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Connect sick iMac to another comuter  

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Last month, I replaced the hard drive in my 2011 iMac.  The other day, the video card died (I'm assuming that's it, green screen with black and white lines, keeps restarting by itself). For some reason (and that's a separate issue), there's a very important file I cannot find on my Time Machine backup. What I would like to do is connect the iMac with a MacBook to see the hard drive on the iMac and look for that file there. I looked at the post about using a target/host setup, but it doesn't seem to be exactly what I need. I want the laptop to be itself, and the hard drive on the iMac to show up as a connected hard drive on the la[top. I bought a Thunderbolt cable and connected the twpo computers. Now what?

@muriel-a

Have you tried Target Disk Mode
https://support.apple.com/guide/mac-help/transfer-files-mac-computers-target-disk-mode-mchlp1443/mac
.
You would boot the iMac holding the T key.

@muriel-a

Also have you tried booting into "Safe Mode", just in case it is a 3rd party software issue, or just using more conservative video drivers will allow you to make some forward progress.
http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1564
This will not load any 3rd party additions, it will load some more conservative Apple drivers (may cause screen flicker), and it will clear some kernel caches (a cache is saved data in a form that can speed up a program, but is totally redundant to the original source, and thus can be safely cleared). Booting into Safe mode is just an experiment, but can frequently eliminate any 3rd party interference, or a cached item out-of-sync with the world. (Verify Safe mode via Applications -> Utilities -> System Information -> Software -> Boot Mode -> Safe vs Normal)

@muriel-a

Booting in safe mode ma also allow you to boot the iMac using software rendering, rather than the graphics card, long enough to extract the file you need. I did this briefly after my graphics card failed in my 2009 iMac. It'll run dog slow while you do (if it works), but it may get you by.
Otherwise, use target disk mode.

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