Enable Remote Disc (Drive Sharing) On Any Mac 17


Enable Remote Disc (Drive Sharing) On Any Mac


If your Superdrive or disk drive is on the way out (I think mine is) it can be a real pain to change it, especially if its locked inside a MacBook or MacBook Pro. I personally use my disk drive about twice a year. So when the time comes to get something off a CD it can be a major pain to get something off a CD. However there is a solution to this problem. If you take a look at a MacBook Air, Drive Sharing is available, so all the background code is ready to go, we just need to bring it to life. This post is going to cover the entire method of getting drive sharing to work, and if you want more of a background I recommend Mac The Missing Manual or Mac OS X Unix Toolbox from Amazon. If you just want the hack, go to the end of the post.

To enable drive sharing, first go to the computer which will host your DVD. If it is a Mac, you can enable DVD sharing. Go to System Preferences > Sharing and check “DVD or CD Sharing”. If you are on a Windows machine (I feel sorry for you), download this package and install it. Under Control Panel open up “DVD and CD Sharing” and check the box which asks if you want to enable Disc Sharing. The host computer is now set up. To save you some time, you can now insert the DVD you want to share.

Here comes the hack. On a MacBook Air this little preference code is already enabled. On other Macs this isn’t the case. Open up Terminal and type the following two lines, press return after each one. There will be no confirmation from Terminal when you have finished. From MacRumors.

defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser EnableODiskBrowsing -bool true
defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser ODSSupported -bool true

Restart you Mac, when you open Finder again you should see “Remote Disk” in the sidebar (make sure its enabled in Preferences). You can now navigate to the drive as if it was on your own computer. Loading the files takes slightly longer since it has to run over your network. I remember reading somewhere that this wont work over secured Wi-Fi connections, so you have to use a cable for best results.

Remote Disk

The Remote Disc option acts like a folder, each drive that is shared will appear as its own entry under “Remote Disk”. This means that you can set up this feature on other Mac’s and share the drives over the network. I personally think this type of trick will be pretty cool if you are in an office environment and constantly handing disks over to each other. If you are really adventurous and have a Mac with lots of USB ports or internal slots (i.e a MacPro) you could make a CD server with lots of disk drives and share each one of them, so every one over a network can access them. However, if it has come to that it may be worth ripping the disk to a disk image and making a ISO server. Fun idea anyway.

Hope this trick helps. I find it pretty cool.

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17 Responses to “Enable Remote Disc (Drive Sharing) On Any Mac”

  1. 1

    When you are talking about a kind of CD server would it be possible to mount several ISOs to several virtual CD drives which one can access via Remote CD?

    E.g. one has 5 discs which are regularly required by several people on the same LAN. Each disc is ripped to an ISO. Afterwards each ISO is mounted as a virtual CD drive (I haven’t looked into how this might work. However, I am aware of programs which achieve this on Windows, like Virtual CloneDrive: http://www.slysoft.com/en/virtual-clonedrive.html). This wouldn’t requre such a lot of physical CD drives.

    Comment By fellowweb on September 8th, at 5:53 pm

  2. 2

    ISO will automatically mount as drives on your Mac, as each one would appear as a seperate drive. I really don’t know the results. I’m guessing it wouldn’t, however try it out. See what the results are. If you find anything interesting please post them here.

    Comment By admin on September 8th, at 6:15 pm

  3. 3

    GOt this to work with no fuss. I had a old Mac Pro G5 with a knackered blooper-drive, which needed some software installed and was able to do it over the studio’s wired network from my iMac. Cheers!

    Comment By Marcus on October 2nd, at 8:57 am

  4. 4

    I installed the software on my PC, and I did the hack on my Macbook.
    The problem is that I can’t acces my CD.
    When I click on distant disk, nothing is showed….
    Help me out!!!!!!!!!!!!
    My CD drive broke, and I really need to use a CD.
    Thanks a lot!!!!!!!!!!!!!! =)

    Comment By Gabriel on August 2nd, at 9:54 pm

  5. 5

    Ya, I agree, poor windows users… :)

    Comment By Anonymous on September 7th, at 10:51 pm

  6. 6

    Thanks so much. I have two macs and just made a hackintosh out of a dell mini10v and used the remote disk to put office 08 on the hackintosh without a hitch.

    Comment By me on September 9th, at 10:52 pm

  7. 7

    Hi, my friend recommended this to me after I consulted him concerning problems installing Windows (7) via external USB optical drive. The SuperDrive in my MacBook Pro doesn’t work, and hasn’t in a long time.

    I’m just wondering if this hack would be a legit alternative to actually getting the super drive repaired, because it seems to me that this method wouldn’t work as a boot option.

    Comment By Type XII on November 4th, at 8:14 pm

  8. 8

    What type of cable should connect a Mac & a Windows machine in order for this to work?

    Comment By karaoke ninja on December 27th, at 3:06 am

  9. 9

    I assume an Ethernet cable should work.

    BTW thanks for the info!
    I was wondering if this works since MacBook Air.

    Comment By kane on December 29th, at 8:06 am

  10. 10

    Hey !
    Thank you pretty much for this article ! I had been searching on the we and getting nothing about this.
    What you taught helped me a loooooot

    Comment By Bruna on January 4th, at 2:16 am

  11. 11

    Thanks this was really useful.

    Just installed Microsoft Office for Mac on my Macbook (with a broken CD drive)


    Comment By thescragster on January 24th, at 10:58 am

  12. 12

    I’ve followed all steps above to share a CD/DVD from my PC’s drive to my MBP (broken superdrive). Unfortunately, although the Remote Disc option appears under devices on the Mac, the PC drive isn’t listed. I checked firewall and control panel settings on the PC per above directions and rebooted both computers several times. I have been networking between these computers since I got the MBP in ’09. I can’t think of anything that should keep this from working. Any ideas?

    Thank you in advance,

    Comment By Joutlaw on January 30th, at 8:59 pm

  13. 13

    Hi, I would like to have the facility to run photoshop CS5 ( installed on main office Mac ) from my macbook. Both are connected via wifi. Is it possible to share software packages over wifi ?.

    Comment By Chris on March 24th, at 11:12 am

  14. 14

    Awesome. This has solved a large headache. Thank you thank you thank you.

    Comment By Tony Macbook Pro on April 8th, at 7:11 am

  15. 15

    Very good article.
    It doesn’t work with audio CD’s, does it?


    Comment By Emmanuel on April 24th, at 7:29 pm

  16. 16

    Thank you, I’ve been trying to do this allay and here around midnight I found your posting and it finally worked. I didn’t know that apple turn this feature off in other mac. I thought it should work for any mac. Truly thank you.

    Comment By Edwin on August 18th, at 6:16 am

  17. 17

    awesome article! but, i have one pc at home on which i need cd sharing. When i click on the link of the package (after “i feel sorry for you”), it just sends me to the apples download page O.o

    Comment By kerber on December 5th, at 8:52 am