Solved: SuperDrive Stopped Working After Installing Mac OS X Lion

by Michael on June 17, 2012 · 0 comments

Awhile back, I reported problems with the SuperDrive on my MacBook Pro. Ever since I upgraded from Snow Leopard to Lion I’ve been unable to burn a DVD without getting errors. Needless to say, this has been very frustrating.

When burning from various apps, including DVD2OneX, Disk Utility, or Burn, I’ve been getting the following error:

This disc can’t be burned; it might be incompatible with this disc drive. Please try a different brand of disc, or try burning at a slower speed.

And when burning from the Finder, I’ve been getting:

The disc can’t be burned, because the device failed to calibrate the laser power level for this media.

I eventually grew frustrated and gave up. But today, I decided to try again. And guess what? I finally hit on a solution.

Actually, I hit on a combination of things that seems to have solved the problem.

For starters, I deleted the following two files:

After a good bit of searching, I found a discussion thread where deleting these files had solved the problem for numerous people, so I figured it was worth a shot.

These files can be found by going navigating to your “~/Library/Preferences” folder. You can use the terminal to get there, use the “Go to Folder…” (cmd-shift-g or pull down the “Go” menu) command in the Finder, or unhide the library folder and point-and-click your way in.

After deleting the files and re-booting, I tried burning a disc. Drat! I once again got an incompatibility error.

So then I dug around in the closet and found yet another brand of DVD media — Ritek Ridata DVD-R discs that I bought a few years back. After having tried TDK, Memorex, and Sony… This actually worked — I just burned a disc from the Finder with no problems.

Back when I had more time and obsessed over such things, I ordered a bunch of these discs because Ridata was supposed to be some of the best media available — or at least that’s what people were saying at the time. While I always had great success with them, I eventually drifted back to whatever I could buy at Walmart or Target.

To be honest, I’m not sure if deleting the two preference files had any effect whatsoever, or if it was just due to the media change alone. Unfortunately, I can’t easily roll back the changes, so I’ll just be thankful for the breakthrough and move on.

As an aside, I’m still convinced that something changed for the worse when I upgraded to Lion. After all, the DVD burner was never this choosy in the past. Given the number of people reporting similar problems. I wish that Apple would at least acknowledge the problem.

Anyway, if you’re looking for Ritek Ridata DVD-R discs, you can get them at Amazon (click here) among other places. No guarantees, but they’re working for me.

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