Region-free Macbook Pro DVD drive

After receiving some regioned dvds for xmas, I decided it was about time to get them working on my Core 2 Duo Macbook Pro. It’s unusual to have a region-locked DVD player here in Australia; a recent Toshiba player I purchased came with instructions for entering an activation code via the remote, presumably slipped in by the Australian distributor. It’s slightly surprising that Apple Australia doesn’t do the same with the optical drives distributed in Apple hardware.

When I first got the MacBook Pro, the region was unset and although Apple’s “DVD Player” would complain, VLC would play regioned DVDs just fine. However, one day I decided to use DVD Player to play a regioned DVD from the video store, and after that the drive was region locked.

I found a good summary of the options for region-free macbook drives. I put the RPC-1 patched KCVB onto my UJ-857D superdrive using the SimpleFlash utility. ben11’s patched version of Apple’s “Superdrive Firmware Update” errored with

LSOpenFromURLSpec() failed with error -10810

The hacks for getting the patched Updater to work on Mac OS X Leopard didn’t work, so SimpleFlash seemed like a good (if slightly scarier) option.

It worked a treat. Now I can play regioned DVDs in VLC again. Apparently I can also use DVD Player after faking a region using xvi’s Region X.

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