Best way to transfer large files

Tech198

macrumors G5
Original poster
Mar 21, 2011
14,439
1,775
Australia, Perth
Whats the best way to transfer large files to a remote Mac mini on the same network ?

I'm talking about 300+ gig....

I've tried screen sharing on Mac, but it's too limited. Transfers fail frequently and when it does, it does not report that a file with the same name already exists in the same folder, so i end up with heaps of duplicates.

I figure Finder knows this, but screen sharing does not.

Any one know a better way ?

I don't really wanna use cloud services a bit at a time, since it will be too slow.

I'm thinking either external drive, or either-net, or ftp upload (if this is possible without OS X server).
 

ELMI0001

macrumors 6502
Jan 5, 2009
375
6
Olympic Hills GC
External hard drive. They are dirt cheap. If you don't have one with at least 1 TB laying around pick one up. Use it for this and then as a Time Machine backup drive.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
18,488
6,253
Above post is correct.


Assuming the target computer is within "walking distance", why bother with any other way?
 

El Hikaru

macrumors regular
Dec 3, 2013
221
79
Ethernet

Plug two machines into the same network, open file sharing, and send the file out. It should not cost anything more than the price of cables.
 

talmy

macrumors 601
Oct 26, 2009
4,707
266
Oregon
Plug two machines into the same network, open file sharing, and send the file out. It should not cost anything more than the price of cables.
Totally agree, especially since the OP said they already were on the same network.

This should end up being about twice as fast as any other approach since it involves only a single transfer.
 

barkmonster

macrumors 68020
Dec 3, 2001
2,123
12
Lancashire
Whats the best way to transfer large files to a remote Mac mini on the same network ?

I'm talking about 300+ gig....

I've tried screen sharing on Mac, but it's too limited. Transfers fail frequently and when it does, it does not report that a file with the same name already exists in the same folder, so i end up with heaps of duplicates.

I figure Finder knows this, but screen sharing does not.

Any one know a better way ?

I don't really wanna use cloud services a bit at a time, since it will be too slow.

I'm thinking either external drive, or either-net, or ftp upload (if this is possible without OS X server).
Open file sharing on both Macs.

Configure them to both have access to the folders you want to copy and the folders you want to copy to.

On the Mac you're copying to do this:

1) Obtain DupeGuru and Carbon Copy Cloner (It allows 30 days trial use, DupeGuru is Free).

2) Make sure you're using the destination Mac for this, then open DupeGuru. This is going to weed out all the duplicate files. What you do is set your DESTINATION disk/folder as "normal" and then run a scan. With 300Gb it could take some time to get the results.

Once it's displaying the results window, it's fairly self-explainatory but gives the option of removing duplicates from the results that you want to keep. Once you've established the files you've checked are ready to be binned and eliminated the ones from the results you don't want deleting, go ahead and use the "Send to trash" menu command, then open Carbon Copy Cloner.

Duplicate files in DupeGuru that could need weeding out of the results are usually files with glaringly different names, yet equal file sizes.

3) Using Carbon Copy Cloner navigate to the source folders you want copy to your destination disk. This will be via the "choose a folder" option and you just navigate to the other Mac via the file selector.

Set the destination to the folder on your destination mac and then set the "Handlling of data already on the destination" drop down to the "Preserve newer files, don't delete anything" option and then let it copy the files over off your old Mac. This will take less time the more files are already on your destination mac.

Once it's done, your destination mac will have all the files off your other mac on it and a folder called _CCC Archives containing any files off the destination that are older than the versions off the other Mac you're replacing them with. This means you don't loose anything you might regret overwriting and gives you the option of weeding out anything you don't need later.

4) Don't let anyone tell you spend money on some app you're going to use once or waste money on additional hardware you don't need. You're literally just doing a copy and merge of files from 1 mac to another. Nothing more than an active and functioning network is needed apart from the apps above to achieve this.
 

edjs

macrumors newbie
Jun 15, 2012
22
1
rsync

Another option is to use rsync from the terminal:

Code:
rsync -avE --progress ~/Documents/largedir 192.168.1.10:Documents/
The example assumes the files are in a folder named largedir in your Documents folder, that the destination machine is IP address 192.168.1.10, and that you have the same username on both machines.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,510
6,744
On a wired gigabit network, file sharing is fast, free, and easy. It's really the best solution.

If you're not wired but your wi-fi is rock-solid, that's probably second best and it's also free.

Failing all that, USB 3.0 and an external drive is probably third place for speed and price.
 

westrock2000

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2013
524
22
By "same network" are we talking a home network, small business network, or large corporate network?

For home or small office that likely has no sophisticated firewall then you can use AFP or SMB and setup a shared folder on the target computer. Find the target computer on the network from your original computer and copy/paste. This is probably something you would want anyways eventually.

If you are in a large corporate office then the ports used for these services may be blocked, as large corporations can take file sharing very seriously from a security point of view.

If you are unable to get network access, and they are within walking distance you can always connect them with a Firewire cable and the source computer essentially becomes a really big USB drive.

Apple: Transfer from Mac to Mac with Firewire

I do agree that a direct file transfer will be fastest. Even at Ethernet gigabit speeds (~85MB/s) your looking at an hour of transfer speeds. Cut that to USB speeds (~25MB/s) and your looking at over 3 hours to copy to the drive and then again to copy from the drive for 6 hours total. I've done that in a pinch, it's not fun.

Edjs's solution using the underlying Unix commands is also good. Having those tools available is part of what makes OSX so great.
 

blanka

macrumors 68000
Jul 30, 2012
1,549
3
The TS is probably trying over Wifi, or a router with 100mbit ports, then the experience is sluggish.
Make sure you are wired for gigabit. If you don't have a goog gigabit router, cheapest long term solution is using a 30 bucks gigabit switch to extend the network for fast devices, like a D-link DGS 105/108.
If it is a one time job, put the cable directly between the macs.
 

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