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Here's what I'm trying to do. I have dvd duplicators that only duplicate discs from a master disc. I can also install an internal hdd with images stored on them and duplicate from there. These functions work great, however, if I need to change the master files, I have to burn a new disc or load the hdd with a new image; it is time consuming when you have to do it often. What I want as an end result is a duplicator that can get it's master data from another computer, where I can change the master files easily.

Here's what I've come up with while brainstorming:

  • I know you can create virtual drives pretty easily with third party software such as MagicISO or PowerISO.
  • I know there are plenty of hardware options that convert USB to SATA.
  • I know you can specify different hardware to do different things on different ports (though not too familiar with this).

So I am thinking it might be possible to mount an image file through a specific port (or something like that) so that is sends the data by USB, converted to SATA, to another Motherboard, in this case, the duplicator controller. Then the duplicator controller will think that a disc has been inserted into the master drive and I can burn copies.

I would prefer a Windows solution. I do have access to Mac and Linux if necessary.

  • Does the device have network jack or support wi-fi? If so, windows file sharing maybe an option. – cybernard Aug 6 '14 at 2:59
  • @cybernard No networking. Only interface is SATA. – fredsbend Aug 6 '14 at 4:47
  • Refer this question, which possibly could be one of the solutions to your problem! – jjk_charles Aug 28 '14 at 21:29
  • @jjk_charles At first glance that looks like a switch, where computer A and computer B can be quickly interchanged for connectivity for peripheral C. I'm looking for direct, Sata communication between Computer A and Computer B, where Computer B thinks Computer A is a peripheral, specifically, an optical drive with a disc in it. – fredsbend Aug 28 '14 at 21:39
  • You'd need special hardware for what you want. Can you please provide the exact device model you're using? – Daniel B Aug 28 '14 at 21:44
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One thing to note is that SATA ports can be converted into eSATA ports with simple converter cables as the only difference between them is in the cables' form. I would suggest buying an external drive with eSATA interface (and another common interface like USB 3.0 because eSATA is not very common). Here's how my suggested setup works:

  1. if you need to use the duplicator, you'd connect the drive with a special SATA-to-eSATA cable to the duplicator.
  2. if you need to modify the data on the drive (to load disc images etc.), you'd connect the drive with an eSATA cable (or another interface) to the computer.

This setup completely eliminates master discs. There is also no need to swap drives (only eSATA/USB cables–there is no need to open the computer or duplicator as the cables can be very long). The downside of this setup is that you can't do both things at the same time.

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I don't think what you're asking for is possible, but I would like to address another part of your question.

if I need to change the master files, I have to burn a new disc or load the hdd with a new image; it is time consuming when you have to do it often

You didn't indicate how you currently do these tasks, but instead of burning a new disc (i.e. DVD±R/RW), you could edit a DVD-RAM disc. DVD-RAM has concentric tracks like a hard drive, and changing files on it is almost the same as using a USB flash drive.

As for accessing the hard drive, even though the DVD duplicator doesn't have eSATA, you could still use a SATA hard drive bay/rack/caddy/tray such as this one. One rack in the duplicator, one rack in your PC, and one tray for the hard drive.

  • I will take a closer look at the DVD-RAM option. That might be a suitable substitute for what I am doing now. – fredsbend Aug 29 '14 at 17:58
  • You have to have a DVD-RAM compatible drive for the Master and your PC, but most drives are. If not, a new drive is cheap (almost the same price as the disc!). If you found this answer helpful, please mark it as useful. – Jason Aug 29 '14 at 18:07
  • If this works for me, I'll surely come back and mark it and give you the bounty. For others reading, if you have a solution that eliminates the discs altogether, that is what I ultimately want. Please do answer. – fredsbend Aug 29 '14 at 18:08
  • I'm trying to track down some local DVD-RAM discs. I don't know if I will be able to in time, but since the bounty is non-refundable, I will give it to you, regardless, unless someone posts a better solution. One issue I am thinking might occur is that the duplicator will not replicate from the DVD-RAM to a standard DVD-R. The other issue is that the duplicator won't recognize the RAM drive at all. We'll see. – fredsbend Sep 2 '14 at 8:50
  • I wasn't able to get any DVD-RAM discs to test. I'll still try this when able. Here is the bounty anyway because it is non-refundable. – fredsbend Sep 4 '14 at 21:57
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If I understand correctly, you should be able to solve this simply:

  • Master computer has the image where you can modify it whenever you want, and the folder containing the image is simply shared over the network
  • Other (slave) computers can access the shared folder, and thus the image, and they can mount it or 'duplicate' it or whatever you need
  • When the master image needs to be updated the only thing you'd need to do is potentially unmount it on the slave computers, do your edits on master, and then remount on slaves
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    Err, just read your comment that said "No networking" (which wasn't mentioned in the question). That sounds like you're trying to make it harder for yourself ;) – user145400 Aug 29 '14 at 16:14
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    The DVD duplicator isn't a PC; it can't access network shares. – Jason Aug 29 '14 at 16:22
  • @user145400 If networking were possible I surely would have tried it. The dvd controller card has no network controller. – fredsbend Aug 29 '14 at 16:44

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