How to Connect a Mac & a PC Via FireWire

by Meg North

The FireWire cord connecting a Mac and a PC can speed up the file transfer process between both machines. Each computer needs to have an operating system of either Windows XP or Mac OS X or higher for this to work. Each computer also needs a FireWire port and a specialized file-transfer client. This file transfer protocol (FTP) is not necessary when connecting a Mac to a Mac or a PC to a PC. You can transfer large files, such as videos, or smaller files, such as individual songs or documents.

Initial Setup

Initial setup involves connecting both the PC and the Mac with the FireWire cord. This must be completed before proceeding. Turn both computers on. Connect one end of the FireWire cord to the PC's FireWire port and the other end to the Mac's FireWire port. Each of the FireWire cord's ends depicts the FireWire icon, a circle with horizontal lines both beneath it and diagonal angles to it. FireWire ports have this same icon depicted next to the port.

Configure the PC

First, you can configure the PC to recognize both the FireWire cord and the Mac connection. On the PC, click the "Start" menu, go to "Control Panel" and then click "Network Connections." The FireWire connection is labeled the 1394 connection, not FireWire. Once you right-click the 1394 Connection icon and in the pop-up menu, click "Properties." Click the "TCP/IP." In the "General" tab, manually enter the following IP address: 192.168.3.1 Click "OK" to save.

Configure the Mac

It's time to configure the Mac. Click "System Preferences" on the Mac, click "Network Settings" and then click "Built-in FireWire." Type the same IP address as the PC in the "I.P. Address" box under "Configure IPv4." Click the "Show All" button at the top of the dialog box, and then click "Sharing." Check the "Remote Login" box in the "Services Settings" box for the Windows PC to 'talk' to the Mac.

Set Up File Sharing

Create a virtual connection between the two computers by setting up file sharing between them. There are multiple options: download and install WinSCP FTP (see Resources), use another FTP program such as Serv-U (see Resources) or add the Mac to a homegroup and file share.

Start File Transfer

Once WinSCP or another FTP is downloaded and installed, then you will begin file transfer from PC to Mac and vice versa. For WinSCP and other FTP programs, open it. Type the common IP address (192.168.3.2) shared by both computers under "Host Name." Type the Mac username and password where indicated and then click "Login." Transfer any files as needed. For file-sharing, add the Mac to your homegroup. Then click on the folder you want to share and click "Share with" on the address bar. Select the Mac computer within your homegroup to share.

About the Author

Meg North has written professionally since 2008 as an online copywriter for the Sturbridge Yankee Workshop. She also published a short story in "The Maine Scholar." North has a Bachelor of Arts in media writing from the University of Southern Maine.

Photo Credits

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