Adding a 2nd SuperDrive - Anything I should know?

Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
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I feel like my system needs a 2nd superdrive, that empty slot just feels so lonely.

So I was thinking of buying the same drive that is in it, the Pioneer 112D:

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Pioneer/DVR112DBK/

40 bucks, seems like a deal. Last time I bought a DVD burner they were like 200 dollars... not sure what happened.

So anyways, is this still a good drive to choose, and is the install really as easy as adding it in the optical bay, connecting the cables, and setting the drives to cable select?

I haven't bought an optical drive in 4 years, so I have no idea what is hot now. I am assuming since this is the drive that came installed in the mac, it's not a bad idea to add a second. Just gotta figure out how to eject each drive independently.

thought about adding a blu-ray, but the cost is just too prohibitive.
 

Dark Dragoon

macrumors 6502a
Jul 28, 2006
843
3
UK
The install is just as easy as you said.

Though you will also have to take off the drive trays bezel. You can eject the tray by pushing an unwound paperclip into the hole in the front, the tray should then come out. You should then be able to unclip the bezel from the front of the tray. Otherwise the tray won't fit thought the hole in the front of the Mac Pro.

To eject the second drive you hold down the Option key and then press the Eject key.
 

Dreadnought

macrumors 68020
Jul 22, 2002
2,055
14
Almere, The Netherlands
Last week I read here that someone has replaced their superdrive for a pioneer 222 and that one had some more advantages. What they where, I don't remember. Maybe it is worth looking into it.
 

bld44

macrumors 6502
Apr 21, 2007
404
0
Do you have a second slot on the outside front of your case?

When I first bought my mac, I thought about ordering one superdrive and upgrading later so I could buy it at the apple store. But there is only one slot on the front and you would have to buy another front with two slots.
 

Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
1,617
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Do you have a second slot on the outside front of your case?

When I first bought my mac, I thought about ordering one superdrive and upgrading later so I could buy it at the apple store. But there is only one slot on the front and you would have to buy another front with two slots.

Yes, the machine is a Mac Pro with 2 slots. Loosest slots in town.


Why aren't more people using SATA optical drives with the 2 SATA connectors that are unused in the machine? Some of the posts I've been reading are saying that people are getting much faster burn times over the SATA than the IDE. Are the SATA drives just more expensive, or do people just not care that much to do it?
 

The Chuckster

macrumors newbie
Jul 12, 2007
14
1
Norman, OK
Adding A Second Super Drive

Sean ... or anyone, a new Mac Pro guy here needing some help. Seriously. I also bought the Pioneer DVD112 drive (from Newegg) to use as my #2 (lower) SuperDrive ... surprised to see my #1 drive was a Sony, but that's another story.

Anyway, I hooked up the internal cabling as per the owner's manual, but I'm getting nothing out of the new drive. Hitting Option-Eject only ejects the upper or main drive. Switching from Master to Slave doesn't seem to make any difference.

Thanks in advance!
The Chuckster
 

Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
1,617
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Sean ... or anyone, a new Mac Pro guy here needing some help. Seriously. I also bought the Pioneer DVD112 drive (from Newegg) to use as my #2 (lower) SuperDrive ... surprised to see my #1 drive was a Sony, but that's another story.

Anyway, I hooked up the internal cabling as per the owner's manual, but I'm getting nothing out of the new drive. Hitting Option-Eject only ejects the upper or main drive. Switching from Master to Slave doesn't seem to make any difference.

Thanks in advance!
The Chuckster

From what I've read, both drives need to be set to cable select, which is usually a jumper setting that is shown on the drive OR no jumpers at all. You dig?

edit: found this image... if this is the same as your drive sticker, it appears the cable select is the #3 jumper position.
 

Attachments

The Chuckster

macrumors newbie
Jul 12, 2007
14
1
Norman, OK
Thanks!

I'm diggin', Sean. Thanks! Have just tried with jumper in Position 3, but not working. Will shut down and take it out altogether.

Chuckster
 

Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
1,617
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I'm diggin', Sean. Thanks! Have just tried with jumper in Position 3, but not working. Will shut down and take it out altogether.

Chuckster
Maybe put it in by itself and determine if it's DOA or not.

Also, check the jumper setting on the Sony drive... perhaps they should both be set to cable select, or have the jumpers removed altogether. From what I have read, for the OSX and Mac Pro to run 2 drives properly, it needs to have the cable set up the chain.

So maybe no jumpers on either one will do the trick.
 

Dark Dragoon

macrumors 6502a
Jul 28, 2006
843
3
UK
With two IDE drives I had both set to cable select, that's what worked for me. On my IDE drives (Sony drive that came with my Mac Pro and a NEC ND-2510A) cable select was position 1 (furthest away from the IDE and power connectors).

Why aren't more people using SATA optical drives with the 2 SATA connectors that are unused in the machine? Some of the posts I've been reading are saying that people are getting much faster burn times over the SATA than the IDE. Are the SATA drives just more expensive, or do people just not care that much to do it?
I have two SATA optical drives installed at the moment.
A Lite-On LH-20A1S for reading and ripping and a Samsung SH-S203 for burning.

Price wise they cost slightly more than IDE drives.

The issues I've seen so far are:
1) I can't seem to boot the hardware test (OS X install boots ok).
2) I can't install Windows (oh well).
3) Occasionally I can't eject a drive with media in, if I've left it for a while. Though this happened with my IDE drives as well.

Apart from those issues I've been very pleased with the drives. Connecting the cables onto the logic board though required a lot of time and a pair of needle nose pliers.

Oh and anyone wanting to install two SATA optical drives, don't buy two right angled SATA cables that face the same way as you can't plug them both into the logic board. Also 50cm cables are not long enough. :(
 

Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
1,617
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With two IDE drives I had both set to cable select, that's what worked for me. On my IDE drives (Sony drive that came with my Mac Pro and a NEC ND-2510A) cable select was position 1 (furthest away from the IDE and power connectors).



I have two SATA optical drives installed at the moment.
A Lite-On LH-20A1S for reading and ripping and a Samsung SH-S203 for burning.

Price wise they cost slightly more than IDE drives.

The issues I've seen so far are:
1) I can't seem to boot the hardware test (OS X install boots ok).
2) I can't install Windows (oh well).
3) Occasionally I can't eject a drive with media in, if I've left it for a while. Though this happened with my IDE drives as well.

Apart from those issues I've been very pleased with the drives. Connecting the cables onto the logic board though required a lot of time and a pair of needle nose pliers.

Oh and anyone wanting to install two SATA optical drives, don't buy two right angled SATA cables that face the same way as you can't plug them both into the logic board. Also 50cm cables are not long enough. :(



Sounds like an involved process. I am not sure it'd be worth it for me to do for no reason. Hmmm, will have to think on this one.
 

Dark Dragoon

macrumors 6502a
Jul 28, 2006
843
3
UK
Sounds like an involved process. I am not sure it'd be worth it for me to do for no reason. Hmmm, will have to think on this one.
If you can undo the screws under the memory cage it should be possible to remove the front fans. Unfortunately I have one of the early Mac Pro's where they put loctite on a wrong part (as well as not connecting the Bluetooth and Airport up correctly) so I can't easily remove it.

The only reason I changed to SATA was because whenever I tried reading or writing two discs at the same time both would run very slowly, and produce coasters occasionally.
 

The Chuckster

macrumors newbie
Jul 12, 2007
14
1
Norman, OK
Second SuperDrive Woes..

First off, thanks to all who've posted and helped...were this a PC, I'd never have had this kind of help; for that, I thank you and thank having switched to a Mac!

Second, I 'discovered' the problem...one of the four power leads to the bottom drive had pulled loose from the carrier (thank God it's easy to fix). I only noticed this as I replaced the jumper to Select, when I saw the wire a bit looser than the others.

Seems someone at Apple coulda put just SLIGHTLY longer ribbon and power cables in there, but what the hey!

Again, thanks. You've truly validated my decision to go Mac, and never look back!

The Chuckster

System:
Mac Pro Quad 2.66
4 GB Ram (2 Apple, 2 Crucial)
570GB HD
Dual Radeon 256MB Video Cards w/VGA monitors
(Now) 2 Super Drives
 

Sean Dempsey

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
1,617
3
First off, thanks to all who've posted and helped...were this a PC, I'd never have had this kind of help; for that, I thank you and thank having switched to a Mac!

Second, I 'discovered' the problem...one of the four power leads to the bottom drive had pulled loose from the carrier (thank God it's easy to fix). I only noticed this as I replaced the jumper to Select, when I saw the wire a bit looser than the others.

Seems someone at Apple coulda put just SLIGHTLY longer ribbon and power cables in there, but what the hey!

Again, thanks. You've truly validated my decision to go Mac, and never look back!

The Chuckster

System:
Mac Pro Quad 2.66
4 GB Ram (2 Apple, 2 Crucial)
570GB HD
Dual Radeon 256MB Video Cards w/VGA monitors
(Now) 2 Super Drives


So it's working? Everything is functioning as intended? Both drives eject independently, all that?
 

iPhil

macrumors 68040
Yes, the machine is a Mac Pro with 2 slots. Loosest slots in town.


Why aren't more people using SATA optical drives with the 2 SATA connectors that are unused in the machine? Some of the posts I've been reading are saying that people are getting much faster burn times over the SATA than the IDE. Are the SATA drives just more expensive, or do people just not care that much to do it?


Here's a price on SATA dvd drive I haven't seen any of those Mac-certified yet ...
 

Eikka

macrumors newbie
May 27, 2007
7
0
I have two SATA optical drives installed at the moment.
A Lite-On LH-20A1S for reading and ripping and a Samsung SH-S203 for burning.

Price wise they cost slightly more than IDE drives.
Could you tell me how you routed the sata cable from the optical drives to the motherboard? It is really tight in there, also if you have pics, that would be great!

Also, did you remove anything like the fan assy to connect the cables to the MB?
 

Dark Dragoon

macrumors 6502a
Jul 28, 2006
843
3
UK
There are plenty of right angled SATA cables out there
Getting right angled cables wasn't a problem, the problem was that I needed one 90 degree cable and one 270 degree cable. The 270 degree one was quite hard to find. It's also a lot easier if one end of the cable is a straight connector.

Eikka said:
Could you tell me how you routed the sata cable from the optical drives to the motherboard? It is really tight in there, also if you have pics, that would be great!

Also, did you remove anything like the fan assy to connect the cables to the MB?
Unfortunately my Mac Pro was an early one which had the screws holding the memory cage wrongly loctited in place, so I could not remove the fan assembly. This meant that it was very tight trying to route the cables.

To install the SATA cables I removed all the hard drives, the optical drives and the graphics card. A torch is needed to see what your doing (which I put on top of the memory cage where the graphics card normally sits).

If you look from the back of the computer through the PCIe back-plate (once you have removed the graphics card), there is a clear path just under the spare SATA ports on the motherboard to the front of the case. I pushed the cables through there. I then used some needle nosed pliers and some long screwdrivers to route the cables up through the hole in the bottom of the optical drive bay (it's easier if the connection on the end is straight).

Connecting the cables to the motherboard required more use of the pliers and screwdrivers.

If you can remove the front fan assembly it would be a lot easier.

I'll see if I can get some photos of it tomorrow.
 

Dark Dragoon

macrumors 6502a
Jul 28, 2006
843
3
UK
man I thought "wow, he stepped up from a Dremel Tool right to a torch? Seems a little extreme for just cutting some plastic!"
I didn't need to cut anything to install the SATA cables in mine. :D

Here are some photos (didn't remove anything as it's running).

In these photos you can see where the SATA connections on the logic board are located and roughly where I pushed the cable through.


Here you can just see the two red SATA cables routed up the front of the case.
 

Eikka

macrumors newbie
May 27, 2007
7
0
So you routed the cables through the same hole as the power etc. cables go through?

One thing i need now is a longer SATA cable...50cm is really not enough
 

rezwits

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2007
635
324
Las Vegas
Blu-Ray Burner... I forget what limitation it has to make it where you need a superdrive and blu-ray burner instead of two Blu-Ray's, but that's what i'd get...
 

Dark Dragoon

macrumors 6502a
Jul 28, 2006
843
3
UK
So you routed the cables through the same hole as the power etc. cables go through?
Yes, that's what I did.

One thing i need now is a longer SATA cable...50cm is really not enough
I made the mistake of buying two identical 50cm 90 degree cables, they were not quite long enough and I couldn't connect them both to the logic board at the same time. :(

looks like it needs a clean :p
That's something I've been meaning to do. :eek: