MacMost Now 685: Surviving Without a DVD Drive

The MacBook Air and the new Mac mini come without an optical drive. In the future, more Mac models will most likely also come without one. But getting along without CD/DVD drive is easy if you use USB flash drives, external hard drives, online music and video services and ways of streaming video to your TV. You can also get an external drive or share a drive on another Mac.

Comments: 16 Responses to “MacMost Now 685: Surviving Without a DVD Drive”

    Daniel Hana
    7 years ago

    What if you need to run a recovery on the hard drive?
    Thanks
    Danny

      7 years ago

      What do you mean? What has that to do with operating without a DVD drive?

        7 years ago

        Oh, you mean if you need to recover because the drive crashed. That ship has already sailed. Lion doesn’t come on a DVD. It puts a recovery partition on your drive, and a Lion internet recovery in the firmware on your Mac. You can always recover from either of those.

          daniel hana
          7 years ago

          Thank you :)

    Aaron
    7 years ago

    You raised a good point about file storage. At what point, how many years should we back up the back up. If we put things on an external hard drive, how long will that last? What’s the best way to back up are precious photos’s?

      7 years ago

      I’ve heard that hard drives last longer than optical. Better if you use them every once in a while, I’ve hear too (as opposed to letting it sit in a closet for years without ever spinning up).
      For digital it is always best to re-backup things. So if you are thinking long term it is best to copy the data to a new drive every few years. That hasn’t been an issue yet since drives keep getting bigger. I don’t have my drives from 10 years ago because those are tiny compared to today’s drives. I keep rolling them into larger ones.
      And in the future, it may all be online where things are redundant.

    hirandy
    7 years ago

    Hard drives have an 100% failure rate over time as well as polyester base tape. I have CD’s purchased in the early 1980’s that still play just fine. I have printed photographs that are 80 years old that look ok, and 80 year old phonograph records that still play. Backing up to the cloud is only as good as the corporation running it, remember polaroid? Print all cherished photographs to good stock, back up all photo’s to DVD as well hard drives and you won’t be sorry 30 years from now.

      7 years ago

      There’s a big difference between purchased (manufactured) CDs and CDs you burned yourself. I’m not talking about manufactured music CDs here — I mean CDs you burn — if you had a box of those from the early 90s (when writable CDs first appeared) I’m sure many of them would be unreadable by now. Archiving your photos to DVDs and expecting those DVDs to all be readable 30 years from now is a plan I would strongly advise you against. And good luck finding a computer with a DVD drive 30 years from now to read it. It would be like finding a computer take with a 5.25-inch floppy drive.

    richard perrier
    7 years ago

    still trying to solve this problem. MacMini to Monitor or TV using HDMI to HDMI cable for streaming. with apple wireless keyboard 6/8ft away how can i use F11 and F12 keys to adjust volume.
    i now have to get up and adjust volume manually from either TV or monitor controls.
    richard

      7 years ago

      Your TV’s remote control. Your keyboard controls your Mac, but it doesn’t control your TV. That’s not how HDMI works. It sends the audio, but it is up to the TV to control the volume.

    richard
    7 years ago

    tks for explanation Gary. so, same thing applies for my 27″ Asus display connected to my MacMini with HDMI cable ( no remote for monitor) correct?
    would that be same if monitor was thunderbolt apple 27″ monitor?

      7 years ago

      Does the Asus display have speakers? If so, then it may or may not support the volume signals sent over HDMI. A TV wouldn’t, but I’m not sure about a monitor.
      An Apple display hooked up via Thunderbolt/Mini DisplayPort is a completely different story. That would definitely work with volume controls (and much much more) — totally different as it is not being converted to HDMI. Heck, you get ethernet, USB, video camera input, etc.

    richard
    7 years ago

    Gary, my Asus VE278Q display has speakers but does not support volume signals send over HDMI because pressing F11/F12 i get faded window (volume max out and cross bar inside circle) non functional. perhaps you know any adjustment in monitor menu (no support from Asus they blame MacMini) + volume adjustments is under and not quick/easy to use manually.

    HDMI connection is simple and works beautifully so, prefer to stay as is and can’t spend 1000$ on apple display.

    richard

      7 years ago

      No suggestions. HDMI is not meant to be used for computer displays, just for TV. Doesn’t that monitor have another type of input? I’m sure it does — probably DVI. Use that port instead.

    ayush
    7 years ago

    Gary, I have my FIFA 12 Game CD. And since I have bought the new iMac which doesn’t have an optical disc drive. So, how do I play the game?

      7 years ago

      I give two suggestions in the video: use the virtual drive with another Mac, or get an external drive. Or, see if that game has a downloadable version.

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