Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tech Tip Tuesday: Target Disk Mode!

Reel Grrls Technical Director Lila here, with my first Tech Tip Tuesday for you!

Many of you may already know about target disk mode, but I wanted to share it with you just in case, because I use it ALL the time to transfer data! Plus the first time I learned about this tech tip, it totally blew my mind.

Target disk mode is when you connect two Mac computers (laptops or desktops, although some much older desktops don't support it) directly to each other via a firewire cable. If you have a large amount of files on one computer and need to transfer it to another computer, target disk mode is a great way to do it without having to go through the time involved in using an external hard drive, in which case you have to copy the files twice: once onto the hard drive, then again onto the other computer. Why bother? Just use target disk mode! Here is how you do it:

• Step 1: Find the appropriate firewire cable
The newest Macbook Pros have one firewire 800 plug (which takes 9-pin firewire plug-in), Mac desktops and older laptops have either just one firewire 400 port (which takes 6-pin firewire plug-in), or one of each. (Unfortunately, currently Macbooks don't have firewire ports at all, but that's another story.)

• Step 2: Connect the two computers via the firewire cable

• Step 3: Restart the computer that you want to use as a disk while holding down the "t" key. Don't let go of "t" until you see this image on the restarting computer's screen:

The computer with the firewire image now showing on its screen should show up on the other computer just as if it were an external hard drive. You can now transfer data from or to the disk mode computer's hard drive directly. Yay!

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