Transfering Large Files to New MBA =(

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by cbdoc, Jul 26, 2011.

  1. cbdoc macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Due to lack of a Firewire port, I can't find a simple way to directly transfer large files (80gb) directly to my MBA from my iMac.

    One approach I have not tried yet is a direct lan connection using a network cable.

    Is there a way, without installing Windows to transfer directly via USB?

    Any other methods I should consider?
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Don't you have an external HDD?
    What about using a USB-Ethernet adapter?
  3. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    USB hard drive (fastest), Ethernet (will top out at 100Mbit/sec via USB adapter), wifi (slow; 80GB will take many hours, but it's doable in a pinch).
  4. cbdoc thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Sounds like I'll have to resort to a USB HDD. I don't have one and don't plan on having much use for one that's why I was trying to avoid this approach.

    Thanks all.
  5. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    Depends on your network. I push over a 1GB/min with my 802.11n network at home. Fast enough that that 80GB will be just under an hour or so. That said, I didn't bother to measure the actual transfer rate I was getting, so it may only be possible on 300+Mbps 802.11n on the 5Ghz band.
  6. cbdoc thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2010
    1gb/min is pretty incredible. I also have a 802.11n network and could restrict it to 5ghz... Though from experience with my setup, I don't see nearly the speeds you are mentioning here. Will give it another shot before buying a USB HDD.

  7. ovrlrd macrumors 65816


    Aug 29, 2009
    This will be less of a problem once Thunderbolt accessories come out (hello 10Gbps connection), but for now 5ghz 802.11n is pretty fast and seems fine, otherwise USB works well too.
  8. eeptman macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2011
  9. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Depending what kind of important data you have and how much disk capacity they take, it might be good to have an external HDD for backup purposes.
  10. cbdoc thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Agreed. I'm using a Time Machine for backup/router at the moment and its working well enough. When that gets full, I could see where an external HDD would be useful. But at that point, I will probably opt for a more robust solution than an external HDD.
  11. michaelz macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2010
    LAN connection is all you need. I transferred 120G data from my old MBP to new MBA. Just start the transfer, then go watch a movie...
  12. h00ligan macrumors 68030

    Apr 10, 2003
    A hot desert
    I assume you are using a multichannel router?

    On an all airport extreme setup - painstakingly optimized - a gig is just over 3 minutes (single file) from a wired connection - throughput is around 8000kbps or so iirc. So a gig a minute is REALLY fast for n to pull off, unless as stated it's some kind of MIMO router and devices can take advantage of it. My speed goes down noticeably when transferring multiple small files, as you would expect.

    That said, ad hock would be faster for machine to machine transfer from an older device (if it has N)
  13. pil0tflame, Jul 26, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2011

    pil0tflame macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2011
    London, Ontario
    If you have a USB to USB cable (though uncommon in my experience), boot either your iMac OR your MBA in target disk mode by holding down the "T" key when powering on the system from off, then connect them together with the USB cable. The system not in target disk mode should see the other as a USB attached HDD. From there, copy your file over.

    Many people believe incorrectly that target disk mode only works with Firewire, but I can speak from multiple experiences that does work with USB too.

    Even with a USB2.0 connection, you should easily get more than 1GB/min transfer.
  14. stevenpa macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2011
    My previous post was retarded. I was thinking mbps not gbps. Go with the external fastest by far.
  15. Azathoth macrumors 6502a

    Sep 16, 2009

    I have the same Q as the OP (finding the quickest way to transfer).

    With a Cisco E4200 110GB took about 2:30 from a 1000Mbps Ethernet connected NAS. Connection speed is 270Mbps to the 2011 MBA - I think the chipset speed is 300Mbps max. But max. data throughput for 802.11g/n protocols is about half the indicated connection rate. I've measured 80-90Mbps throughput with my old 2010 MBP (same chipset).

    Hmm, I dont see that USB would work under target disk mode - and how should the cable / connectors be wired? USB is normally Host/Client with 5V on the bus...
  16. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    If you can sustain 80-90Mbps, it should still result in ~30GB/hour. Depending on how often you need to move tens of GB, the fastest overall may still be wireless if its a one-time thing and it takes a couple hours to figure out a non-wireless mechanism... :D
  17. vitzr macrumors 68030


    Jul 28, 2011
    Your suggestion is a good one for those who do not have an external drive.

    These cables are fairly easy to pickup locally or via Amazon.

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