How to Access Another Computer’s CD or DVD Drive from Your Mac

It certainly may sound very proud when a brand new model (even such a comprehensive computer as a new iMac Pro) no longer has an optical drive on board. However, in reality, it may be somehow inconvenient for a user. Recently the onboard CD/DVD drives have not been used as often as before. Nevertheless, occasionally they are the best solution even with the presence of iCloud services and external CD/DVD drives. Fortunately, Mac users have a remedy for such a mishap. To patch the lack of the good old optical drive, there is an app called Remote Disc, which allows access files on a Mac or PC with an onboard optical drive. We are sure many Mac users will be grateful to the program that provides them such a pleasant convenience. Here is a guide featuring the handy tool with explanations on its setup and use.

Minimum Requirements

A basic requirement is that the Mac from which you access Remote Disc (let us call it the “recipient” computer) must not have a built-in optical drive. If it has, Remote Disc will not be a possible option and the corresponding option won’t appear as an option in Finder.

Besides, the disk on another computer that you intend to access (let it be the “donor” computer) must support Remote Disc as well.

Remote Disc provides no support for the certain media including such copy-protected media types as movies and music. The list of non-protected items also includes audio CDs, DVD and Blu-ray movies, recordable CDs, and DVDs, Microsoft installation discs and copy-protected games.

Setting Up Remote Sharing on a Mac

It is very easy to transfer data from one Mac to another with the Remote Disc. Just tick the corresponding box in your System Preferences (that is, on the “recipient”).

  1. On the Mac with an optical drive (“donor”), choose Apple Menu
  2. Start System Preferences.
  3. Click Sharing.
  4. And now tick the box for DVD or CD Sharing.
  5. In order to protect the content, tick the box for Ask me before allowing others to use my DVD Drive.

With DVD or CD sharing on, there is a green light on the Sharing page.

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Remote Sharing with Windows PC

The procedure for sharing your CD or DVD drive from a PC computer is slightly harder and requires prior installation of additional software.

  1. Download and install Apple’s DVD or CD Sharing software on the PC.
  2. On the PC, open Control Panel.
  3. Select Hardware and Sound.
  4. Click DVD or CD Sharing Options.
  5. Tick the box for DVD or CD Sharing.
  6. To protect content, tick the box for Ask me before allowing others to use my DVD Drive.

If the PC has the firewall installed, add ODSAgent and RemoteInstallMacOSX to the apps that your firewall will allow.

Accessing the Files

Now with Remote Disc enabled on the Mac or PC with the optical drive (“donor”), you can access it via Finder on the Mac without the optical drive (“recipient”).

  1. Open Finder window on the recipient Mac.
  2. Scroll down the sidebar menu and select Remote Disc under Devices.
  3. Double-click the Computer that you intend to access the optical drive from (“recipient”).
  4. Click Connect or Ask to Use on the Finder (upper left corner).
  5. If the requirement to ask first is enabled, go back to the donor computer and click on Accept.

Now, if everything goes smooth, you have the connection with donor computer, so you can see the files in its CD or DVD. At this point, you can handle them in the usual way. Either double-click on the needed file to open it or drag it to your desktop to save a copy.

Disconnecting Your Mac from Remote Disc on Another Computer

Having received what you need from the donor computer, you can simply disconnect by clicking on the corresponding button in the Finder (upper left corner).

In case the Disconnect button is absent in the Finder window, you need to click the Eject button in the sidebar of the same window (located next to Remote Disc).

Alternatively, you can eject the CD or DVD from the donor computer. Then you will have to confirm that you intend to remove the disk.