Sharing discs

If your Mac doesn't have a built-in optical drive and you need to use a CD or DVD, you can connect an external drive like the Apple USB SuperDrive. You can also share discs from the optical drive of another Mac, or from a Windows computer that has DVD or CD Sharing Setup installed. DVD or CD sharing allows you to access documents stored on these discs, and allows you to install some software.

Apple Dvd Drive

DVD or CD sharing isn't designed for some kinds of optical media. Connect a compatible optical drive directly to your Mac if you need to use one of these discs:

Rioddas External CD Drive, USB 3.0 Portable CD/DVD +/-RW Drive Slim DVD/CD ROM Rewriter Burner Compatible with Laptop Desktop PC Windows Linux OS Apple Mac(Black) 4.4 out of 5 stars 11,128 $22.99 $ 22. 99 $24.99 $24.99. How To: Defragment or format a Mac hard drive How To: Install a serial ATA hard drive in a G5 Power Mac How To: Repair an Intel Mac Mini - Hard drive removal How To: Format an external hard drive for Mac OS X How To: Do a full fresh install of Snow Leopard OS X 10.6.

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  • Audio CDs
  • Blu-ray or DVD movies
  • Copy protected discs (such as some game discs)
  • Recordable CDs or DVDs that you want to burn or erase
  • Microsoft Windows installation discs

If you have a Microsoft Windows install disc that you want to use with Boot Camp, you can create a disc image of this disc and copy it to a USB flash drive for installation instead.

Setting up a Mac to share discs

To share discs from a Mac that has a built-in or external optical drive, use these steps:

  1. On the Mac that has an optical drive, choose System Preferences from the Apple menu.
  2. Click the Sharing icon in the System Preferences window.
  3. Make sure you've entered a name that you can easily recognize in the Computer Name field.
  4. Enable the checkbox for DVD or CD Sharing.
  5. You can also restrict who has access to your optical drive by selecting 'Ask me before allowing others to use my DVD drive.'

Setting up a Windows PC to share discs

To share discs from a Windows PC that has a built-in or external optical drive, use these steps:

  1. Download and install DVD or CD Sharing Update 1.0 for Windows.
  2. From Control Panel, open 'Hardware and Sound'
  3. Click 'DVD or CD Sharing Options.'
  4. Select the checkbox for DVD or CD Sharing.
  5. You can also restrict who has access to your optical drive by selecting 'Ask me before allowing others to use my DVD drive.'

If you're sharing discs from a Windows computer and your PC has firewall software enabled, be sure to allow access to the following programs from your firewall:

  • ODSAgent
  • RemoteInstallMacOSX

Use a shared DVD or CD

After you've enabled DVD or CD Sharing, you can use that computer's optical drive at any time. Insert a disc in the optical drive of the computer that's being shared. The disc should then be available on any Mac that's connected to the same network.

  1. On the Mac that doesn't have an optical drive, open a Finder window.
  2. Select Remote Disc in the Devices section of the sidebar. You should see the computer that has DVD or CD Sharing enabled.
  3. Double-click the computer's icon, then click Connect to see the contents of the CD or DVD available from that computer.

If you can't use a shared disc

If your Mac already has a built-in optical drive, or an external optical drive connected, you won't see the Remote Disc feature appear in the Finder or other apps.

If you're using a compatible disc and you don't see it from Remote Disc, make sure the sharing computer is turned on, is connected to the same network as your Mac, and has a compatible CD or DVD in its optical drive. If you've enabled the option to ask for permission before using the drive, click Accept on the computer that is sharing its optical drive.

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This content has been archived, and is no longer maintained by Indiana University. Information here may no longer be accurate, and links may no longer be available or reliable.

If your Mac OS X computer is having problems reading CDor DVD media, see below to determine the cause of theproblem.

Check your media and hardware

  • Determine what kind of drive you have and the media itsupports. For example, a DVD drive is required to read DVDs. Fordetailed information about your system, from the Apple menu, selectAbout This Mac, and then click MoreInfo... You can also contact your vendor (e.g., contactApple for an internal drive included with your Mac).
  • Make sure you have the correct side facing up. For single-sideddiscs, the label should face up, unless the drive is verticallymounted, in which case the label should be facing toward you. Fordouble-sided DVDs, flip the disc over and see if it willmount.
  • Make sure the disc is correctly placed in the drive.
  • See if the disc is dirty or damaged. The easiest way to do thisis to try it in another computer with a compatible drive. If it's anaudio CD or a video DVD, you might also try it in a CD or DVDplayer. If you suspect your disc is dirty, clean it with a soft, dampcloth. Use water or a dedicated CD/DVD cleaner such as Klear Kloths, and do not touchthe shiny surface with your fingers. If you suspect your CD or DVD isdamaged, repair kits are available from many vendors.
  • Try another disc of the same type in the drive. If you havetrouble with both discs, you may have software problems, or your drivemay need to be cleaned or repaired.

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Check your software

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  • Check your Finder preferences. With the Finder active,from the Finder menu, selectPreferences... Click the General icon, andlook under 'Show these items on the Desktop:'. Make sure CDs,DVDs, and iPods is checked. If it isn't, when you insert a CD orDVD, its icon will appear in Finder windows, but not on the desktopitself.
  • If you have difficulty after installing third-party software, youmay need to uninstall it or use an updated version. Contact thevendor of the software for more information.
  • Check Apple's site for updated software, drivers, orfirmware; see ARCHIVED: For Mac OS X, how do I obtain and install system softwareupdates? If youare using a third-party CD or DVD drive, contact the vendor and askabout updates.
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