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A while ago I made a copy of my Aperture library on my Windows machine in case my Time Machine drive failed. My Time Machine drive failed last night and now I would like to restore this backup.

When I made the backup, I used a direct ethernet connection. A Cat 6 crossover cable between my Mac and my Windows. I transferred the files using SMB. However, that was slow and failed often.

Is there a better way of transferring this massive folder from my Windows to my Mac?

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    What ports and speeds are available on the PC? Same for the Mac. Gigabit ethernet is generally faster than any other common interface (and rock solid to boot), but let's see what your options are before answering. See this question for details on what Mac to Mac speeds are likely to be.
    – bmike
    Mar 14, 2014 at 19:55
  • Does cost matter?
    – Joe Hansen
    Mar 14, 2014 at 23:43
  • @josmh yes, I would prefer to not have to buy anything new.
    – ecnepsnai
    Mar 15, 2014 at 0:51
  • I would assume that you manually configured the IP addresses when you connected using a Cat 6 crossover cable. May 13, 2015 at 3:53

4 Answers 4

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Honestly, if something fast like USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt are available to you, get yourself a small 64GB SSD and a USB 3.0 enclosure, or this (expensive, but a very good long-term investment if you have Thunderbolt. It's actually just a Thunderbolt to SATA adapter, with a fancy name. There are other options, this is just the only one I'm familiar with. ), and you should be able to make those transfers in no time. With such a small SSD, the price should be sub-$100 even for the fast ones.

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Honestly you get the best throughput using sneakernet for large volumes of data.

Get yourself a 64 GB thumb drive (or an external USB HD, they are handy things to have!). Format it as ExFAT and copy the files to the thumb drive on the PC, plug 'er into the Mac and copy away...

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  • I would disagree. Even 100 MB ethernet is faster than the read or write times of thumb drives. See this post for details on storage speed and interface comparisons. I'm guessing there's a cable or hardware problem if ethernet is slow per the OP's initial question. I suppose you could say, start the copy and then go do other things, move the drive and start the copy again. Total time doing something would be less than reconnecting / restarting a failed transfer.
    – bmike
    Mar 14, 2014 at 20:02
  • Not to be argumentative ;-) but if transfer via ethernet cable is problematic then a thumb drive or USB HD works better because No Errors. Yeah ethernet SHOULD be faster, but sometimes punting gets you the win. Mar 15, 2014 at 14:02
  • I'm in total agreement. Fastest to me is that which wastes the least of my time, not what some benchmark says is "fastest" for some lab condition.
    – bmike
    Mar 15, 2014 at 17:36
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Optimal set-up:

Google Fiber and a lot of storage space via a paid plan with Google Drive or Dropbox.

(You can use any fast internet service provider... Fiber isn't available everywhere.)

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  • I live in Canada where fiber is not available. And I would prefer to not go out over WAN for this transfer.
    – ecnepsnai
    Mar 15, 2014 at 0:52
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Another option if both of the machines are in the same network. You can use netcat on both machines. Remember though, do not use this anywhere else where security is a concern as netcat is fast because it does not have any security layer.

You can install window's netcat here: http://joncraton.org/blog/46/netcat-for-windows/

and on Mac you can use brew to sic it out.

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