Transfer files from mac os 8.6 to mac os x

Posted on 2007-04-10
Last Modified: 2013-12-06
I just got a new computer running mac os x 10.4.  I have an older mac running os 8.6.  How can I transfer all my old files and address book files to my new os x box.  I have already tried the default (hold down "T" while booting on the old machine, while connecting with a firewire cable on the new machine) Is there a way of doing this ?
Question by:egerzon
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LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 18880965
The blue and white G3 was the first Mac released with a firewire port and it was initially released with OS8.6. There may have been some early models of G3 iMac with both firewire ports and OS8.6. Neither of these supports booting as a slave drive (holding down "T" while booting). This came much later with G4 running OSX.

If your old G3 doesn't have a CD writer, I'd suggest buying a cheap external firewire or USB drive to connect to the older system. Copy your files to it, then disconnect the external drive from the G3 and reconnect it to your new system and transfer the files. There's always a good use for an external hard drive.

I'm afraid you out of luck with the address book, though. Unless you were using Outlook Express in OS8.6 and you buy Entourage for OSX. I'm not sure, but I believe you can export your address book from Mac Outlook Express to Entourage. I've never found a way to import them into OSX Mail, though.

It's also likely that your old documents will not show the proper icon in OSX although they will likely launch the correct application to open them when double-clicked if it is installed. If not, you may have to launch the application first, then open the document from the application or add the proper file extension to the file name.
LVL 11

Expert Comment

ID: 18880969
I forgot to mention that if both computers are on a network, you can enable file sharing on the G3 and log on to it remotely. It will show up in the "My Network" folder on the new Mac.

Assisted Solution

mcmarks earned 50 total points
ID: 18880982
Firewire Target Disk Mode should work if the old machine has a firewire port.  What type of machine is it?  (Model, year made or CPU speed)

There are many other options though including, but not limited to, CD-R/RW, USB flash drive, ethernet, wireless, iPod, external harddrive.  Firewire Target Disk Mode would certainly be the fastest, but how much data do you need to transfer?  I just bought a 4GB USB flash drive from TigerDirect for just under $40.  I wouldn't think a machine running 8.6 has a harddrive much bigger than that.

Just to make sure you are trying to enter target disk mode correctly, it may help to review these instructions:

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LVL 40

Expert Comment

by:Eoin OSullivan
ID: 18881074
1. Using a cross-over Ehternet Cable , why not connect the 2 macs and transfer the files over Appleshare..
Copying files from the Apple OS8 to the Public Folder on the OSX machine.

2. Target Disk mode does not work on all OS8 Macs .. it was originally PowerBooks it worked for.

3. If you open the OS8 mac and take out the Hard Drive .. you can then use a USB drive adapter to plug it into the OSX mac -
LVL 53

Accepted Solution

strung earned 75 total points
ID: 18882321
Option 1 above won't work. OS 8.6 does not support AppleShare over TCP/IP and Tiger cannot access AppleShare files shared over AppleTalk. To use option 1, you would first have to purchase Shareway IP for $39 - See:

According to this link the prerequisites for using Target Disk Mode are:

Host computer requirements

Host computers must meet the following requirements:

    * Built-in FireWire port, or a FireWire port on a PC card
    * FireWire 2.3.3 or later
    * Mac OS 8.6 or later

Target computers

The following models can be used as target computers:

    * iMac (Slot Loading) with Firmware version 2.4 or later
    * iMac (Summer 2000) and all models introduced after July 2000
    * eMac (all models)
    * Mac mini (all models)
    * Power Mac G4 (AGP Graphics) with ATA drive
    * Power Mac G4 Cube
    * Power Mac G4 (Gigabit Ethernet) and all models introduced after July 2000
    * Power Mac G5 (all models)
    * iBook (FireWire) and all models introduced after September 2000
    * MacBook (all models)
    * PowerBook G3 (FireWire)
    * PowerBook G4 (all models)
    * MacBook Pro (all models)

From this is would seem that the way to go about it would be to make sure the old computer has Firewire 2.3.3 or later installed (Download here: ). Then connect the two computers together and start the NEW one in Target Disk Mode. You should then be able to transfer files from the old computer (booted in OS 8.6) to the new computer (booted in Target Disk Mode).

Expert Comment

ID: 18884363
I was just trying to do the same thing this past weekend, copy files from a G3 iMac (no firewire) to a MacBook Pro running Tiger (10.4.9). I was able to connect them using a crossover network cable (rather than hooking them to a hub, but that would work too) and copy files from one to the other. HOWEVER, it was not without issues. First, you HAD to initiate the connection from the 8.6 Mac (due to the previous posts reasons of not running Appletalk over IP) and you have to be sure to turn Appletalk ON with the 10.4 Mac.
Second, it would periodically disconnect the connection. I researched the issue and came across the same info as strung (above) had found. The versions of Appletalk just truly aren't compatible.

If it is just a few files, then this would work, but if you have massive amounts of data, you would probably have to get your hands on a Mac somewhere between 8.6 and 10.4 and use it as a conduit. Or get your hands on an old copy of Mac OS 9.2 and install it on the older mac to raise the Appletalk to a high enough level.

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