Combo Drive Upgrades Announced For Rev. B TiBooks

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Date: Wednesday, December 19th, 2001, 02:21
Category: Archive

Apple will be offering a PowerBook G4 Combo Upgrade Program for Rev. B TiBooks for US$299 from 14 January – 30 March 2002. This will allow you to upgrade the latest 550 and 667 MHz PowerBooks to have the new combo DVD/CD-RW drive announced on 17 December. Oh Joy.


Apple will be offering a PowerBook G4 Combo Upgrade Program for Rev. B TiBooks for US$299 from 14 January – 30 March 2002. This will allow you to upgrade the latest 550 and 667 MHz PowerBooks to have the new combo DVD/CD-RW drive announced on 17 December. Oh Joy.

From the Web site:

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PowerBook G4 Combo Upgrade Program

Apple announced that it has made slot-loading Combo drives standard across its entire award-winning Titanium PowerBook G4 notebook line.

Starting January 14, 2002, Apple will also offer current PowerBook G4 550MHz and 667MHz owners the opportunity to upgrade their existing DVD-ROM or CD-RW drive to the new Combo drive for US$299.

The PowerBook G4 Combo Upgrade Program will be offered worldwide from January 14 – March 30, 2002. Customers should check the Apple Web site starting January 14 for further details on how to place an order.

Eligible PowerBook G4 systems

Part # Product description
M8362 PowerBook G4 550MHz
M8363 PowerBook G4 667MHz
Z03Y Build to order systems from the Apple Store online

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

How can I tell if my PowerBook G4 is eligible for the Combo Upgrade Program? You can use Apple System Profiler application in Mac OS 9 or Mac OS X to confirm the processor speed which must be either 550MHz or 667MHz. When you apply for an upgrade, you will also need to provide your PowerBook’s serial number to confirm eligibility.

Can I upgrade my 400 MHz or 500MHz PowerBook G4?

Only the 550MHz and 667MHz PowerBook G4 systems with DVD-ROM or CD-RW drives are eligible for this upgrade. The Combo drive does not fit in the structure of the PowerBook G4 400MHz and 500MHz systems.

How do I place an order for the Combo upgrade?

On January 14, Apple will post on its web site a phone number for you to call to place an order. A phone agent will verify your PowerBook’s eligibility by checking its serial number. Once verification is complete, you will be asked to provide your shipping address and credit card information. When a Combo drive is in stock, a shipping box will be sent to you so that you can send your PowerBook G4 to an Apple Repair Center. Once the upgrade is complete, your PowerBook will be shipped back to you and your credit card billed.

How do I place an order for the Combo upgrade with the Apple Retail Store?

Beginning January 14, you can walk into an Apple Retail Store to order an upgrade. A Mac Genius will verify PowerBook’s eligibility by checking its serial number, then take your contact information and order a Combo upgrade kit for you. When the kit arrives, we will call you and ask you to bring in your PowerBook so that the upgrade can be done on site. You will be billed once the upgrade is completed. Please note that the Apple Retail Store will not be accepting orders prior to January 14.

Can an Apple Service Provider perform the upgrade for me?

In the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Europe and Japan, upgrades will only be done by an Apple Repair Center or by a Mac Genius at an Apple Retail Store in the U.S. In the Asia Pacific region, selected Apple Service Providers will perform the Combo upgrade since Apple does not have Repair Centers in those areas.

Can I order the Combo Upgrade on the Apple Store on the web?

No, the Combo Upgrade program is being handled through our Apple Care organization.

Can I keep the DVD-ROM or CD-RW drive?

No, Apple will keep the DVD-ROM or CD-RW drive once it has been removed.

Should I back up my data before the upgrade?

It’s always a good idea to back up your data on a regular basis and we recommend that you do a back up if possible before sending your PowerBook in for the upgrade.

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Regarding the lack of upgrade path for Rev. A TiBook owners, an Archive reader writes:

I spent a good long time on the phone with Apple trying to get word on whether or not there will be an upgrade kit for Rev A. PBG4’s. The word from Apple’s top dog is "It doesn’t fit." It’s not about hardware compatibility other than that in this case, size does matter and it’s not possible to swap drives.

So this leaves us early adopters out in the cold for the convenience to burn "in-house" and in the hell of packing around an external burner, along with their cords. I suggest getting a VST or other FireWire burner for your PowerBook, or if you have money to burn, sell your Rev A. and buy another PowerBook.

While it is true that the combo drive won’t fit in the Rev. A TiBooks (400 and 500 MHz) it will fit in Rev. B models (550 and 667 MHz). Apple changed the location of the DVD’s ribbon cables in the Rev. B TiBooks as you can see from the logic board pics in my previous story (“What’s New in the Rev. B PowerBook G4?“).

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