Mac Pro - DVD drive question (region-related)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by PrincessPeach, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. PrincessPeach macrumors regular

    Mar 9, 2009
    Sorry, I honestly think I'm running out of niggling questions to ask about my upcoming Mac Pro purchase soon.

    One of the things which has long irritated me about my G5 is that it only has one optical drive bay, and the optical drive it came with cannot be flashed to be made region free without using Windows (not an option for me). I live in R2 but have a huge collection of R1 DVDs. I watch the R1s in DVD Player, and put up with VLC for the R2s - but VLC's playback has been getting less stable with every version lately and frankly I miss being able to use my discs in DVD Player.

    I used to use DVD Region X on my iBook with great results and really miss the freedom of a relatively regionless drive to use with my legally purchased DVDs!

    On to the questions.

    1. If I put two DVD drives into my Mac Pro (it will be the current quad), will I be able to set each to a different region for DVD Player?
    2. If not, do both pull from the same five changes I'm allowed?
    3. If there's no neat way to do this as I hoped, is VLC any more stable on Intel Macs? :(
    4. Failing this, does anyone have any recommendations for a reliable, compatible DVD drive, preferably flashable in OSX? I'll figure it all out the old fashioned way!

    Many thanks for any suggestions. Feel free to call me silly ;)
  2. geoffreak macrumors 68020


    Feb 8, 2008
    VLC is a terrible media player. I'm not sure which other players can play DVDs though.
  3. shroud macrumors member

    Sep 24, 2007
    Hi PrincessPeach,

    I installed two samsung superwrite masters with one drive allowing me to choose the region I wanted when I first installed it and the other defaulting to no region.

    I tried region x, and every trick under the sun aside from flashing it in windows to get OSX to recognize the other drive as a region that I wanted to no avail.

    A thread that may help is here and I actually learned from that thread that the reason that I received so many bad sectors from my discs that I wanted to make a fair use copy of is not because of mactheripper or handbrake but rather due to one of my drives not having a region set.

    I use my drives for DVDs all of the time that come in any region you can think of. VLC may not be great but it works good enough for me. I would love to be able to access the Apple utility to set the region for my other drive but can't. Just food for thought.
  4. PrincessPeach thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 9, 2009
    Thanks shroud, that's a brilliant link with a lot of leads in the comments. It looks like I can experiment with some of the options before my new Mac even arrives.

    I wish VLC was less wobbly for me or it would be pretty much perfect. In the meantime I have a few different ideas to go on now :)
  5. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    I use VLC all the time because it's the only player I know of that can play the audio in certain AVI, DivX, and XdiV files.
  6. shroud macrumors member

    Sep 24, 2007
    One more idea for you. According to RightMinds IT (3rd post down) in this thread, you can set the DVD drive region using the command line utility.




    RightMinds IT took the above command from this website.
  7. PrincessPeach thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 9, 2009
    Just an update for anyone who finds this thread in future and wants to know - I've had some success already with Fairmount (detailed in the thread shroud linked) and am now happily watching a R2 DVD in my DVD Player app without any nasty messages or the flakiness of VLC. Hurrah!
  8. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    Its possible to flash some drives in OS X but it depends on the drive. I flashed my Sony drive that came with my Mac Pro '06.
  9. PrincessPeach thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 9, 2009
    Ok resurrecting this thread as I have my new Mac Pro now and the drive it came with (HL-DT-ST DVD-RW GH41N) is absolutely useless! I can play R1s perfectly but R2s completely choke even in VLC and with Fairmount/MacTheRipper. Disc errors all over the place and they refuse to play.

    I can't find any firmware flashes for it so I've decided I want to install a new DVD drive. One which can be altered to RPC1, or at least simply functions with the workarounds. I'm in the UK so model numbers may differ, but could anyone suggest an internal drive which will do what I need? It seems tricky to work out which models have flashes available ahead of time with the spotty information on the sales sites.

    Wish I'd swapped the drives around when I sold my G5 :(
  10. Amigalander macrumors regular

    Jan 13, 2008
    I'd do my research on cdfreaks before buying a drive. Have you checked there? Liggy & Dee seem to like flashing NEC drives. Here's their blog:
  11. Igantius macrumors 65816

    Apr 29, 2007
    I think this is the one I recently bought as a second optical drive - it's the main one that OWC recommends.

    I've had no problems watching any discs - installed it and it was good to go, no need to flash or change the region.

    There is a patch available for this drive, which is more of an utility for Windows, where the users can change setting (e.g. increasing the read speed for DL discs, so ripping takes half the time), but I haven't felt the need to use this.

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