How To Really Enable Dvd Drive Sharing on a Non-Air Macbook

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Hopefully lost geek souls like me will stumble onto this post in the future and smile. I’m posting this because it took me two hours of Googling to find the answer, with very limited results. And Apple’s official support pages are worthless on this topic.

Here was my situation: I had a MacBook Pro with a busted SuperDrive, and needed to install Windows via Boot Camp. As you may or may not know, this is not possible using an image file (like it IS with Parallels), so I set off in search of a way to share my Dell Desktop DVD Drive with my trusty MacBook.

Since the release of the MacBook Air, this has been made possible by an installable Control Panel applet in Windows, and by simply checking the CD/DVD Sharing box in your OS X System Preferences. Well, halfway possible.

One would assume that this would work automagically as most Apple software does, even if you own a regular MacBook or MacBook Pro, and not an AIR. After all, it’s an option in my System Preferences, right? So much for assumptions.

It simply DOES NOT work on the MacBook side. Yes, believe it or not, the Windows client is working just fine this time around 🙂

So, here’s how to do this from start to finish, step by step.

NOTE: If you’ve already got the software installed on both machines, and are baffled like I was, skip down past these steps and look for the Terminal code….

  1. The software to make this all work is on the Macbook Air OS X disc. But if you’re like me and want to make this work with a regular ole “my superdrive took a dump” MacBook, download the separate Windows installer here: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL112
  2. Once installed, go to your Windows Control panel and click the “CD DVD Sharing” button and activate the checkbox.
  3. Enabling this feature on your MacBook is as simple as running Software Update. But you can also go here: http://support.apple.com/kb/DL113 and grab it directly.
  4. Go into your Mac System Prefs, click the Sharing button, and check “CD/DVD Sharing.”

Now, you’re all setup, right? The software works alongside Windows’ firewall, and even promises to work as long as both machines are connected to the same Wireless network. So, why can’t you see that disc you just inserted into your Windows machine, via your Finder?

The missing link comes courtesy of this Macrumors Forum post.

  1. Open Terminal (it’s in Utilities, or just type ‘Terminal’ into Spotlight)
  2. Type this code:
defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser EnableODiskBrowsing -bool true
defaults write com.apple.NetworkBrowser ODSSupported -bool true

Reboot, and you’re done. Now, any disc you insert into your Windows machine will show up in your Finder under “Remote Disc.”

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