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(April 25th, 2011) Mac Pro Blu-Ray and DVD Burner Upgrade owner reports
Updated: May 2nd, 2011 (added notes on Pioneer BDR-206)

Update on Pioneer BDR-206 (5/2/2011) Follow-up from the reader that mentioned earlier he was getting a BDR-206 for his Mac Pro - I'd mentioned the earlier reports of sleep issues with the previous BDR-205 model to him, (Ref: Nov 2009 posts on Mac Pro/Pioneer BDR-205 disappearing drive issue) - I was hoping the later (-206) model might fare better.

"An update;
(Original (2006) Mac Pro (1,1) running OS X 10.6.7, using a spare mb SATA Port)
Got the (Pioneer) BDR-206 yesterday and yep, disappearing drive same as everybody else.
I've left drive sleep enabled for now as for some people the problem cleared up on its own.
(On its own? maybe try clearing caches, resetting nvram.)
But the drive works very well with all media types.
Somewhat noisier than the LG, but we can't have everything.

There are no firmware updates for it at the moment (as of April 30th, 2011) so I'll sit tight.
Connected it in exactly the same manner as all previous drives (earlier report below), (ODD_SATA).
My drive info, (as gleaned by MakeMKV), is;
Current profile: BD-ROM
Manufacturer: PIONEER
Product: BD-RW BDR-206D
Revision: 1.04
Serial number: JKDP0039****
Firmware details: intf=SAT gen=1030 krnl=ID61 main=ID61 ver=0002
Firmware date: 2010-11-17

(He later wrote)
When the drive did go to sleep and the system error-ed out I got the following three pop ups;
This one when the drive obviously awoke again.

This one when the Mac decided it was the wrong drive;

...and this one when I used Spindown;

Funny though as when the Mac itself is set to sleep it wakes up and the drives behave perfectly.

Reviewer's Name: DG
Date Submitted: 4/25/2011
Drive Type: Blu-Ray Drive
Drive Interface: IDE (Serial ATA onboard)
Drive Brand: LG
Drive Model Number: BH10LS30
Driver Used: Apple Standard
Mac Model: Apple Mac Pro Tower
Mac OS Version: (TBA)
Reader Comments: (Ref: Early Mac Pros (pre-2009) used IDE/ATAPI Optical Drives, but here's a main site article from 2007 on Using the 2006-2008 Mac Pro's 2 extra onboard SATA Ports - popular for eSATA drive use or using SATA Optical drives inside the case.-M)

After perusing your ever useful website, I decided to plump for a new Blu Ray drive to replace the dying drive in my (pre-2009) Mac Pro.

So, it's in the lower bay, (connected to the spare SATA port on the motherboard using Apple standard driver), and System profiler reports the following;

    HL-DT-ST BD-RE (LG) BH10LS30:
    Firmware Revision: 1.00
    Burn Support: Yes (Generic Drive Support)
    Profile Path: None
    Cache: 4096 KB
    Reads DVD: Yes
    CD-Write: -R, -RW
    DVD-Write: -R, -R DL, -RAM, -RW, +R, +R DL, +RW
    BD-Write: -R, -RE
    Write Strategies: CD-TAO, CD-SAO, CD-Raw, DVD-DAO
    Media: To show the available burn speeds, insert a disc and choose View > Refresh Model: HL-DT-ST BD-RE BH10LS30
    Revision: 1.00
    Serial Number: K9FB1TF51xx
    Native Command Queuing: No
    Detachable Drive: No
    Power Off: No
    Async Notification: Yes

Not had it long but it works beautifully. Very quick and most of all near silent. Cost me 69.99 from my local PC World. My Pro is one of the original 1,1 models. Works well for everything I can test with except DVDRAM which I don't buy.

There are no problems of any sort to report in it's short life so far.

(Asked him for missing info (specific year Mac Pro and OS X version used - assuming OS X 10.6.x (snow leopard).
He replied:
Good job you stopped me there actually. Now I'll add some more details.
Prior to getting the LG, I bought a Samsung unit, (aka the SH-B083L). I'd heard that the thing was pretty good under OSX. Anyway when I arrived at he shop he gave me a different unit, an SH-B123L so I said Ok, looks like it's probably an updated version of that same drive. So, got it home and System profiler didn't recognize it as a Blu-Ray drive. Needless to say I returned it.
So, off to PC World for the LG. All appeared well until I went to burn a DVD, and received the following message from Disk Utility: Unable to burn. (The disc drive didn't respond properly and can't recover or retry). It would though read and write CDs, read and write Blu rays, but only read DVDs. So back to the shop with that one too so I'm now in the hunt for a BDR-206, I'll post about that when/if I get it...
(Pioneer correct? Just a FYI that some readers back in 2009 reported problems with the previous BDR-205 model.
(Ref: Nov 2009 posts More Tests on Mac Pro/Pioneer BDR-205 disappearing drive issue and Dec 2009 post More Notes/Tips on Mac Pro 'Disappearing optical drive' (drive sleep) problems

Anyways to answer your questions:
Using the SATA_ODD port for it. Running OS X 10.6.7 - Original Mac Pro. (1,1).

* any issues seen with sleep? (either going to sleep, or waking up etc?
No issues with sleep at all. Left the control set as, Put HDDs to sleep when possible.

By the way, your sponsor, OWC, is great. I would order more right now but import tax makes it more money than buying over here in rip off Britain!
Cheers mate. Take it easy.

The following are 2 reports from early Mac Pro owners on Parallel ATA Optical Drive upgrades. (Getting very rare as SATA drives are more common and even older mac pro owners may have already used the spare onboard SATA ports.)

Reviewer's Name: Davor P.
Date Submitted: 4/25/2011
Drive Type: DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives
Drive Interface: IDE
Drive Brand: LG
Drive Model Number: GH22NP21 (firmware revision 1.0)
Driver Used: Apple Standard
Mac Model: Apple Mac Pro Tower
Mac OS Version: OS X 10.6
Reader Comments:
One more contribution to your drive compatibility database!
I have installed LG GH22NP DVD-RW drive as a second drive in my Mac Pro 3.0GHZ 8-core (Mac OS X 10.6.7). The original drive is getting old and even if it still works, it gets more and more fastidious about the media type. So I decided to install an alternative replacement drive in bay two.

To my surprise, today it's not easy to find a quality burner that still uses an older (parallel) ATA interface - all modern drives are of SATA type. Older Mac Pro machines that use ATA standard for optical drives are Mac Pro series (1,1), (2,1) & (3,1). Finally I have located that LG drive that seems both - a good performer and not expensive. I recommend to all Mac Pro owners with "near-end-of-life" SuperDrives to buy a replacement while it's cheap to get drives with an older ATA interface.

The installation is very simple - you just have to remove the tray edge bezel first. (most snap off - tray edge bezel if not removed hangs on eject on Mac Pros, G5 towers, etc)
Also, have in mind (with any PATA/IDE/ATAPI drive) that if you install it as a secondary drive you need to move the Master/Slave jumper to Slave position.

I have tested the drive using Toast 9 and it works great! As a minus it can get noisy at high speeds but it's acceptable.

BTW - Not sure if any other reader is using this same (PATA) drive as the reader below, but if you are let me know if you've seen any similar sleep issues (and what your current OS version is). Thanks.

Reviewer's Name: Thom B.
Date Submitted: 4/25/2011
Drive Type: DVD+R/RW + DVD-R/RW Drives
Drive Interface: IDE
Drive Brand: Samsung
Drive Model Number: SHS222LBEBSL (DVD + CD, Lightscribe)
Driver Used: Apple Standard
Mac Model: Apple Mac Pro Tower
Mac OS Version: OS X 10.6
Reader Comments: I recently ordered two of these DVD drives for my MacPro 3,1 (2008 Model w/non-SATA Optical drives):
Samsung (SAMSHS222LBEBSL) IDE/ATAPI 'Super-MultiDrive' DVD DL/CD with LightScribe

These drives function extremely well and fast for ripping, and burning on pretty much any media I have thrown at them, and they are generally quieter than the Superdrive that came with my machine.
There is one major downside though, the drives will not allow my computer to sleep on idle with 10.5.8 or 10.6.2 (virgin OS installs, with no other components connected to the machine, etc); sleep still works with 10.5.4.
(BTW - Not sure what changed in the OS to affect this but asked if he tried clearing the nvram. (may not help at all, just one of the old voodoo tips.)
Athough I never set any of my macs to auto-sleep (after xx idle time) I noted at the main site back in 2009 IIRC that after some other owner comments on this issue (cant recall now what OS X 10.5.x version it was then) that my 2009 Mac Pro would not go into "auto" sleep (after exceeding a set idle time in Energy Saver prefs) - not an issue for me as again I always selected manual (menu) sleep when needed. No issues with that seen with my OEM drives or the (SATA) LG BR/DVD Combo drive I used with it (a BR burner + HD-DVD reader model, which was replaced by faster/non-HD DVD models later). Although I'd had no issues with it internally, I eventually moved it to an OWC Quad-Interface external case kit so that it could be used with other machines.-M
Sleep also occurs when there are discs in the drive, but not when they are empty. When they are empty, just as the machine is powering down for sleep, you can hear the drives being accessed which causes the machine to spin back up. This cycle continues indefinitely.

Obviously Apple will not be doing anything about this, as they are 3rd party drives, and Samsung blames the OS. I found pretty much no information on this anywhere on the web. (On your specific drive model I assume, but Optical Drive sleep issues have been noted here for many many years (even long before mac pros were made) - last common mac pro issue reported here I think though was on a Pioneer BDR-205 drive model a couple years ago.-M) I had to burn some empty discs and leave them in the machine all the time, setting Finder to not show CDs/DVDs on the desktop and I almost can forget there is an issue, except when I hear the drives spinning up and accessing the discs.
(BTW - years ago the more common optical drive sleep issue was leaving Discs IN the drive for long idle periods. (In some cases disablng ES sleep helped, others not. FAQ has an old tip/script that 'tickles' the optical drive to prevent sleep - someone may have done something more modern since then.-M)
Was hoping it could be put in the archives so that it might come up on a search for some people.
Thanks, Thom

It may not matter but just for the record, I asked him to check ASP and send the firmware version of the drives. (There may or may not be an update- and even if so it may not affect this, plus you'd need bootcamp/windows to update the drives typically.)
OWC's product page has some notes/links at the bottom - including a FYI on disabling Energy Saver sleep with OS X/Mac Pros.

    OWC Note:
    Requires disabling of hard disk sleep in Mac Pro Systems to prevent drive from disappearing during sleep...."

Granted this has not always solved issues with optical drive sleep in the past (going back many many years as noted in reports going back nearly a decade).

If any other reader is using this drive in a Mac Pro let me know if you have similar sleep issues.

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