The MacBook Airs and newer Mac minis and the Retina MacBook Pros all have the ability to use DVDs and CDs shared over the network from the optical drives on the other Mac models. Now say your optical drive goes out on a Mac of yours and you don’t have time or funds to fix it and you have another computer that has a working drive. You can enable the Mac with the bad drive to utilize the sharing feature as well. Even though this remote disc sharing feature isn’t configured to work out of the box on the other Macs, it can be unlocked on any Mac running 10.5 and above with the following steps.
Prepare Your Drive-less Mac
First, your Mac with the dead SuperDrive needs to be configured for remote disc sharing. It is a simple process. Open the Terminal application (Applications > Utilities) and run the following command on one line:
defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser EnableODiskBrowsing -bool true
Press Enter and then run this command and press Enter:
defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser ODSSupported -bool true
Once both those are done restart your Mac.
Prepare The Sharing Computer
If the computer you’re going to use as a disc drive host is a Mac, it is simple. Go to System Preferences, click the Sharing tab, and check the box next to DVD or CD Sharing. It’s your choice to enable the “Ask before sharing option.”
If you’re sharing the optical drive of a Windows PC (XP SP2 or higher), you must download and install a file from Apple. Once installed, this program adds a DVD or CD Sharing Options section to the Control Panel. There remote disc sharing can be enabled. It’s your choice to enable the “Ask before sharing option.”
Accessing The Shared Disc
Back on the Mac with the faulty drive, open Finder and notice how Remote Disc is now listed under Devices in the sidebar. Click here and your shared host device will appear. Stick the disc in the other computer and the CD or DVD and its content should be mounted in Finder just like it was in your Mac’s own optical drive. You can not watch movies this way, but you can install software, view and copy files, etc.
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