play it with DVD player, I get "There was an initialization error. A valid DVD drive could not be found. [-70012]. Help!
Ironically enough, I appear to have disabled my optical drive, all right...



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How to disable an optical drive
Authored by: apophasis on Nov 07, '09 09:50:02PM

So DVD Player will not run if the Superdrive is unplugged, despite the fact that you can read the DVD from a Firewire external and open it. So it's a DVD Player problem, at this point. My "Super" drive is physically broken and cycling really annoyingly, so I'd like to unplug it, but can't watch DVD's in DVD Player like that. Maybe another player? Otherwise, issues are solved, sort of.



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How to disable an optical drive
Authored by: Submerged06 on May 28, '10 02:13:13PM

I tried this, but when I wanted to un-do it I just moved the files back (I did the CD and the DVD one). But now it just comes up with an error:

System extension cannot be used
The system extension "/System/Library/Extensions/IOCDStorageFamily.kext" was installed improperly and cannot be used. Please try reinstalling it, or contact the product's vendor for an update.

Is there something I can do?



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How to disable an optical drive
Authored by: Submerged06 on May 28, '10 02:31:23PM

In reply to my previous comment, I got my cd drive working again by loading Disk Utility, choosing my hard drive and selecting "Repair permissions." It popped up one more time saying it was still not working, but then I restarted and it is all working great ;).

P.S. In the original disabling, you do have to restart before anything really notices that the drive is gone.



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