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Question: Can I take apart a CD drive from an old MacBook Pro and connect it to a newer MacBook Pro that does not have a CD drive?

Background: The old MacBook Pro is broken, but the CD drive still works. I do not need to be particularly careful to the old Mac when taking out the CD drive. However, I want to know whether there is any way to connect the isolated CD drive to a newer Mac. The reason is simple: I have a bunch of DVDs but no optical drive other than the one inside the broken Mac.

If so, what kind of hardware (e.g. cable) and software (e.g. any special program or setup?) would I need?

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The MacBook Pro internal SuperDrive uses a standard SATA connector. You should be able to use any SATA > USB cable to mount the SuperDrive externally.

It was a common modification to replace a MacBook's SuperDrive with a second Hard Drive. Those people then had the option to use the SuperDrive externally, as in the video below:

Connect your Macbook superdrive / optical externally via USB

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UEcpomwJbHc

  • thanks, this looks promising. Do you know whether any software is required for the receiving device? Or does the optical drive just pop up like any other external drive? – dopexxx Oct 5 '19 at 21:48
  • @dopexxx it should just work as a plug-and-play device via macOS. – pkamb Oct 5 '19 at 21:49
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Why not just get a carrier for the SuperDrive?

Saves you from opening or worrying about the mounting and internal cables on the second Mac.

There are less expensive cable options to get SATA to USB as well:

  • thanks, I know this option but would prefer a cheaper option. And actually, I enjoy the mounting part :) – dopexxx Oct 5 '19 at 21:25
  • Sounds great @dopexxx There will surely be other answers to this as your question will be on other people’s minds and experience – bmike Oct 5 '19 at 21:38

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