Ask Different is a question and answer site for power users of Apple hardware and software. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Coming out of the dark ages....moving my stuff from my old G4 PowerPC 10.5.8 to my recently-inherited MBP with 10.6.8 (intel).

How can I move files from the old G4 to the newer MBP? I can't use TimeMachine & my new Seagate backup plus because it requires 10.6 or higher.

Can't use MobileMe because it requires 10.6 or higher.

Thumb drive file transfer is slow and painful.

share|improve this question
Won't the Seagate drive work on 10.5 just as a drive? OK the extra software won't but you should just be able to copy data/ – Mark Jan 23 '13 at 12:43

I'd recommend that you use Firewire target disk mode.

From article "How to use and troubleshoot FireWire target disk mode" (

FireWire target disk mode allows a Macintosh computer with a FireWire port (the target computer) to be used as an external hard disk connected to another computer (the host). Once a target computer is started up as a FireWire hard disk and is available to the host computer, you can copy files to or from that volume.

You basically need to:

  • Connect both computers with a Firewire cable.
  • Start your G4 Mac while pressing the T key until a FireWire icon appears.
  • Wait until a firewire drive icon appears on your MBP's desktop. Open the drive and copy what you need (probably in /Users/<your username>).
  • When you're done, eject the drive as usual (E or drag it to the recycle bin) and power your G4 Mac off.
share|improve this answer

I believe there's Migrate Assistant or stuff like that.

Can you use that? It's slow, but you just gonna have to live with that.

You can of course transfer through network, but I doubt if that will be faster than USB/WiFi.

Another option is to take the drive off. Which is what I won't do since I don't think it's designed so.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.