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I have a new macbook pro and would like to transfer the files from my old macbook pro. I need a firewire->thunderbolt cable to do this. I don't really want to pay $30 to buy a cable that I'm going to use once. Will the genius bar do this for me?

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    A second option would be to connect the two computers directly via a single ethernet cable. The thunderbolt/ethernet adapter for the new MacBook Pro is roughly the same price as the cable you quoted; but maybe has a slightly higher probability of being used again. support.apple.com/kb/HT5872 has details. – Kent Sep 2 '14 at 22:47
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As a former Genius, I can say that we were always willing to lend cables to customers for in-store use, but we would not overtly assist with data exercises. Then primary reason is the legality: if Apple gets involved with your data, they become liable for your intellectual property...which can be a legal mess. It's the same reason Apple doesn't offer a guaranteed backup/restore service during a repair.

So, my advice would be book a Genius Bar appointment, explain your situation to a technician, and go from there. The worst they can say is no.

P.S. Unless Apple Retail Store policy has changed, you have a 14-day return policy. I had customers buy a cable, use it for a few days, then return it due to "buyers remorse." ;)

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There are many ways how to achieve this - see Apples documentation for file transferring: http://support.apple.com/kb/PH11466

If both MacBooks are at least on OS X Lion (OS X 10.7), I recommend the AirDrop solution.

If you any MacBook is on an older version than OS X 10.7, you may want to copy them over your LAN via ethernet or WIFI connection.

However, if you'll be transferring a lot of data, you may want to use an external drive for exchange.

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