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How to enable Target Disk Mode via Thunderbolt

#1 User is offline   Macworld 

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 09:01 AM

Post your comments for How to enable Target Disk Mode via Thunderbolt here
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#2 User is offline   EVula 

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  Posted 01 July 2011 - 11:22 AM

The TLDR version: same as the FireWire method, but with a different cable.
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#3 User is offline   mac2mac 

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  Posted 01 July 2011 - 01:37 PM

what slide show?
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#4 User is offline   whitedog 

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 03:11 PM

It would be nice to see some performance specs for Macs connected in Target Disk Mode with Thunderbolt and some comparisons with the same Macs connected via TGM using their FireWire 800 ports. I can imagine there would be significant differences, but imagination is no substitute for real data.
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#5 User is offline   thomqi 

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 04:44 PM

"You’ll see the Thunderbolt icon instead of a FireWire icon flashing on the screen of the target Mac when it is connected to the host."—Mauricio Grijalva


Uhm, then why does the slideshow pictures have both icons on the screen?


Also, I don't remember the FireWire icon flashing when using FireWire. I do remember it moving to a different location on the screen so it didn't burn into the screen.


Is it possible to connect other storage devices to the TDM Mac (such as FireWire or USB) afterwards and have them show up on the host Mac? Or do they have to be connected to TDM Mac before? Or can other storage devices connected to the TDM Mac be accessed at all on the host Mac?

IOW, does the TDM Mac become a powered hub of ports (hot pluggable)? If so, are there any differences to a regular hub?
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#6 User is offline   whitedog 

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 06:07 PM

View Postthomqi, on 01 July 2011 - 04:44 PM, said:

"You’ll see the Thunderbolt icon instead of a FireWire icon flashing on the screen of the target Mac when it is connected to the host."—Mauricio Grijalva


Uhm, then why does the slideshow pictures have both icons on the screen?


Also, I don't remember the FireWire icon flashing when using FireWire. I do remember it moving to a different location on the screen so it didn't burn into the screen.


Is it possible to connect other storage devices to the TDM Mac (such as FireWire or USB) afterwards and have them show up on the host Mac? Or do they have to be connected to TDM Mac before? Or can other storage devices connected to the TDM Mac be accessed at all on the host Mac?

IOW, does the TDM Mac become a powered hub of ports (hot pluggable)? If so, are there any differences to a regular hub?


Based on how Target Disk Mode has always worked before, in the SCSI and FireWire versions, you only see the target computer on your main system, not drives and devices connected to it - or other partitions on the boot drive if that drive is partitioned. Which brings up what this article left out: In order to see multiple drives and partitions with a FireWire connection, you can set up FireWire networking, though if you're going to cable it anyway most people use Ethernet for this purpose. Presumably you will be able to use Thunderbolt this way, too (you'd think they would have thought to test this while they had those two computers hooked up). This will give you access to the data on the other computer and whatever devices are connected to it. But, as with other network setups, you cannot run maintenance routines, as you can in TGM. Which is why I use external utility drives for maintenance. I can boot from these drives and access any partitions or drives on the computer I'm troubleshooting. Now an external Thunderbolt drive would conceivably improve this process significantly, but I expect it will be awhile before Thunderbolt makes its way on to portable external drives.
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#7 User is offline   rapdigi 

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  Posted 02 July 2011 - 03:47 AM

OWC have posted that the speeds are less than Fw800! so no real point to this YET...
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#8 User is offline   whitedog 

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 02:43 PM

View Postrapdigi, on 02 July 2011 - 03:47 AM, said:

OWC have posted that the speeds are less than Fw800! so no real point to this YET...


Where did they post it? No link, no credibility. On the other hand, Macworld tested Thunderbolt and found that it blows FireWire 800 out of the water: http://www.macworld....underbolt.html.
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#9 User is offline   Isidore 

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  Posted 06 July 2011 - 05:29 AM

One of the problems with the MacBook air is that like the original iMac with usb only, it did not allow you to sync with another Mac. With the forthcoming Air it will at last be possible to quickly sync the Air with a desktop machine using Carbon Copy cloner or equivalent. This will enormously increases the utility of the Air for those of us that like to keep two machines in the same stat. At the moment you need to sync one machine to an external drive and then repeat the process to the second machine from that drive
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#10 User is offline   pkay 

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Posted 21 July 2011 - 03:51 PM

View Postwhitedog, on 02 July 2011 - 02:43 PM, said:

View Postrapdigi, on 02 July 2011 - 03:47 AM, said:

OWC have posted that the speeds are less than Fw800! so no real point to this YET...


Where did they post it? No link, no credibility. On the other hand, Macworld tested Thunderbolt and found that it blows FireWire 800 out of the water: http://www.macworld....underbolt.html.


In fact, OWC reported a "modest gain in performance" in their blog:.
http://blog.macsales...arget-disk-mode
It would be nice if they would try this again under Lion.
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#11 User is offline   slothead 

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  Posted 07 August 2011 - 06:20 AM

So.. Is there a Thunderbolt external (or portable) hard drive yet? Or even a Thunderbolt cable out there?
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#12 User is offline   whitedog 

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Posted 07 August 2011 - 11:58 AM

View Postslothead, on 07 August 2011 - 06:20 AM, said:

So.. Is there a Thunderbolt external (or portable) hard drive yet? Or even a Thunderbolt cable out there?


At the moment there appear to be only a few high-end RAIDs available with Thunderbolt, and Apple sells a $50 Thunderbolt cable. The cable sounds expensive until you compare it to the cost of Fibre Channel cabling, which is 40% higher still. And though Fibre Channel is as fast as Thunderbolt, it's not adaptable at all so, in effect, you get much less for your money.
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#13 User is offline   Udgaard 

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  Posted 26 February 2012 - 01:36 AM

If possible, how can I connect two Thunderboult computers in order to combine CPUs, RAM and screen?
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#14 User is offline   whitedog 

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Posted 27 February 2012 - 12:41 PM

View PostUdgaard, on 26 February 2012 - 01:36 AM, said:

If possible, how can I connect two Thunderboult computers in order to combine CPUs, RAM and screen?


There is no way for a layman to use computers in that way. There are high-end scientific applications that can use multiple computers as an array, but the CPUs and RAM are not additive but work in parallel. This is how most super computers are organized these days. Some technically inclined individuals voluntarily enable their computers to work as part of a network with many other computers on scientific projects that utilize the resources of their systems, but this, too, is a parallel application and requires special software.

If, for some reason, you need the power of multiple Macs all in one, take a look at the high end Mac Pro. You can get one with 12 cores configured in two Intel Westmere CPUs up to 2.93 GHz, with up to 64GB of RAM. Of course such a monster machine is expensive, $10,000 or more, depending of other options. If you wait a bit, a new Mac Pro is rumored to be coming with new Intel processors with eight cores per chip, which will total 16 cores in the standard twin CPU setup. You can expect such a system to be even more expensive than the current models with Westmere CPUs. However, this, too, is hardly a layman's system, though anyone with sufficiently deep pockets could get their hands on one. I can imagine such a machine being used for processor intensive scientific applications and for special effects-heavy video processing.

This post has been edited by whitedog: 27 February 2012 - 12:43 PM

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