Target mode not working

Cottam13

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 4, 2020
11
2
Hi, I need to connect a late 2013 MacBook Pro to a late 2009 iMac in target mode so that the iMac can search the hard drive of the MacBook. The MacBook has thunderbolt but no firewire and the iMac has firewire but no thunderbolt so I have bought a thunderbolt to firewire adapter which is plugged into the MacBook and connected it by a firewire 800 cable to the iMac. Then I started the MacBook in target mode by holding the T key while it was booting, this displayed both the firewire and thunderbolt symbols on the screen and this then changed to just the firewire symbol on its own. The iMac cannot detect the hard drive of the MacBook either by showing it on the desktop screen or by going into the Computer screen.
How can I resolve this situation?
Thank you
 

servenvolley

macrumors member
Jan 3, 2017
45
15
South Carolina
Is the Macbook running Catalina? I have an '09 iMac that I used to target display to but I haven't been able to do it since I upgraded my MB to Catalina. I'm not saying that is most assuredly why you are having issues but I suspect that in my use case it is more than just a coincidence.
 

Cottam13

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 4, 2020
11
2
Hi Servenvolley thanks for your help, the MacBook is running High Sierra and the iMac is running Mavericks
 

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
8,589
2,769
Hi Servenvolley thanks for your help, the MacBook is running High Sierra and the iMac is running Mavericks
Mavericks can’t read the APFS formatted disk that’s in your MacBook Pro.
 

Cottam13

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 4, 2020
11
2
Thanks chrfr, do you know what os I can put on the iMac and if that can read APFS? it's a late 2009, also will it be an upgrade so I don't lose my software etc or will I need to do a fresh install? Thanks again
 

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
8,589
2,769
Thanks chrfr, do you know what os I can put on the iMac and if that can read APFS? it's a late 2009, also will it be an upgrade so I don't lose my software etc or will I need to do a fresh install? Thanks again
High Sierra will run on a late 2009 iMac and will provide APFS support. You can install it as an upgrade, but of course make sure you have a backup.
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
18,211
6,086
I'll offer an alternative course of action that I GUARANTEE will work.

You will need:
- an external USB3 drive
- CarbonCopyCloner (FREE to download and use for 30 days, get it here):

Next, do this:
1. Format the external drive to HFS+ (Mac OS extended with journaling enabled, GUID partition format).
2. Connect it to the MacBook
3. Open CCC and accept all the defaults.
4. Clone the MacBook drive to the external drive. CCC can clone from APFS to HFS+, no problems.
5. Take the external drive and connect it to the old iMac
6. Now you can view and search the contents and copy over what you wish.

TIP:
In order to solve permissions problems, do this:
a. Connect the external drive, let its icon mount on the desktop
b. Click on the icon ONE TIME to select it
c. Bring up the get info box (type "Command-i")
d. At the bottom of get info, click the lock and enter your password
e. Put a checkmark into "ignore ownership on this volume" (sharing & permissions)
f. Close get info.

Now "search & copy away"...
 

Cottam13

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Feb 4, 2020
11
2
Thanks for the help, the problem is now solved and this is what I did
I installed High Sierra on the iMac, it wouldn't do it from the app store so I had to download it onto a pen drive and do it from that. Then I connected the MacBook to the iMac with a thunderbolt to firewire adapter and a firewire 800 cable, started the MacBook in target mode by holding down the T key as it booted and used the recovery software installed on the iMac to scan the MacBook hard drive for deleted files, after a few hours it recovered a lot of the lost photos. Job done, finally!
Glad I joined this group and am very grateful for your help.