Mac: Booting a Mac In Target Mode

Image of Mac's Firewire Target Mode Symbol

If you need to access the hard drive on your Mac but you are having issues with the computer or you want to copy files to a new computer, you can boot your Mac so it acts like an external hard drive.   You will need to use either a Firewire cable or a Thunderbolt cable, depending on the ports you have available on both machines.

To boot in target disc, hold down the “T” key as you boot the Mac.  Your screen should show that the computer has booted into target mode (unless of course your screen is dead).  The target disc hard drive will show up on the other like an external drive.

This can also be done by going to settings and selecting target mode in the Starup Disk area (see image below)

Image of the Start Up Disk Panel on a Mac