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159 posts

Master Geek


#270512 13-May-2020 09:30
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Not having a drive on the desktop iMac is sometimes an issue. I bought an external drive (HP) but its performance is intermittent - some times burns perfectly, sometimes not. So I want to change it and am asking what members think of attaching (with thunderbolt) an older mac mini that has a super drive. A1176 would be suitable. They cost around the same price as a new super drive, plus I'd have added storage 'for free'. 

 

Also, I aim to stand the desktop on top of the mac mini, but am not sure how that would work with regard to heat dissipating and the mac mini's ability to hold the weight.


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818 posts

Ultimate Geek

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  #2482536 13-May-2020 09:35
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Where are you based? I have a SuperDrive that I haven't used in years. You're welcome to it if you can collect from West Auckland.


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Uber Geek

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  #2482539 13-May-2020 09:38
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Is that how a Mac mini works? Can it be daisy chained off an iMac only to use the optical and storage?  News to me...

 

In general a Superdrive is a rip off.  Write issues usually come down to trying to write too fast for the media to handle without issues.  Have you tried backing off the write speed until you get a successful write, then incrementally speeding up the writes until you find the point at which writes fail?  That'd be my approach, and then just write at the top success speed going forward.  It could be the optical drive you're using, but I've been using a cheap drive for donkeys years with no issues at 2/3 write speed.  


 
 
 
 


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Ultimate Geek

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  #2482540 13-May-2020 09:43
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Its how all Apple products work. Two apple products on the same network. You can use the optical drive from one for the other. My Mac Mini doesn't have an optical drive, before I bought the SuperDrive I used to use the Optical drive in my wife's 2013 MacBook Pro


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Uber Geek

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  #2482607 13-May-2020 11:05
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Yeah that's fine but you made it sound like you'd just plug the mini into your iMac and start using it as storage and an optical drive :) 

 

edit:  I should add - media quality makes a big difference to write successes too.  Back in the day when I was writing DVDs and CDs I could expect about 1 in 10 writes to fail.  


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Ultimate Geek

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  #2482626 13-May-2020 11:34
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I always did the same. Good quality write media and slow write speeds were the best ways to guarantee success.




159 posts

Master Geek


  #2482806 13-May-2020 14:43
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Yeah that's fine but you made it sound like you'd just plug the mini into your iMac and start using it as storage and an optical drive :) 

 

Ok - so you can't do that? I know you need a crossover cable for Windows, but cannot you use a thunderbolt cable for mac to mac? [said the non mac user....]


453 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #2482826 13-May-2020 15:08
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Yorkshirekid:

 

Yeah that's fine but you made it sound like you'd just plug the mini into your iMac and start using it as storage and an optical drive :) 

 

Ok - so you can't do that? I know you need a crossover cable for Windows, but cannot you use a thunderbolt cable for mac to mac? [said the non mac user....]

 

Without wanting to sound mean, and willing to be corrected technically, I think you would be much better suited getting a USB drive and using that on your iMac - with, as noted decent media and slow write speeds. You can't just plug a thunderbolt cable in and use the drive, you need to have the mac on, the network setup etc etc. It is unknown how long an older mac will get MacOS updates and how long any sharing will work. Given you are not a mac user, plugging in a USB cable seems to be much easier (this is what I would do, and I AM a mac user!).

 

You do not have to buy an official mac superdrive. You could, I think, get a larger 5.25" drive in enclosure with USB interface.

 

Out of interest, what do you need to use a drive for often? I put one in the current computer and I haven't used it in two years!


 
 
 
 


106 posts

Master Geek


  #2482859 13-May-2020 16:13
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Yorkshirekid:

 

Ok - so you can't do that? I know you need a crossover cable for Windows, but cannot you use a thunderbolt cable for mac to mac? [said the non mac user....]

 

 

In the days of Firewire, you could connect two Macs together with a Firewire cable, and essentially use the hard drive inside the powered down Mac as an external drive if the "target disk mode" was enabled. This was great, as you didn't have to quickly turn the computer on just to quickly transfer a couple of files.

 

Edit: It appears that MacOS Catalina has dropped support for Remote Disc..
You can remotely use the optical drive within an older Mac with current generation Macs if they're connected to the same network. The "Remote Disc" option should appear in Finder's side bar if the Optical Drive equipped Mac is turned on, and has CD/DVD sharing enabled under the "Sharing" section of System Preferences.

 

You *should* be able to directly connect an Ethernet cable between the two Macs, and be able to access the optical drive, however I've never tested this out personally.


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