Sharing a Mac Optical drive with Windows

Lots of web references say this can’t be done.  But you can.Indeed you can’t share the low level filesystem, for example, to boot Windows off the optical drive. However, you CAN trivially share the files on an optical disk from a Mac to Windows. This lets you do normal application installs from the CDROM, but not an OS install from booting the optical disk.

See David Anderson’s reply at

  1. Confirm you can browse from Windows to a Mac folder unrelated to the optical disk, and copy a few files.
  2. Insert the optical disk in the Mac and watch for it to appear in the Finder (and probably on your desktop).
  3. Open System Preferences, Sharing and “+” add a Shared Folder, and select the entire optical disk from under the “Devices” pull down.
  4. Browse from windows to the Mac and see the optical disk offered as a share.
  5. Access or copy files from the Mac to Windows.
  6. When complete, “-” remove the optical disk from the Mac’s Shared Folder list, and drag the desktop icon to the trashcan to eject the disk.

If you have more disks to copy, go back to Step 2.


About Brian

Engineer. Aviator. Educator. Scientist.
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