I'm currently trying to port all my old stuff from an old Power Mac G4 (MDD) to a newer Power Mac G5 (Late 2005). Both have gigabit ethernet and so I decided to connect the two via ethernet cable (Cat6). Both are running OS X 10.5.8.

However... I'm only getting speeds of up to about 40Mbit/s, and it's taking hours (nearly a whole day in total) to transfer about 200GB. Are there any reasons why it might be so slow, and is there any way I can speed it up?



3 Answers 3


You could try FireWire Target Disk Mode. Boot the source computer while holding down the T key and connect to the destination computer. The source's drive(s) will show up on the desktop and you can copy files that way.

I don't know if it will be any faster; the bottleneck could be your hard drive speeds.

  • That would be great - and it would definitely be faster agreed - but the disk I'm trying to access is not the boot disk... Target mode only seems to mount the boot drive, unless you know of a way of accessing the other drives via Target Mode?
    – Jowie
    Commented May 9, 2011 at 8:25
  • 1
    It seems to depend on the model. My MacBook Pro will share the DVD drive over FWTDM, but my iBook G4 doesn't.
    – Cajunluke
    Commented May 9, 2011 at 13:50
  • Do they automatically show up if it's supported? If so then it's not supported on my Power Mac G4.
    – Jowie
    Commented May 9, 2011 at 14:16
  • @Joe I believe they do automatically show up (in my MacBook Pro's case, a DVD had to be in the drive).
    – Cajunluke
    Commented May 9, 2011 at 16:51

I already have this problem in the past and solve it by disabling internet sharing. I don't know why disabling internet sharing speedup bandwidth but it maybe useful for you.

You can also try another ethernet cable.

  • I've tried multiple ethernet cables and they all produce about the same result. Also I don't have Internet Sharing switched on. :(
    – Jowie
    Commented May 9, 2011 at 8:26
  • Try login to your session with shift key down (to prevent some automatic app launch), check odd launched app in activity monitor and kill them. Start again your file transfer.
    – Bil
    Commented May 9, 2011 at 8:40

Considering they're older Macs, you're probably hitting the hard drives' I/O limit.

  • I wondered if that was the case, but I'm not entirely convinced... Running Xbench shows that the drives average at about 20MB/sec (going all the way up to about 80MB/sec) - I'm assuming that's also bytes and not bits. Duplicating a 50GB folder containing thousands of files locally takes about 25 minutes. But I guess it could have something to do with a network bus speed or something?
    – Jowie
    Commented May 9, 2011 at 8:24

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .