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Ask Max: Transferring Data with a Crossover Cable, Part 1

Asked on 05/26/2006:

The Apple store guy said I could transfer data from an iMac G3 9.x to an eMac 10.2 with an ethernet cable connected to both Macs. However I can't seem to get the iMac to show up on my eMac screen. Any ideas?


What you need is an Ethernet "crossover" cable and not a regular Ethernet cable. You can use a regular Ethernet cable if you are going to have a hub or switch in between both computers. You can also use a regular Ethernet cable directly connected if, at least, one of the computers has a Gigabit Ethernet port. But in your case, both computers have 10/100 ports, so a direct connection from computer to computer will require a crossover cable.

Another option, if your iMac has a FireWire port, would be to reboot the iMac with the "T" key held down. This will put the iMac into Target Disk Mode, which makes it work like an external FireWire hard drive. Once the iMac has a blue screen with a yellow FireWire symbol on the screen, you can then connect the two computers with a FireWire cable. Your iMac's hard drive will then show up on the eMac's desktop. FireWire is much faster than Ethernet at transferring data, but this of course will only work if both computers have a FireWire port.

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