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Apple admits SuperDrive 8x media reliability glitch

Problem acknowledged, but where's the solution?

Apple has finally coughed to the existence of a glitch numerous PowerBook G4 owners have been pointing out for months.

Says a recently published Apple Knowledge Base entry: "Some earlier PowerBook G4 computers that have a SuperDrive with a 2x [sic] DVD-R write speed may not be able to burn 8x DVD-R media reliably. Because of this, you should only use 2x or 4x DVD-R media."

We believe Apple means "SuperDrive with a 8x DVD-R write speed". Certainly, that's the component that's been causing a number of PowerBook users grief. Despite the 8x claim, they have been able to write DVDs at, at best, 2x or 4x performance.

One '8x DVD-R' owner, Steve Haigh, went as far as petitioning Apple for a firmware fix. He's likely to remain disappointed - while acknowledging the problem, Apple's KB entry provides no solution.

Interestingly, the KB entry - read it here - points to problematic "Matshita [sic] DVD-R UJ-816" drives on a range of PowerBook G4s, and offers a quick way for notebook owners to check whether they are affected by the problem: assuming, of course, they don't already know because they've tried to burn 8x discs. Presumably Apple means "Matsushita" drives.

Interestingly, the drive that appears to have caused users the most trouble is the Matsushita UJ-835E, which isn't mentioned in the KB article. ®

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