Backing up photos and videos from iMac that won’t boot up

Hi all, I have an iMac that is no longer able to boot up, it just stays on the black screen with the Apple logo indefinitely. I managed to identify the issue being related to onboard RAM I believe, this is because I got the error code PPM002. The computer is old and slow anyway so I don’t intend on spending money to fix it. However, I need to copy all my photos from the hard drive. I have been able to access recovery mode but having trouble figuring out exactly how to copy all my photos and videos and then being able to access the files on a windows PC. Is anyone able to help me out?


  • mondimondi Icrontian

    If you can get to recovery mode, you may be able to get to target disk mode too ( - in which case you can plug it into another machine and it should show up as an external drive.

    As it says in the article, you may have issues reading the Mac file system (probably HFS if it's an older machine) but there are workarounds, both commercial and free.

  • Thanks Mondi, sounds like this might be an option for me. However, I am a little unclear on how I connect the 2 computers, is it simply via Ethernet cable?

  • Mt_GoatMt_Goat Head Cheezy Knob Pflugerville (north of Austin) Icrontian
    edited January 2022

    Lightning to USB cable. (One connection on each end)

    Also, do you have an Icloud account. If so it may already have a backup.

  • My Mac only has the old thunderbolt mini display port. On EBay I can only find a thunderbolt to HDMI cable, will this work? I have iCloud but only the free account so don’t think it would have all my photos.

  • Mt_GoatMt_Goat Head Cheezy Knob Pflugerville (north of Austin) Icrontian

    You can also use an adapter for the mini DP end if that helps. Yes, the basic only goes to 25 Gigs if I'm not mistaken.

  • mondimondi Icrontian

    HDMI wont work - you want to look at some sort of usb -> usb connection. The mini DP might be TB as well, in which case a usb -> TB could work too

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