Pioneer DVD-212D in Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by timish, May 25, 2007.

  1. timish macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2002
    Guys and Gals,

    I wanted to report back on some things.

    I'm the guy who advocates removing the stock superdrives and replacing them with SATA DVD writers instead.

    I did this and replaced them with Plextor PX-755SA drives and they have worked flawlessly each on their own SATA bus. I was running firmware 1.07 on both units.

    Recently, Pioneer released a TRUE SATA DVD writer that has a native SATA controller on the drive. I bought two of these as they are supposedly the best DVD writer out now.

    I removed the plextor's and installed the Pioneer drives.

    I'm reporting that both drives work perfectly in the Mac Pro.

    I tested them with firmware 1.09, 1.15 and the newly release (May 21st) 1.21 firmware. The latest firmware is recommended as I did see speed increases with the media I use (Ritek)

    The only drawback of the Pioneer units is there is NO FIRMWARE flash utility for the mac, so you have to upgrade the firmware on a PC. No big deal for me, but just reporting this. You can't use Parallels to update the SATA opticals, because Parallels reports them as being on the IDE bus, and that throws the firmware flasher for a loop.

    Parallels recognizes them fine individually, however a well know bug in Parallels PREVENTS the use of two Mac Pro opticals at the same time. Parallels has not addressed this problem at all, and this bug is not inherent to the SATA optical config. I tried dual EIDE superdrives and parallels still ignored one of the drive. Bug!

    Boot camp has not been tested.

    Hope some people find this info useful.

    The Pioneers really have some great internal build quality features that I could speak about more if anyone is interested.

  2. MRU Suspended


    Aug 23, 2005
    Interesting. How do you hook up SATA drives though ? Do you need new cables or have to mod the mac pro in order to get that to work ?
  3. timish thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2002
    There are two unused SATA ports, each on their own bus on the motherboard.

    They are located directly underneath the top portion of the front fan assembly.

    You would need two right angle SATA cables and route them up to the optical drive bays. Using the inplace legacy power connectors, simply attach SATA power cable adapters and VOILA, you have SATA superdrive(s) each on their own discrete bus.

  4. tribe3 macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2005
    Vienna, VA - USA

    I'm really interested but I need to know more specific details since I'm not the computer geek type.

    Where did you buy the drive? I see it costs around $55 but I would like to get the right model. Also if there is a special cable that needs to be purchased please guide me to it with a link.

    Thank you,

  5. timish thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2002
    Hey Pablo,

    i bought it at a local retailer called Fry's. I paid $59 a drive.

    You will need the drive (it sometimes has model of DVR-2810). DVR-212D and DVR-2810 are identical. The 2810 nomenclature denotes retail packaging.

    You will need one of these per drive:{f+JmNRbeX...HuCylAAgg**.node3?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG

    NOTE the "90 degree" cable. This is the end that plugs in to the Mac Pro SATA ports on the motherboard. The 90 degree turn on ONE end of the cable allows the cable to clear the fan assembly. Without that you need to Dremel (cut) out a portion of the plastic on the fan assembly to get the cable connected. I had to do this because I couldn't find cables with 90 degree bends local to me when I installed. Either way, it doesn't affect the operation of the machine or the fans. I suggest the low profile cables with 90 degree end at one of the connections so you don't have to perform "surgery" to get the cable in there.

    You will also need one of these per drive:

    This allows you to convert the legacy 4 pin power connectors in the Mac Pro to connect to the SATA optical drive you purchased.

    I am using this retailer as an example. Either of these products bought anywhere else should work fine.

    The install is tricky only because you have to remove the front fan assembly to plug the sata cable(s) in.

    I can help discuss that too.

  6. dkoralek macrumors 6502


    Sep 12, 2006
    thanks for the update. btw, they are priced at $33.99 from newegg, but currently out of stock.


  7. tribe3 macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2005
    Vienna, VA - USA

    Thanks for the links; I'll check around my area or just buy online. I believe the "D" stands for DL?

    My idea is to install just one in addition to the OEM Pioneer that came with my MP (Change the OEM to the secondary bay). I guess I'll be installing a Blu-ray in the future when prices drop.

    I guess I'll get the parallels tryout to install the firmware since I don't use windows, or maybe install bootcamp on part of one of my drives ( I have an OEM windows XP disk that I got at newegg when the win on a Mac hype was all over the place)


  8. timish thread starter macrumors regular

    Jul 16, 2002

    Remember Parallels can't be used to update the firmware of the SATA optical drive currently. The reason is that Parallels EMULATES the SATA ports as EIDE ports. The pioneer flasher is expecting the drive(s) on a native SATA bus, which Parallels doesn't report.

    I believe Parallels can be used to update the code on IDE/EIDE optical drives and USB ones though.

    Not sure about Boot Camp yet as I haven't tried it yet.

    If you have further questions, let me know.

  9. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    Can you try booting off the install DVD?

    I heard the main problem with going off the beaten path with DVD drives is that many can't be booted off of.

    If you can do that, I'm sold.
  10. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    Oh, by the way, you really need to test it in boot camp.

    In boot camp, the hard drives you hook up to those 2 extra ports aren't detected (from what I've seen).
  11. downset macrumors member

    May 1, 2005
    i am very interested in buying two dvd 212 drives for my mac pro, but i absolutely need them in bootcamp,

    can someone please test if dvd sata drives show up in win xp bootcamp?
  12. jhaywood101 macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2007
    install of Pioneer Optical drives in Mac Pro, and write problem.

    I am new to the forum, thanks for all your great information!
    I have a Mac Pro, and
    I am having a problem with my optical drive saying media not recognized all of a sudden. It is for both the original, stock drive, and the new SATA I put in. Is there a driver or something that makes this happen? I can read any cd or dvd, but new media is not recognized.

    Also, how would I update the firmware for the pioneer sata 212's if I don't have a pc available? The Mac Pro seems to recognize the drive fine without any update. Is it absolutely necessary, or just an improvement over stock proformance?

    Thanks in advance
  13. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    If you have a copy of windows XP, you can install it on the mac pro using 'boot camp' (google it)

    As far as it not being able to recognize certain media, I'm getting similar odd problems with my SATA 212 as well. Usually I just ignore the error messages and everything ends up fine.

    I think it's a driver issue.
  14. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    By the way, he drive DOES NOT WORK IN BOOT CAMP if you have it hooked up to one of the spare SATA ports, so you need to probably hook it up to a hard drive port if you want to update the firmware.
  15. jhaywood101 macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2007
    Mac Pro Optical Drive problems

    How important is it to update the firmware at this point?

    I will try connecting to one of the hard drive bays to update firmware when the time is right.

    Does anyone know why I would be getting the media not recognized on both IDE and SATA optical drives? Problem occured prior to adding the SATA drive.
  16. jhaywood101 macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2007
    Writing to CD and DVD

    Is it significantly better/'faster/other to use Toast as opposed to built in?
  17. downset macrumors member

    May 1, 2005
    found a way to make the drives work in bootcamp

    after finding this thread in the onmac forums i finally was able to get my pioneer sata drive to work under bootcamp:

    basically you have to do the following:

    install xp and ubuntu linux with a pata dvd drive
    in xp change the ide 2680 driver to the intel ahci driver found here: Operating Systems&lang=eng

    boot into ubuntu and change the stage1 file of the grub bootloader to this:

    this keeps the mac pro in ahci mode when booting a foreign os

    now you can boot windows using the linux partition, this will start grub and keep the mac pro in the correct mode

    i also installed refit to make things a little easier but as far as i know using alt when booting shoud work too

    if anyone tries this and has any questions feel free to ask

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