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How to transfer files from broken Mac to new Mac?

Updated on Wednesday, May 11, 2022

iBoysoft author Frances Yang

Written by

Frances Yang
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee

How to transfer files from a broken Mac to a new Mac?

Summary: Read this tutorial to know how to transfer files from a broken Mac to a new one and ways to fix your broken Mac. Before transferring or fixing, you'd better use iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac to recover files from your old Mac first.

transfer files from broken Mac to a new Mac

Hi, my 4-year-old MacBook Pro has died (Model A1260). The people at the Apple Store have confirmed that it's a dead logic board. I have some important files on the computer that were not backed up. How can I retrieve these files? Preferably, I'd like to be able to access these files on a PC, but if need be, I can borrow my friend's iMac to do the transfer. Thanks!

Unlike external devices, internal hard drives are sturdier and they don't run into problems as often as flash drives. But they don't last forever. Sometimes, they tend to get corrupted and you will suffer from data loss. It is simple to transfer files from Mac to Mac, but not easy to transfer files from a broken Mac to a new Mac.

Table of Contents:

In this article, we will talk about that. Usually, there are two accessions:

1. If you only have the unbootable Mac.     
2. If you have two Macs.

Tutorial to transfer files from broken Mac to new Mac

iBoysoft Mac Data Recovery is Mac hard drive data recovery software that has helped lots of users transfer documents, pictures, audio, videos, emails that files from broken Mac to new Mac, recover lost data from dead MacBook Pro/MacBook Air/iMac, recover lost data from unbootable Mac computer, recover lost data from failed internal Mac hard drive, etc.

There is no need to take out the broken Mac internal HD. You are allowed to create a bootable USB and recover lost data or run the software through the iBoysoft Server.

Solution 1: If you have only one unbootable Mac computer

If you have only one computer at your hand, the best solution you can try is to run iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac through iBoysoft Server to recover lost data.

 Note: you need to connect it to a network, such as a WiFi network.

1. Restart your Mac and press Command +Option +R key combinations to boot into macOS Recovery mode.  

2. Choose a network for your Mac. You need to make your Mac connected to the Internet all the time.   

3. Click Utilities in the top menu and select Terminal from the drop-down menu.

Recover Data in macOS Recovery mode through iBoysoft Server

4. Type in the command line below:

sh <(curl http://boot.iboysoft.com/boot.sh)

and then press Enter. This will launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac through iBoysoft Server.    

5. When iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac is launched, select the Mac hard drive in the list and click on Next to scan for files on this drive.

select the Mac hard drive

6. Select the files you want to get back, preview them, and click on "Recover" to recover them.

Preview files stored on Mac hard drive

Solution 2: If you have two Macs

1. Download iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac on another Mac computer.

2. Install and launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac on the healthy Mac computer.

3. Click iBoysoft Data Recovery on the menu bar and then select "Create Boot Drive".

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

4. Insert a USB drive into the healthy Mac computer.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

5. Follow the wizard to create a bootable recovery drive on the USB drive.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

6. When the creation process completes you can insert the USB drive into the unbootable Mac computer, and press the Power button and Option key (‚Ć•) to start the Mac.

iBoysoft Data Recovery create bootable drive

7. Select iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac from the boot options.

 Note: If you're running macOS Mojave or earlier, iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac will launch immediately when your Mac boots up. But, if your Mac is running macOS Catalina, you need two additional steps to launch this program.

8. Wait for your Mac to boot up, and open the "Terminal" application from the "Utilities" drop-down menu.

Open Terminal

9. Run the following command:

'Volumes/Image Volume/boot.sh'

Launch iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac Command

10. Follow the wizard to scan the lost data on the corrupted internal hard drive, choose the files you want to get back and click the Recover button.

How to fix a broken Mac computer?

After transferring files from a broken Mac to a new Mac, you can reformat the system disk and reinstall macOS to make it usable again.

  • 1. Boot your Mac to macOS Recovery mode: hold down Command + R keys immediately after pressing the power button to turn on your Mac, release the keys until you see the Apple logo.
  • 2. Select Disk Utility from the macOS utility menu.
  • 3. Select the broken system drive from the sidebar.
  • 4. Click on Erase from the top.
  • 5. Setup the required information to reformat the disk and click Done when finished.
  • 6. Go back to the macOS utility screen and select Reinstall macOS.

If your Mac can startup, you can also use Target Disk Mode or Migration Assistant to transfer files from one Mac to another.