Data Transfer Problems

I think I mentioned getting my grandkids a new “used” 27” iMac. After getting the newer iMac setup I got the old 2008 iMac to transfer the Apps and Data over to the newer machine. However, I ran into a little problem that was unexpected.

Data Transfer

The best way to transfer Data from one Mac to another is using Target Disk Mode. I have covered this in other blog articles. I just figured I would use Target Disk Mode between these two machines to move the Data over. To do Target Disk Mode, the two Macs need to be connected in some way. That is where I ran into problems. 

Here are the Ports from the 2008 iMac:

iMac Connectors

There is a Firewire 400 and 800 Port. Here are the Ports for the 2011 iMac:

2011 Ports

You can see it has Thunderbold Ports, but the old iMac does not have those. It has USB ports and fortunately, it has a Firewire 800 Port the same as the older iMac. 

Off to my old computer cable junk yard to find and Firewire 800 cable. After much searching, I discovered I did not have one! However, I was able to scrounge up a Firewire 400 to Firewire 800 adapter which enabled me to connect Firewire 400 from the older iMac to Firewire 800 on the newer iMac. I was a little worried for a while there. 

After putting the older iMac in Target Disk Mode and connecting the two Macs I could transfer the Data, albeit ever so slowly, over to the newer iMac using Apple’s excellent Migration Assistant App:


The older Mac is super slow, so this transfer took several hours. All the Data came across fine as far as I can tell.


There is some work involved in setting up an older Mac for friends and family. However, it is a labor of love right? However, the moral to the story is this if you are working with older Macs you need to keep some older Mac cables and hardware around!