Using second iMac as monitor - can I still access its drive?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by JVNeumann, Jun 29, 2017.

  1. JVNeumann macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2017
    #1
    When my 2017 iMac arrives, I intend to use my current iMac (2013) as a second monitor by connecting them with Thunderbolt. So my question is, will that Thunderbolt connection also grant me access to drives connected to the slave iMac whilst in screen share mode?

    To complicate things, the 2013 iMac is actually running OS through an external SSD, as the internal drive is fried. So what I want to do is actually access that external SSD firstly through its USB connection to the 2013 iMac and then through the Thunderbolt connection to the 2017 iMac.

    Does that seem like a viable arrangement?
     
  2. Floris macrumors 68020

    Floris

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #2
    Yeah, my iMac is from 2009, EARLY 2009.. just because you could use it as a second monitor.
    So nah, I can't use it as such.

    But I can use back to mac on it. So I've put it in the other room and it's being used to run services, terminal sessions and all sorts of stuff on it. Rendering out some videos and whatever that can take all night, i dont care.. Once in a while I back to my mac or just ssh into it and check up on progress. It's pretty good. AND you get to use the drive.
     
  3. dborod macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    #3
    I have my 27" 2011 iMac connected to my 2017 iMac via a thunderbolt cable. I have my 2011 iMac in target monitor mode (fn 2), and am then using screen sharing in the 2017, in full-screen mode, to display the 2011's screen on the 2011's monitor. I can then use one mouse and one keyboard to control both computers. Kinda useless, but extra-nerdy fun.
     
  4. Floris macrumors 68020

    Floris

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #4
    The 2009 iMac had displayport (out) and no thunderbolt, darn :D
     
  5. EugW macrumors 68000

    EugW

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    #5
    You can use DisplayPort in. That is my plan with my 2010, hooked up via USBC to my 2017 iMac (when I get the appropriate adapters/cables... and the actual iMac).

    I'm a bit confused. What does that give exactly?
     
  6. Floris macrumors 68020

    Floris

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #6
    I am quite convinced i can't use my early 2009 imac as a second monitor for my 2017 model imac.
     
  7. dborod macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    #7
    I didn't want to use migration assistant to move all my years of cruft over from my old mac to my new one, so this setup lets me see, edit, manipulate and migrate files, apps, settings, licenses and whatnot from my old iMac to my new one using one keyboard and mouse, in addition to letting me use the 2011 iMac as a second monitor.
     
  8. EugW macrumors 68000

    EugW

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    #8
    You need:

    USBC to DisplayPort cable
    DisplayPort to Mini-DisplayPort adapter

    Or else:

    USBC to Mini-DisplayPort adapter
    Mini-DisplayPort cable

    Or else:

    USBC to DisplayPort adapter
    DisplayPort to Mini-DisplayPort cable

    No Thunderbolt is required. The only issue is that some of the USBC adapters are flaky on the 2017 for some reason. They work fine on the 2016's USBC.

    https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT204592

    iMac models you can use as a display

    iMac (27-inch, Late 2009) - Mini-DisplayPort
    iMac (27-inch, Mid 2010) - Mini-DisplayPort
    iMac (Mid 2011-Mid 2014) - Thunderbolt


    Please post a pic of your setup when you get the chance. :)
     
  9. Floris macrumors 68020

    Floris

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #9
    "iMac (27-inch, Late 2009) - Mini-DisplayPort"

    yes, mine's early 2009, like i mentioned.
     
  10. EugW macrumors 68000

    EugW

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    #10
    2017 iMacs support DisplayPort/Mini-DisplayPort via USB C.
     
  11. Floris macrumors 68020

    Floris

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #11
    Let's invest in 100 bucks worth of dongles and find out, thanks for the confidence.
     
  12. JVNeumann thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2017
    #12
    Just to clarify, is this 'screen share' (fn-2) going to give me two side-by-side monitors (i.e., 1 screen split over two displays), or is it just going to display the same content doubled up on both displays?

    Because I'm looking to use my old iMac as a second monitor for my new iMac, effectively giving me double the screen space. I don't need a duplicate of the same screen.
     
  13. EugW macrumors 68000

    EugW

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2017
    #13
    You can use it like any other screen... albeit with high power usage for a monitor.
     
  14. JVNeumann thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2017
    #14
    True - which is why Apple needs to release those retina standalone displays.

    Anyway, just to tie it back in with my first post, will that setup let me access the external SSD in the 'slave' iMac via the 'master' iMac?

    Alternatively, I'm considering opening up the screen on the old iMac, removing the HHD of the dead Fusion drive and inserting my external SSD into there directly, thus removing the USB connection from the equation.
     
  15. dborod macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    #15
    It behaves like any dual-monitor setup on a Mac: you can either mirror both displays or have them be beside each other. Go into System Preferences > Displays to specify the behaviour and positioning of the 2 monitors. The computer part of your 2009 iMac will still be running.
     
  16. dborod macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    #16
    Connect the iMacs via thunderbolt, go into network settings on each machine.
    Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 10.21.52 AM.png
    In my case I am sharing the network connection from one Mac to the other over the thunderbolt since I only have one Ethernet jack in my office.
    Screen Shot 2017-06-30 at 10.22.23 AM.png
    New iMac on the right, old one on the left. Screen share...
    IMG_4237.jpg


    turn on target display more on the old iMac:
    IMG_4238.jpg

    move the screen sharing window to the screen of the old iMac.
    IMG_4239.jpg

    maximize the screen sharing window:
    IMG_4240.jpg

    One can drag files from finder windows on the left to the desktop on the right, at about 350 MB/second, which is probably as fast as the SSD in the old Mac can read the data.
     

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