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Silly John Fatty

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Nov 6, 2012
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So I got myself a new Mini but I still have my stuff on my 5,1 Mac Pro.

It's an SSD and an HDD inside of it.

First I was thinking of getting an enclosure and connect it to my Mac – but the Mac Pro already is the enclosure.

Or at least I hope it's that easy.

Can I just connect them somehow, to move files, etc. between them?

Also, the Mac Pro has no screen really. I have one if needed, but I put it away. And the Apple Studio Display isn't compatible with the Mac Pro. So I was just hoping to see the Mac Pro mounted to my desktop, like any USB flash drive you'd insert and then be able to browse through all my stuff.
 

Boyd01

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Feb 21, 2012
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Turn on file sharing on the Mac Pro, connect it to the Mini with an ethernet cable? Can't think of any reason why that wouldn't work. I have a 2012 Mini as a fileserver that is just that simple, no problem moving files between it and my 2018 Mini. Also have a 2014 Mini as a media server with filesharing enabled, for copying media files. I have a gigabit ethernet LAN at home, but if you only need to connect two computers, a direct ethernet cable between them will work.

I think you will need a screen/keyboard/mouse to set this up on the Mac Pro however. But if you also enable screen sharing, then the monitor probably won't be needed anymore, although some Macs behave strangely in screen sharing without a monitor. I use a dummy HDMI plug on my 2012 Mini to make it think there's a screen. Think I paid $6 for it at Amazon.
 
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MarkC426

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Turn on file sharing on the Mac Pro, connect it to the Mini with an ethernet cable? Can't think of any reason why that wouldn't work. I have a 2012 Mini as a fileserver that is just that simple, no problem moving files between it and my 2018 Mini. Also have a 2014 Mini as a media server with filesharing enabled, for copying media files. I have a gigabit ethernet LAN at home, but if you only need to connect two computers, a direct ethernet cable between them will work.
Although in theory this should work.
I couldn't get it to work with my G5 and cMP directly connected.
I had to connect both machines to my broadband hub via Ethernet, screen sharing then worked.
 

Silly John Fatty

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Nov 6, 2012
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So I connected both Macs with an Ethernet cable and they were able to connect in fact.

The problem is that I can't access the Mac Pro from the Mac Mini. On the other hand, I can access the Mac Mini from the Mac Pro. How's that possible? I have enabled Data Sharing in System Preferences in both cases. I don't understand it.

When I try to connect the Mac Pro from the Mini, it just tells me that there was en error when connecting to the Mac Pro, and that the server possibly isn't available, and that I should verify server name or IP adress, as well as network connection.

What could I be doing wrong?

Edit: Some additional thoughts & observations

  1. The Mac Pro is running High Sierra, the Mini Ventura. I mean it does work in one direction, but maybe the thing is glitchy.

  2. While the Mac Pro does ask me for the username/password of the Mini, the Mini doesn't when I try to access the Pro. It doesn't even ask me and just tells me the connection failed …
 
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theluggage

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Jul 29, 2011
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The Mac Pro is running High Sierra, the Mini Ventura. I mean it does work in one direction, but maybe the thing is glitchy.
Just a guess, but you might have to enable Windows file sharing on the High Sierra machine to make sure it is running a SMB server - sounds silly but somewhere between High Sierra and Ventura (Big Sur, I think), Apple dropped support for AFP/Appletalk file sharing and switched to SMB ("windows"). Macs have had SMB clients since forever, but I can't remember when they changed the default server from AFP to SMB.

Not sure I'd use a MP 5.1 as a file server in the long run - they're power-hungry compared with modern devices and with electricity prices these days that can add up quite rapidly. Also, disc drives don't live forever.
 

Silly John Fatty

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Nov 6, 2012
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Just a guess, but you might have to enable Windows file sharing on the High Sierra machine to make sure it is running a SMB server - sounds silly but somewhere between High Sierra and Ventura (Big Sur, I think), Apple dropped support for AFP/Appletalk file sharing and switched to SMB ("windows"). Macs have had SMB clients since forever, but I can't remember when they changed the default server from AFP to SMB.

Not sure I'd use a MP 5.1 as a file server in the long run - they're power-hungry compared with modern devices and with electricity prices these days that can add up quite rapidly. Also, disc drives don't live forever.

I've had this turned on already and it changed nothing :( And yeah it's not a long term solution. It's just so I can move some of my stuff already without having to buy enclosures for my drives.
 

theluggage

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Jul 29, 2011
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I've had this turned on already and it changed nothing
Darn. It was such a nice theory :)

The other thing to try is going into "Keychain editor" on the Mini and deleting any stored passwords for the Mac Pro, followed by copious "have you tried turning it off and on again?". Also - if you haven't already - I'd try typing the full address "smb://address" into "Go -> Connect to Server" (using the numeric IP address) rather than trying to browse to it in Finder.

I've found that connecting to shares can be flakey. There's also this:

In extremis, there's also rsync (over SSH) if you're not afraid of the command line, NFS (NFS Manager helps) or installing something like Syncthing on both Macs.
 
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Silly John Fatty

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Nov 6, 2012
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Darn. It was such a nice theory :)

The other thing to try is going into "Keychain editor" on the Mini and deleting any stored passwords for the Mac Pro, followed by copious "have you tried turning it off and on again?". Also - if you haven't already - I'd try typing the full address "smb://address" into "Go -> Connect to Server" (using the numeric IP address) rather than trying to browse to it in Finder.

I've found that connecting to shares can be flakey. There's also this:

In extremis, there's also rsync (over SSH) if you're not afraid of the command line, NFS (NFS Manager helps) or installing something like Syncthing on both Macs.

Whoa, it seems to have worked! :eek: Connecting with the IP address is what made it work I believe. I tried it just before with the name of the Mac (it tells you on the machine you're trying to connect to under what link you can connect to it) but that didn't work.

Then I got the IP address from System Preferences > Network.

And before I did that, I fiddled with some of the settings on the Mac Pro. I turned everything on I could turn on. Now I'll try to turn off as much as possible, to not have any unnecessary sharing turned on.

Thanks so much :)

What I noticed however is that it only connect to my hard drive in my Mac Pro, but not to the two SSDs I have. They're marked as shared in System Preferences on the Mac Pro, but don't appear on the Mini. Maybe it has something to do with this file formatting you mentioned …

Edit:

Okay, so weirdly enough they DO appear now. Now that I had connected through the IP address once, I was able to connect through Finder too. And everything seems to appear in Finder.

I gotta say it feels very unstable. So I can underline what people have reported about this. But at least I can access my Mac, now I have to see how I can make this work without the Display on my Mac Pro, because it's taking up too much space. Thanks dude, you're a hero!!
 
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Silly John Fatty

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Nov 6, 2012
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My next problem is … how do I put the Mac Pro to sleep? Does anyone happen to know this? I won't have a screen. I thought I could use the power button in some way, but I haven't figured out what makes it put to sleep. It's a 5,1 Mac Pro.

Edit: Solved as well I believe … 😅 Just one quick press on the power button will put it to sleep. Not sure why it didn't work before. Also I closed all apps on the Mac Pro. And I set it to go to sleep after one minute of no use.

Will now remove the display and see how it works just as a "drive" to my Mac mini.
 
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Boyd01

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Feb 21, 2012
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New Jersey Pine Barrens
now I have to see how I can make this work without the Display on my Mac Pro, because it's taking up too much space.

Also turn on screen sharing on the Mac Pro. In the Finder on the Mini, click on the shared disk icon for the Mac Pro and set the window view to Columns, there should be a button to share the screen - here's my 2012 Mini fileserver.

Screen Shot 2023-07-05 at 1.00.19 PM.png


If you still have a screen connected to the Mac Pro, the window should be that size (it can auto-scale to fit). But if there's no screen connected, it may have an odd resolution. If you go to Amazon and search for "HDMI dummy plug" you will get lots of hits, they are very inexpensive, possibly $10 or even less (been a few years since I got one). Anyway, they can make the Mac Pro appear to have a screen. Or... does a Mac Pro even have an HDMI port? The closest thing I ever owned was a Power Mac G5! 🤣
 

Silly John Fatty

macrumors 68000
Original poster
Nov 6, 2012
1,776
493
Also turn on screen sharing on the Mac Pro. In the Finder on the Mini, click on the shared disk icon for the Mac Pro and set the window view to Columns, there should be a button to share the screen - here's my 2012 Mini fileserver.

View attachment 2228435

If you still have a screen connected to the Mac Pro, the window should be that size (it can auto-scale to fit). But if there's no screen connected, it may have an odd resolution. If you go to Amazon and search for "HDMI dummy plug" you will get lots of hits, they are very inexpensive, possibly $10 or even less (been a few years since I got one). Anyway, they can make the Mac Pro appear to have a screen. Or... does a Mac Pro even have an HDMI port? The closest thing I ever owned was a Power Mac G5! 🤣

Thanks, that was an amazing hint! :) Much better now … I've heard about that issue and the HDMI dummy, but so far it works. I do have an HDMI adapter (to which I connect my displays Mini DisplayPort), so I'll try it out if something doesn't work for some reason.

And wether Mac Pros have an HDMI port or not depends on what GPU is installed.
 
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