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My laptop's video card is dead, and while the Apple store says they'll give me a replacement, I'd like to grab some things from my hard drive before I take it in. Is there some way I could connect my laptop to my desktop and use the hard drive as an external just to pull some files off?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

Boot into Target Mode:

Assuming your desktop is also a Mac...Connect the two machines via a firewire cable, reboot the laptop while holding tht T key down. This boots the laptop into Target Mode, and you can access everything on the laptop as a mounted disk on your desktop.

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If you can't boot the laptop, maybe you can remove the hard drive from the laptop and connect it to the desktop, either directly to the internal connectors or using an external USB or eSATA dock.

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If it just the display, then you should be able to turn it on, connect it to the network and then access the hard drive via the network and copy the files that way. You shouldn't need to be logged in to be able to connect.

I'm not 100% sure how you'd do this on Mac's though - it's been a while since I used one.

If the machine's not stable then you might have to remove the hard drive, put it in a USB/Firewire enclosure and plug that into your desktop. Copy the files then replace the drive in the laptop before sending it off for repair/replacement.

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It's not just the display I think it's the GPU? Apparently it's a problem with defective NVidia cards. It doesn't really turn on fully at all it usually gets glitchy and resets. I wish I could say more about the problem with the computer itself but I'm not sure. – Sh'aa-g'nik Jun 10 '10 at 19:08
@Sh'aa-g'nik - ah, my method does rely on the machine being stable :). – ChrisF Jun 10 '10 at 19:12

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