Motorola StarMax Bootable CD-ROM Guide

It’s been a perennial topic of discussion on our StarMax email list: Which optical drives are bootable in the Motorola StarMax computer and which ones are not. This is important, since Motorola used CD-ROM drives of different makes in StarMax computers – and many users are interested in faster drives or CD-RW capability.

The following list is based on feedback from those who have used these drives. Key issues are interface (IDE vs. SCSI), whether you can select and boot from it in the Startup Disk control panel, whether it will boot by holding down the C key, whether it will boot by holding down cmd-opt-shift-del, and whether it works with Apple’s drivers or requires third-party drivers.

Bootability assumes the CD you’re booting from will boot a StarMax, which may not be the case with some of Apple’s OS disks. Lack of specific StarMax drivers and drivers for other components in your system may limit access to hard drives and other devices when booting from CD.

Drives are listed alphabetically by interface.

If you have additional optical drives to report as bootable or not, please do so in the comments. Thanks!

IDE Drives

  • Mitsumi 4804TE 4/4/24x CD-RW. Startup Disk control panel: yes. Boot with holding C key: yes. Boot with cmd-opt-shift-del: yes. May have problems with “phantom floppy” using Apple drivers, so third-party drivers are recommended.

SCSI Drives


  • Matshita CR-583 IDE CD-ROM
  • Matsushita CR-506 8x SCSI CD-ROM

Not Bootable

  • Yamaha 8424s SCSI CD-RW
  • Yamaha 8824 SCSI CD-RW

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