Two Mac minis - One Apple Thunderbolt Display

Tim0

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 23, 2013
90
3
Russia
I need to move some of my data to another mac mini but I only have one display (which is ATD) and a very small office space. What would be the best way to access the files on the "old" mini running headless? I have an extra TB cable, but I am not sure if linking it to the TB port on the display would work. Both minis are 2012 model, so they only have one TB port each. I would like to avoid dual display/keyboard setup or copying all the files from the old mini to the external drive.
 

chrfr

macrumors G3
Jul 11, 2009
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I need to move some of my data to another mac mini but I only have one display (which is ATD) and a very small office space. What would be the best way to access the files on the "old" mini running headless? I have an extra TB cable, but I am not sure if linking it to the TB port on the display would work. Both minis are 2012 model, so they only have one TB port each. I would like to avoid dual display/keyboard setup or copying all the files from the old mini to the external drive.
You're not going to have any success at trying to use the Thunderbolt Display on 2 computers.
 

Tim0

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 23, 2013
90
3
Russia
I realize that. What I am trying to do is to link the other mini in a target disk mode via TB port on a display. Is this at all possible or would I need to have another display and keyboard for that (i.e. if I need to allow access on the target disk mac)? Or, would I need to link the macs directly (which is not possible in my setup since they only have one TB port each which also dubs as a display port for me)?
 
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theluggage

macrumors 601
Jul 29, 2011
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I realize that. What I am trying to do is to link the other mini in a target disk mode via TB port on a display.
Have you tried? I.e. hook up one Mac to the display and start up normally, hook the other Mac to the second port on the display, then start it up in target disc mode? The worst that could happen is that it just doesn't work. (...but please don't sue me if I'm wrong!)

Other options:

1. With those two Macs, target disc mode should also work over Firewire 800... OK, so its a bit noughties but at least it's faster than USB 2...

2. If its a long-term arrangement rather than a one-off copy, use network file sharing.
 
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Tim0

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 23, 2013
90
3
Russia
Thank you! I will try these options tomorrow. :)
This is just for a one-time copy. I wasn't sure about how to operate mac mini in headless mode so I haven't tried it yet.
 
Last edited:

theluggage

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Jul 29, 2011
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This is just for a one-time copy. I wasn't sure about how to operate mac mini in headless mode so I haven't tried it yet.
...you'll need a second keyboard to start in target disc mode (switch on while holding 'T').
 
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getrealbro

macrumors 6502
Sep 25, 2015
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I’ve done this kind of file transfer with only one keyboard. I just booted the 1st Mac into Target Disk mode using a keyboard to hold down the T on boot up. Once it is in Target Disk mode it is just like an external disk drive. So it doesn’t need the keyboard. Then switch the keyboard to the other Mac which has the mouse and monitor and boot it up. Then plug the “Target disk mac” into the already booted 2nd Mac.

GetReaBro
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
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If the "target disk" stuff doesn't work out, why not use an external USB3 drive.

Temporarily set up the "second Mini" with the display, boot, copy.
Then go back to original setup, attach drive, copy.
 
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