How do I see my external DVD burner?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by OldCorpse, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #1
    Since my 12" G4 iBook 1.33 has only a combo drive, I bought an external DVD burner from OWC (Pioneer DVD-RW DVR111-D). I hook it up through FW. I have successfully burned DVDs with it, so it's working fine with the iBook, that not the issue. The issue is I don't know how things work in OSX - namely I can't see the burner without taking extraordinary measures. If I just hook it up with the FW and turn on the power on the burner, it won't pop up on my desktop or in Finder like my external HDD does. Thinking that the problem is that it has no media in it, I pop in a blank DVD - nothing. A DVD full of data -nothing. The only way I can see my external DVD burner is by firing up the Disk Utility app. That's insane. I'm sure I'm missing something. Even stupid windows XP shows any drive you hook up to your computer (whether you have data on the drive or not). What am I doing wrong? Why won't my external burner show up without having to hunt it down like Bin Laden?
     
  2. yippy macrumors 68020

    yippy

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    #2
    First, Mac OS does not show empty CD/DVD/Floppy drives, never has and I hope it stays that way.

    However, if you put a DVD with data on it in then it should show up. However, it is possible to disable this in the Finder preferences. So go into them, Finder->Preferences. In the general tab make sure the "CDs, DVDs, iPods" is checked then choose the sidebar tab and make sure "removable media" is checked.

    If the DVDs still don't show up then their may be something wrong with either the DVD you are using or the drive itself.
     
  3. OldCorpse thread starter macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #3
    Thanks, yippy! I went to the Finder prefs, and in the general tabs, I had it checked to show up (CDs, DVDs, iPods) on the desktop. However, in the sidebar, the removable media was selected and a minus sign was in the box... hm, I've never seen anything like that, have no idea what that means... in any case, I went ahead and changed it to a check, so it should show up now? As soon as I hook up my external burner, I'll try it out.

    Wow, didn't know that (never having hooked up an external burner before!). Out of curiosity, why do you think that's good? I mean, how do I know if the drive is recognized otherwise without going to disk utility? I can understand if the internal cd/dvd drive doesn't show up, because you assume that the drive the computer came with is recognized, but you can't make that assumption with external drives. To have to now hunt around for a data DVD or go to some special app hidden in another folder in the app folder, well, that seems like going through extra hoops that seem completely unnecessary... what does one do when one is about to burn one's first dvd (as happened with me)? And as you say "maybe there's something wrong with your DVD or the drive"... would be nice if OS X allowed one to find out, instead of having to make roundabout assumptions (plug in - doesn't show up - k, now I know there's a problem)... it does it for external HDD, why not for external burners... that's not logical. Sorry, to me the way OS X does it now seems user-unfriendly, though I understand that opinions differ and others may prefer it this way (personally, I'd put it on the list of "things that bug me about OS X in the other thread :))
     
  4. blodwyn macrumors 65816

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    #4
    OS X only displays mounted volumes, not drives. A drive with no partition or a DVD drive with a blank disk or no disk are not volumes, so they don't display.

    I felt the same as you when I switched, I wanted the reassurance that the drive was there and recognized by the system. Then I realized that with Mac's "It just works", so the reassurance is not necessary. Relax and just trust OS X to do the right thing when you want to read or write a disk.
     
  5. OldCorpse thread starter macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #5
    Thanks for that explanation, blodwyn... I'll try to relax, though it's hard to do, when you paid a bunch of $$$ for the new drive that just arrived, and you plug it in, and not know if it's recognized or not... with mac-compatible gear being such a small minority compared to windows gear... I mean, that would be reasonable for a windows person ("hey almost all hardware is made for wiindows")... but I'll try to relax :)

    Other than re-assurance, there are other reasons I may want to have the drive show up. F.ex., the drive I bought came with a bunch of blank DVDs and CDs: some -R, some RW, some DL etc. Problem is, they are all completely unlabelled just blank (it's even hard to tell which side is the "burn" side), or which are the CDs and which DVDs. So, I'd like to pop one into the drive to find out what the given disc is before I even attempt to burn (what if a friend asks me for a blank DVD - do I tell him: sorry, OS X refuses to tell me which one is which!). Another reason is I may want to know what manufacturer and what model drive OWC uses for their burners (as happens, it's a Pioneer) - you can click on Get Info for your internal HDD, or optical drive and get all that information... why not an external burner?? So sorry, I'm still unconvinced as to how great it is that OS X hides essential info from the user :) but to each his own.

    On the other hand doesn't a "drive with no partition" show up? Every time I've bought a new external HDD, when I hook it up, a dialogue comes up to say that OS X does NOT recognize the drive, and I have to format it. But maybe that's different. At least I can still see the burner in the Disc Utility app.
     
  6. blodwyn macrumors 65816

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    #6
    In the system preferences under CDs & DVDs there are options for which action to take when you insert a disk, blank or not. Maybe one of the options will suit you

    You can get info on external devices by clicking on the Apple icon on the menu bar, selecting 'About this Mac' and then clicking the More info button. Click on the USB or Firewire bus and find the info for whatever devices are plugged in.

    When you plug in an external hard drive you do get the dialog to format it, this doesn't happen with a CD/DVD drive. But when you insert a disk you can get it to do what you want by setting the preferences above
     
  7. yippy macrumors 68020

    yippy

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    #7
    Sorry, I sort of left out how you make sure the drive is there.

    Either by doing what blodwyn says or opening Apple System Profiler from the utilities folder you can get all information possible about the devices, internal and external, connected to you computer. You drive should show under USB or Firewire. There it should show if it is recognized and will also say if/what burning is supported.

    One note, you won't be able to see what kind of drive is in the drive case. This is because most ATA ->Firewire/USB chipsets don't pass this information on to the computer. It is a limitation of the external drive, not Mac OS.
     
  8. OldCorpse thread starter macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #8
    Thanks, yippy, I learned quite a bit... some of it sadly RE-learned... I forgot I could check on all that stuff through the profiler... knew once, forgot... sad.

    One last thing... you say drive info is not sent over FW/USB... how does my burn software know the drive manufacturer name and model... when it asks which burner I want to use, it lists the internal one (obvious), but it also lists the external one not just by it's generic name, but by very detailed info... it must get the info somehow... no? Or am I confused?
     
  9. yippy macrumors 68020

    yippy

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    #9
    I could be wrong, I know at least that the SMART status of hard drives is not sent through.

    What I meant I guess is that it doesn't pass all of the drive information through the case controller to the FW/USB connection. Now, the chipset in the case does send some info and if it was a pre-assembled case then they might have put drive info on the controller chip.

    I really don't know exactly how it works I am just talking from some limited experience in that not everything (like serial numbers and SMART status) are passed through.
     
  10. OldCorpse thread starter macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #10
    Aaah, that makes sense, yippy. I'll keep an eye on this, try to learn more.

    For now, I'm just thrilled and grateful that my external burner seems to work perfectly... cross my fingers.
     

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