connect PowerBook G4 to new MBP with Retina display using FireWire target mode?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jk73, Jul 19, 2012.

  1. jk73 macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2012
    Longtime lurker, first-time poster, etc.

    Only days before I received my new MBP with Retina display, my almost 8-year-old PowerBook G4 died. It appears to be a HD problem, as it boots to the gray Apple screen and then hangs. I can, however, boot into FireWire Target Mode. I can also browse through the files on my HD if I boot from CD and go into Disk Utility, so it looks like the HD isn't totally destroyed.

    I had most of my files backed up, but I didn't do full daily back-ups and there's some info. on the PB I'd like to recover if at all possible. However, given the age difference between my 2004 PB G4 and my new 2012 MBP, the two machines don't seem to have any compatible ports.

    How would you guys recommend I go about trying to recover my files from the PB? Should I try one of the FireWire to USB 2.0 or 3.0 cables — which seem to have poor reviews on Amazon — to connect the PB to the MBP?

    Failing that, I also have access to a 2008 HP laptop that has a FireWire port. I've read that some people have had success connecting a PB that's in FireWire Target Mode to a PC and then using MacDrive to bridge the usual incompatibility.

    Thanks very much for all feedback.
  2. Mongus macrumors newbie

    Aug 11, 2006
    New York
    If you can't get target disk mode to work, you could take the drive out of the G4 and use a usb enclosure or one of the Bare drive cables that will hook up to most types of drives and give you usb access to it. OWC has one for something like $30 it is a useful tool.

    Good Luck
  3. jk73 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2012
    Thanks for the reply. I'm hoping to avoid needing to open up my old PB and transplant the HD, but I guess that might end up being necessary.

    After posting my original message, I read that Apple is supposed to be releasing a Thunderbolt-to-FireWire adapter sometime in the month of July. It seems like that would be my easiest option, although I might need to wait another 10 days or more before it hits the market.

    In the meantime, does anyone have any experience with connecting a PC to a PowerBook that's in FireWire mode? Thanks again.
  4. ColoArtist macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2012
    Denver, CO
    The Thunderbolt/Firewire adapter would make things sooooo much easier. Without it, I think you're stuck for any easy answers.

    I'm not 100% sure on this, but I don't think USB, even 3.0, can be used for a target disk mode drive. I believe it has to be either Firewire or Thunderbolt.

    If you had something set up as a boot drive for the G4 you could just copy your files to the boot drive or connect the Macs up with ethernet.


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