Best way to transfer large files

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Tech198, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    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).
  2. ELMI0001 macrumors 6502


    Jan 5, 2009
    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.
  3. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Above post is correct.

    Assuming the target computer is within "walking distance", why bother with any other way?
  4. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    You can buy a 2 TB external USB for less than $ 100. copy the files to that then move to other system. Sneakernet still works well for large amounts of data.
  5. El Hikaru macrumors regular

    Dec 3, 2013

    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.
  6. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    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.
  7. mr.steevo macrumors 65816


    Jul 21, 2004
    That was my first thought as well.
  8. barkmonster macrumors 68020


    Dec 3, 2001
    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.
  9. edjs macrumors newbie

    Jun 15, 2012

    Another option is to use rsync from the terminal:

    rsync -avE --progress ~/Documents/largedir
    The example assumes the files are in a folder named largedir in your Documents folder, that the destination machine is IP address, and that you have the same username on both machines.
  10. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    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.
  11. westrock2000 macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2013
    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.
  12. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    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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