Connecting a Mac Mini and Macbook

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by gpspad, Aug 21, 2016.

  1. gpspad macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2014
    I had to transfer a large number of big files from my macbook to my 2012 mac mini. I did it through turning off wifi and connecting an ethernet cable to the mac mini and thunderbolt to lan adapter on the mac book. It went from 12hrs to 12minutes.

    But I was just wondering if I could have done the same thing if I had a 27" thunderbolt display and connected my macbook to the extra thunderbolt display on the back of the thunderbolt monitor.

    What if I connected a usb cable from the macbook to the usb on the display port?

    Looking for faster and easier ways to transfer file from the mac book to the mac mini. I could do it through ethernet, but that means having a spare ethernet cable from the router.
  2. Johbremat macrumors regular

    Feb 8, 2011
  3. gpspad thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 4, 2014
    Can I just attach a thunder bolt cable to the thunderbolt display for does it have to go directly to the mac mini?

    Will a thunderbolt to fire wire adapter also work?
  4. Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    I realize that I come across as a neanderthal, but for transferring large amounts of data, sometimes the easiest and least frustrating way is with a usb3 drive and a pair of sneakers.... ;)
  5. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    I transfer files between my Mini Server and rMBP often, generally rely on DAS. In my small company, we tried Migration Assistant and had it hang 43-odd too many times :)mad::confused::mad:) and also found the same file transfer ceiling over TB Networking noted in this post:

    I've not solved the ceiling issue, so I tend to resort to DAS transfers and check file permissions when I'm done. That linked-to web page lines out how to set up TB Networking - I've bookmarked it for my own use. Cheers!
  6. Trusteft macrumors 6502


    Nov 5, 2014
    You could use usb stick, it will be quite fast, but the stick might not survive for long if you copy large files often.
    I bought a 256GB stick and it lasted me only about 4 months or so. Not cheap either at the time I bought it.
  7. fischersd macrumors 601


    Oct 23, 2014
    Vancouver, BC, Canada
    You could get an ethernet crossover cable and network them together as you did (but not requiring an additional port on your router, as the cable would be direct between them).
    Then just reconfigure those network ports with static IP's of (Mac mini) and (Macbook). Then just use the IP addresses to access the shared folders on each.
    Set your networking back to DHCP to get your addresses from your router when you're done (and re-connecting the cables from the router).
  8. theluggage macrumors 68040

    Jul 29, 2011
    ...but that would be the best all-round solution. WiFi is great, but nothing beats a cable provided the sockets on your router are all Gigabit (some older ones may only be 10/100). If not, or if you only have one ethernet cable from the router to play with, you could get a Gigabit Ethernet switch & connect the upstream port to the router, then connect both Macs to the switch.

    If you've no cable from the router to your desk and can't put one in, you can get wireless extenders with multi-port ethernet switches in them (just check they're gigabit). Again, both Macs connect to the switch & the switch connects them to the router.

    If you had the 27" Thunderbolt Display hooked up to your MacBook, that has an ethernet port as well, so you won't need an adapter.

    I think the Thunderbolt method should work (you'd probably need to set manual IP addresses at each end) but then you've got a complicated multi-path network to set up (or you turn of WiFi). I think you can hook the TB cable straight from the Mac to the Mac Mini, too.

    I think most Mac ethernet ports auto-sense these days, so you probably won't need a crossover cable.
  9. akadafni macrumors regular

    Nov 8, 2015
    Why not just use file sharing?

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