How to Boot a Mac in Target Disk Mode Tutorial and Steps
So here we discuss the How to Boot a Mac in Target Disk Mode, and after a lot of requests from our users here is a guide about How to Boot a Mac in Target Disk Mode.
Target disk mode is very useful feature available for use with Macs that have Thunderbolt or Firewire ports, and it allows you to use a Mac as an external drive on another host computer. This is incredibly useful feature makes troubleshooting, installations, large file transfers and critical backups extremely easy and very fast.
Before you begin, make sure that both Mac computers have Firewire or ThunderBolt ports and that you have a Firewire or Thunderbolt cable. In addition, each Mac must use the same port, for example, if you boot the target disk using Thunderbolt, both Macs must use Thunderbolt to connect to each other. A converter can work, but it is not recommended.
How to Use Firewire or Thunderbolt Target Disk Mode on Mac
- Shut down the ‘target’ Mac (the one with the drive you want to show up on the host)
- Now connect both Macs with each other with the Firewire or Thunderbolt cable
- Boot the target Mac while holding down the ‘T’ key until you see a Firewire or Thunderbolt icon displayed on the screen, it means that target disk mode has been detected and is working
- In a few moments, the Mac will bot as usual and the target Mac’s hard drive should appear on the host Mac’s desktop so you can access it like any other external drive
- Once done, safely eject the target Mac as if it were another drive
After the target Mac is ejected and disconnected, it can be used normally.
Target Disk Mode is used extensively by many experienced users for being ridiculously fast and an excellent method for transferring massive files, but it is also amazingly useful for troubleshooting problematic Macs and making last-minute backups of critical files and data like a computer on its last state.
While Firewire no longer ships on Macs, Firewire has thankfully been replaced by Thunderbolt as a high-speed data connection on newer machines, making this possible feature to continue, which is so much better than removing the target drive feature all the way.
And no, for the record, you can’t use target disk mode with USB for now, although you can boot from an external USB drive or flash drive if needed, just not in target mode like this one.
What is your experience with Target Disk Mode on Mac? Do you have one tips or tricks share? Let us know in the comments.
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How to Boot a Mac in Target Disk Mode: FAQ
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