Transferring files from PC to Mac in Target Disk Mode via Firewire

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by drummer, Sep 27, 2012.

  1. drummer macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2012
    Hi Everyone,

    Hoping to get some help on this--

    I'm the proud new owner of a Mac Book Pro, and I'm currently in the process of transferring files (such as music, photos, documents) from my Windows 7 PC to said Mac Book Pro.

    Initially, I networked the two machines successfully, and began to transfer the files by copying them directly from the PC hard drive to the Mac. This worked for a little while (files would indeed transfer), but about 10 minutes in, the Mac would create this "locked" Music folder, and the PC would suddenly run into an error where it couldn't access the locked folder. I tried this multiple times, enabling all sharing permissions to be completely open, and it still didn't work.

    A friend of mine clued me into Target Disk Mode, and said that if I had Firewire on my PC, it was much easier to transfer items from the PC to the Mac that way.

    Indeed I do have Firewire on the PC, so I bought a cable to properly connect the two machines, successfully booted up the Mac in Target Disk Mode, and when I went to start transferring files to the Target Mac, I couldn't find it anywhere. I made sure to check that the Firewire driver was functioning properly, and everything seems to be functional on the PC--other than a dying battery and a speaker that isn't working, the machine is solid.

    I'm not sure why the PC can't "see" the Mac via Firewire, especially when it was able to see it as a networked machine (when the Mac is booted normally).

    I checked some reference info on Target Disk Mode, and I learned that the host computer (The PC) must meet the following requirements:

    1) Built-in Thunderbolt or Firewire port (either 400 or 800), or a Firewire port on a PC card.
    2) FireWire 2.3.3 or later
    3) Mac OS 8.6 or later
    4) An ATA Hard Drive at ATA bus 0

    As I said, my machine does meet #1. I'm not sure about #2 -- I checked my Device Manager and it says it has the 1394 IEEE Bus Host Controller, which I learned is the functioning FireWire device; other than that, I don't know if it's version 2.3.3 or later--is there a way I can confirm this? Furthermore, if it's not 2.3.3 or later, am I basically wasting my time?

    #3 -- the host is a PC, so I find this "requirement" to be a strange one.

    #4 -- Not even sure what this means, but I checked the device manager and I see the "ATA" acronym all over the place, namely near "Channel 0," so I'm guessing I meet this requirement.

    This is more than a little frustrating, because it feels like I'm doing everything properly. Not only was the Network file transfer unsuccessful (for reasons I still don't understand), this Target Disk Mode isn't even being detected by my Host PC, which to my knowledge meets the Host requirements.

    If anyone has encountered this, or could help troubleshoot or shed light, it would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!
  2. The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Dec 2, 2010
    I think the problem you are having is windows cannot natively read or write to a mac os extended formated drive. Windows doesnt even detect it, since it is virtually an external harddrive when booted in target disk mode. When networked its different, it then detects the computer.
    i think there is a program called mac drive which then lets windows read the mac formatted HDD
  3. drummer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2012
    Thanks -- I definitely understand the difference.

    In the meantime I had been digging up more info, and stumbled across MacDrive as well.

    1) I downloaded and installed it (Free Trial version) -- restarted the Host PC to be sure.

    2) With the Mac in Target Disk Mode, connected to the PC via FireWire, with MacDrive running -- the PC still can't detect the Mac.

    Is there something I'm missing? It would be great if someone who's been in this situation can provide additional feedback.

  4. The-Pro macrumors 65816

    Dec 2, 2010
    I don't really know what this means but it says you need to ensure the computer possesses 1394 ports. I think it refers to firewire.
    Cant help you anymore mate, sorry
  5. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    This may be of some value

    I'm fairly certain the requirement of Mac OS 8.6 or higher on the host computer is not a negotiable requirement, and the target computer needs to be that version or older.
  6. drummer thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 27, 2012
    Hm. Thanks for the replies.

    I was under the impression that a PC could indeed be a host computer to transfer things to a Target Disk Mac. If the host needs to have the Mac OSX, i.e. if the host needs to be a Mac, then perhaps I'm wasting my time with Target Disk mode and should keep cracking at the network and/or try a separate external hard drive.

    Cheers again for the replies.

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