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  1. #1
    use mac mini for external hard drive
    I have a macbook pro that's quickly running out of storage space and an old mac mini just collecting dust. Can I use the mini as an external hard drive to store photos & movies? If so how do I connect them? The mini only has firewire, usb & ethernet ports.

    Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    use mac mini for external hard drive
    pm-r's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 16, 2010
    Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada
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    You could, providing you had the proper cables and adapters, but I'd suggest doing so would be a complete waste.

    Just purchase a compatible external drive and use it would be my suggestion. Or maybe even an Apple Extreme and add a drive to it for wireless access.

  3. #3
    use mac mini for external hard drive
    Slydude's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 16, 2009
    North Louisiana, USA
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    2.8 GHz 2008 MacBook Pro 10.11, 8 GB mem, iPhone XS, 2015 iMac 16 GB 10.14.4 beta
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    Assuming the two Macs were on the same network you could enable file sharing on both computers and save files to the Mini. It probably helps to have user accounts with the same name on both machines. Don't remember if that is absolutely necessary but it should stop any file permissions issues.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by insecto View Post
    ...Can I use the mini as an external hard drive to store photos & movies? If so how do I connect them? ...
    Hold 'T' during a reboot, and the Mac Mini will go into target disc mode.

    You can then use it as a Firewire drive. If your Macbook Pro doesn't have Firewire (newer ones only have Thunderbolt) you can buy Thunderbolt to Firewire adapter for about $25.

    Realistically, though... have you seen how cheap a 1TB portable hard drive is nowadays? Given the premium that Apple charge for a Firewire adapter, you might just want to buy a portable hard drive, and leave the Mac Mini in peace. (I use my old Mini in place of a DVD player/set-top box. With an Elgato TV tuner, it gave me years of service, back when Apple TV had very limited functionality.)

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