How to Enter Target Disk Mode

One of these is Target Disk Mode, which essentially turns your Mac into an external hard drive. By connecting two Macs together in this way, you can quickly transfer files, migrate your data to a new Mac, or access your startup disk when macOS refuses to boot. While regular backups are always essential , Target Disk Mode provides added peace of mind in case disaster strikes.

Mac Target Disk Mode includes USB | The IvanExpert Mac Blog

Volumes mount virtually and instantly, and the use of a cable means that transfers are significantly faster than equivalent wireless methods. You cannot use the target Mac while it is in Target Disk Mode. Your Mac essentially becomes an enclosure for your internal drive. Target Disk Mode was first introduced with the PowerBook in and has made it into most Mac models since then. Here's everything you need to know about your MacBook ports.

Take your cable and connect both computers via the relevant Thunderbolt or FireWire ports.

How to transfer files to a new Mac using Migration Assistant

Connect any adapters you need for older machines. Only by manually encrypting the files on your hard drive can you truly keep your files safe. Wait for the drive to decrypt, then it should show up like any other external drive. Use Finder to browse files, copy to and from the drive, and then safely eject your drive.


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On your target Mac, press the power button to power down the machine. You can now restart this machine as normal, if you want. All replies Drop Down menu. Loading page content. User profile for user: Allan Eckert Allan Eckert. Mac OS X Speciality level out of ten: 1. You can't use Ethernet.

User profile for user: Ralph Landry1 Ralph Landry1.

How to Boot a Mac in Target Disk Mode

Jan 11, PM in response to Allan Eckert In response to Allan Eckert Is there anyway to get the inforation off without taking the hard drive out? Reply Helpful Thread reply - more options Link to this Post. Mac computers come with a built-in feature called Target Disk Mode that make them appear as external storage devices connected to other computers.

However, if you are trying to access or transfer files from a Mac to PC, you will run into formatting obstacles because Windows systems will not automatically read these disks.

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There are a few extra steps that PC users must take to use a Mac as an external storage device. Both your Mac and PC will need to have these ports built in. If you do not have these ports, you may want to explore an alternative way to move your data from a Mac to PC, such as loading your Mac files onto another USB external drive and then moving them onto you computer. You can also use an Ethernet cable to create a file sharing connection between your computers.

If your computers have FireWire ports, your Mac will accept either 9-pin connectors FireWire or 6-pin connectors FireWire depending on the age of your machines.


  • Target Disk Mode.
  • 1. INTRODUCTION;
  • Preparation for Migration Assistant.
  • Boot a sick Mac into Target Disk Mode for troubleshooting!
  • What You Need to Use Target Disk Mode.
  • All replies.
  • Generally, FireWire will transfer files faster than its older counterpart.