Optical drive dead

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Luis Ortega, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. Luis Ortega macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    The original optical drive on my 2008 mac pro bit the dust and I have to get a new one.
    Can anyone please advise?
    Can I use a blueray drive and burn disks from idvd or dvd studio pro and also copy files and media for storage on dvds or blueray disks?
    Or can I only get a dvd drive?
    How does it work with the mac pro drive door?
    Am I limited to some particular drives in a mac pro or can any optical drive be made to work in the mac pro optical bay?
    Thanks for any advice.
     
  2. initialsBB macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 18, 2010
    #2
    Any tray loading 5.25" drive will work, DVD or Blu-ray. You'll have to use software like VLC to watch blurays though, and you may have to get Toast to burn bluray video discs (not standard data).
     
  3. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #3
    The vast majority of tray loading drives should work. Just pop off the front bezel connected to the tray.

    Blu-ray is fine although most people report that it makes a noise every few minutes and/or can prevent the computer going to sleep.
     
  4. PowerPCMacMan macrumors 6502a

    PowerPCMacMan

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    #4
    Also, I'd like to add that the majority of blu-ray drives are SATA based, requiring you to either have a PCIe sata card to power the drive, or you would need a sata-pata adapter to make use of the drive since the optical cable in the 2008 mac pro is PATA/IDE. While yes, you do have two unused sata ports on the logic board, they are not hot swappable nor can they boot anything other than mac os x.

    Perhaps OWC has a PATA based blu-ray drive.

     
  5. d-m-a-x macrumors 6502

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    #5
    i have a 4x blu ray in my board, it's great. There is an LG bd-xl burner on sale at fry's for $60.
     
  6. PowerPCMacMan macrumors 6502a

    PowerPCMacMan

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    #6
    Cool, but what is the connection type? SATA or PATA(IDE)? Remember, the 2008 Mac Pros 3,1 use SATA 3 for hard drives with two extra unused SATA ports, while the optical drives use IDE or PATA.


     
  7. d-m-a-x, Jul 18, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012

    d-m-a-x macrumors 6502

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    #7
    sata plugged into the board. had to take the fan out to run the cable behind it. Mac pro 1,1

    the lg bd-xl specs says sata, dont know if its III
     
  8. PowerPCMacMan macrumors 6502a

    PowerPCMacMan

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    #8
    Just remember that you will not be able to boot from that drive if its plugged into one of the extra ODD ports. You will, however be able to boot into Mac OS X, as non-mac operating systems won't recognize those two odd ports.

    There is a way to enable them in windows, but its tedious.


     
  9. d-m-a-x macrumors 6502

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    #9
    hmm, yeah the original superdrive is still in there, so not wortied about booting - i have 2 cloned drives of my system so i wount boot off a disk anytime soon. I'll probably get the lg bd-xl and some sort of an enclosure (that holds 2 drives ?), as the future Macs may not have dd bays
     
  10. Luis Ortega thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #10
    Thanks, everyone.
    I had not thought about the connector, so I may just opt for a pata drive, unless they are too obsolete now.
     
  11. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #11
    Argh, forgot 2008 is IDE cables.

    PATA BD drives are hard to come by and expensive. If you can find one and don't mind paying extra, great. It is a clean solution at least.

    Otherwise, just get a SATA drive and either connect it to the motherboard or get a SATA/PATA adapter and connect it to the cable in the optical bay.
     
  12. PowerPCMacMan macrumors 6502a

    PowerPCMacMan

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    #12
    Just to refresh your memory.. Mac Pros 1,1; 2,1; and 3,1 all are PATA based for opticals. As I said, if the OP does not need windows or linux or some other OS, then the extra ODD ports will boot mac os x.

    But yes, good luck finding a PATA based blu-ray superdrive. Best solution would be SATA-PATA adapter.

     
  13. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

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    #13
    The only vendor I know of that actually manufactures PATA Blu-ray drives is MCE Technologies. It's at a price premium, of course.

    I ended up throwing a Pioneer BDR-206 (SATA based) in my 2008 tower. You can connect it to one of the hidden SATA ports on the logic board. Mine works fine. The only drawback to this method is that if you also boot into Windows, it's quite a bit of work to actually get Windows to see and use those ports because the Intel AHCI drivers for them are not installed by default.

    Also, with Pioneer SATA BD drives in particular, they have a weird "sleep" issue in OS X where the drive will "disappear" if the system goes to sleep. You can prevent this from happening by turning hard drive sleep off in the Energy Saver pane. AFAIK, this isn't an issue with the other vendors (LG, Lite-On, Samsung, etc.).
     
  14. Luis Ortega thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Thanks.
    I do run windows in Bootcamp, so it seems that I would lose the ability to boot from the optical drive if I connected a sata bluray burner to the sata connectors in my mac pro.

    I looked at the sata to pata adapter and that seems like a good solution.
    I can get a sata bluray burner and connect it to the existing pata cables in the 2008 mac pro using the adapter.

    It there a difference between a sata to pata and a pata to sata adapter, or are they just bi-directional adapters?
    How will that affect the speed or performance of the sata bluray burner when connected to a pata interface? It must slow it down, I think.
     
  15. G4DP macrumors 65816

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    #15
    Luis,

    Try finding a PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-112D. It is what Apple replaced all of the failed optiarc drives with.
     
  16. Spacedust macrumors 6502a

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  17. PowerPCMacMan macrumors 6502a

    PowerPCMacMan

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    #17
    Pioneer optical drive

    Sometimes my own Pioneer 218L superdrives disappear off radar in OS X. I tried to turn off sleep as well, but the problem keeps recurring. It could be a firmware issue?
     
  18. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

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    #18
    I cannot imagine that they would be bi-directional in the sense that you mean. The connections are gendered with the drives having male SATA or PATA connections and the cables having female PATA or SATA connections.

    So yes, you need the right adapter, but it should be very easy to sort out which one just by looking at a picture of it. Assuming the adapter connects directly to the drive and directly to the PATA ribbon cable, it should have female SATA/power connections and male PATA/power connections.

    I hope I got that right, I thought through it three times. :eek:

    I don't know about the speed. My wild guess tells me that optical drives are so slow you won't see a real world performance benefit between SATA and PATA, but I could be completely wrong in that.
     

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