How to run a SuperDrive on a USB Hub

Jeff Grundy has made an awesome suggestion on how to make an Apple SuperDrive work on a USB Hub. As a background, Apple supports running these drives only when connected directly to the computer. They also work when connected to a ThunderBolt display, but you’ll get a warning saying the device is underpowered if you put it on an alternative USB Hub. As Jeff writes, it is sufficient to modify one file:

and add mbasd=1 to the Kernel Flags:

Then save the file and reboot the machine.

With this change I am without issues able to run the SuperDrive, lying conveniently in my bookshelf, connected to a Belkin ThunderBolt Dock. It is a powered Hub, so YMMV if you try with an El Cheapo solution.

Author: mnott on 2014/01/06
Category: Computer
4 responses to “How to run a SuperDrive on a USB Hub”
  1. james says:

    Noob question… but how do you save the file after entering this?

    • mnott says:

      What specifically do you mean?

      • mnott says:

        Oh it just occurred to me, perhaps you were editing the file with something like El Capitan or more recent. Then you cannot save the file, unless you first disable rootless / System Integrity Protection (SIP). So here’s what you do: boot into your recovery screen, open terminal, type csrutil disable. If you don’t want to bother mounting the partition and changing the file from there, just reboot. Go and change your file. Reboot again, to recovery screen, open terminal, type csrutil enable. Reboot, and all is done. Just confirmed, it also works on Sierra.

  2. […] here, I described how to run a SuperDrive on a USB hub. The issue is that Apple normally disallows you […]

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