Using a Lite-On eTDU-108 DVD drive with a Mac

I bought a Lite-On eTDU-108 DVD writer, as a companion for my MacBook Air which lacks a built-in optical drive.

Using this drive with a Mac is strange because it has a lid, so the Mac cannot physically eject the media. This leads to odd circumstances such as when you tell the Finder (or iTunes) to eject the disc, and it makes the icon disappear and suddenly it’s back, as if you had inserted it into the drive again at superhuman speed.

Most of the sequences of ejecting discs that I came up with resulted in error messages, failure to eject the disc, spinning beachballs, or unplugging the USB cable from the drive in frustration. I finally figured out the right sequence to eject a disc from this drive when it’s connected to a Mac.

  1. If the disc hasn’t stopped spinning (if the green LED in the STOP button is lit) then press the STOP button.
  2. When the disc stops spinning, open the lid.
  3. Remove the disc.
  4. Close the lid.
  5. Tell the Mac to eject the disc.

So you pull the disc out and then tell the Mac about it. That works most of the time. Sometimes iTunes will hang, in which case you must force-quit it, then unplug the drive and plug it back in. :(

(I eventually bought an Apple USB Superdrive for regular use because this flaky eject process annoyed me.)

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