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Model A1347 with 2.4 or 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo Processor.

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Joining 2 Mac's using a Firewire Cable

I am yet trying to join my A1103, 2005 and my A1347, 2010 Apple Mac’s .

I have not had any success yet with the Ethernet Switch and Cables, so I would like to try it with a Firewire Cable and Migration Assistant.

Could you please inform me of the correct cables for this task

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Lets first look at the ports these two systems have in common:

Mac Mini Late 2005:

  • Ethernet: 10/100BASE-T (RJ-45)
  • FireWire: 400 MBit/s

Mac Mini Mid 2010:

  • Ethernet: 10/100/1000BASE-T (RJ-45)
  • FireWire: - 800 MBit/s

So how can we connect these together? As it turns out you can do either! Each has their own issues.

Lets first work the Ethernet method. Here we would need a 100Base-T hub or switch as that is the common data rate between the systems, or we could just use an Ethernet cable back to back! (not using any hub or switch). You’ll need to get a Ethernet crossover cable to connect the two systems back to back. Here’s one source: 7' ft Foot Gray RJ45 Ethernet Network Cat6 Crossover Cable Cord

For FireWire we have two different connectors between the FireWire 400 and the FireWire 800 interfaces. The data rate can only go 400 MBit/s as thats the common rate. Again we just connect the two systems back to back. Here’s the needed cable FireWire 800 9-Pin To FireWire 400 6-Pin Cable

So once you have the connections you need to think how to get the systems to communicate over the connection. The easiest is to use the built-in Target Disk Mode. To do this you alter one system into a slave device (looks like an external drive) Restart the system holding the T key. And lastly, you can even leverage Migration Assistant to move your user accounts, apps & data over. Here’s more on that How to move your content to a new Mac

Reference: Mac startup key combinations

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Thank you Dan,

Could I ask if these two methods will allow me to transfer files to and fro my two computers, as I am only using the source Mac as a file backup and storage device; therefor I am not simply transferring files from an old computer to a new one.


This can get messy! To answer your question there is no difference between an external drive so copying files between it and your system, or system A to System B,

So lets dig a bit deeper as you then get into the issue of which file is the right one! You could end up over-writing the wrong one.

This is where a file sync application can make a big difference! Making sure your two systems (or more) have the same files. Some sync apps allow you to set a given folder/s to keep in sync and not the whole drive.

I would recommend you look into Sync Folders Pro


@ac2sde - How are you doing?

If your questions have been answered how about accepting the answer.


It is understood that they will copied files and not transferred; I did not realize this.

But will this same fact not weaken their credibility and create limitations when returned to a host Mac - as with Aliases and Duplicated Files that are only meant for temporary work procedures.

Hoping that all questions are answered.


Copy Vs Transferred - Within computers there is no such thing as 'Transfer' only the concept of 'Copying' Lets look at this way ...

I take a book from one self and place it on a different one that is the act of transfer, the original book is just moved. If I take the book any place it within a copier page by page the contents of the book is copied so I have the original book and a copy of the book. This is the act of copying. One would need to make the effort in deleting the extra copy(s) from the location I no longer wanted them.

Within a computer a file is only copied between two locations that could be a folder or drive. But unlike the copier method above there is no risk of forgetting a page or making an error in the placement of the pages. So in true you are getting an exact copy of the original file. That is as long as the file its self is not corrupted in some manner.

So to answer your second question your created file is exactly the same as the original. So as an example I take a picture from my digital camera and copy it to my system and then I make copies on multiple USB thumb drives each one will be exactly alike!

There are some files which are copy protected which you can't copy or require a key held within the application to allow it to work. As an example iTunes TV shows or movies have DRM so you can make copies but only the user ID which bought them can play them on that or other systems. So lets say you backed up your hard drive, you could transfer them to a new system and then continue to watch the the TV shows and movies on the new system.

I'm a bit lost here on what you are trying to do. It sounds like you really need a proper backup solution so you can have your stuff secured. This is why one gets a external drive which is at least 2~3 times bigger than your internal drive and use a backup program like TimeMachine which you get with MacOS. If you have multiple Mac's then you can get a larger drive and use it with two or more systems each one has an independent backup file of its data. As an example I have three systems which share a common backup drive. Every night they backup the changes so if my drive dies or I make a mistake I can recover all or just one file without any problems!


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