Previous 1 2 Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Apr 28, 2009 11:26 AM by neuroanatomist
hugh222 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hi there, I was wondering if you could help me with a couple of things...

Firstly... I have recently purchased a Macbook Pro, and I need to transfer a bunch of files from my PC to my Macbook. I have also just purchased a Western Digital My Book External HDD(1TB) and was hoping to use that to transfer everything (ie. copy/paste everything from PC onto the My Book, then copy/paste everything from My Book to the Macbook).

1). Is it as simple as just copying things across as I have described above? Or is there something I need to do with the external HDD prior to copying everything over, ie. do I need to format it first?

2). Will my Macbook be able to read the files on the external HDD, even though they've been copied from a PC?

Any suggestions and advice would be greatly appreciated!

My second query is...

Once i've copied everything over to my Macbook, I am hoping to use the My Book external HDD as a back-up disk. Will I need to reformat it in order to use it as a back-up disk with my Macbook (ie. using Time Machine)?

Anyway, if anyone has any advice for me it would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers everyone

Macbook Pro 15" 2.53GHz
  • neuroanatomist Level 7 Level 7 (31,690 points)
    Full answer to your question below, but FYI there's an easier way - simply connect the PC and the Mac with an Ethernet cable and just move the files directly:

    HDDs for use with Windows are usually formatted as NTFS (but sometimes as FAT32). The Mac OS can read NTFS but not write to it. Mac disks are formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) and cannot be read by Windows. There are software solutions for both (to allow Windows to read/write Mac OS disks, and to allow the Mac OS to write to NTFS disks) but if you're switching and won't want to routinely access from both platforms, why spend the money? Both platforms can read and write FAT32, but that format has a file size limit of 4 GB, meaning large files will not transfer.

    So, it's not as simple as just copying everything over. However, the only problem is with the HDD format - the Mac will be able to use the files themselves with no problem.

    You can do all the formatting from the Mac using Disk Utility. One possible strategy would be to:

    1) format the drive as NTFS and copy the files from the PC to the external drive
    2) copy the files from the external drive to your new Mac
    3) reformat the drive as Mac OS Extended (Journaled), selecting the GUID scheme in the Partition tab
    4) start using the external drive with Time Machine
  • hugh222 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thank you very much for your reply neuroanatomist, it is very helpful

    So, I guess I first need to find out what the drive is formatted as? Do you know how I find this out?

    And then, I assume once that has been ascertained, I can go ahead and follow the steps you have mentioned above?

    Thanks for your help
  • neuroanatomist Level 7 Level 7 (31,690 points)
    See the top of my post about connecting the two computers directly (I added that later, so you may have missed it).

    To determine the format, connect the drive to the Mac, and launch Disk Utility, select the drive in the list and Get Info.
  • Eaglesfan2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm in the same situation. I just got a MacBook Pro and need to transfer files from my OLD PC to my MacBook. I want to use a Time Capsule to this. One question I have is with i-tunes? How do I know what specific files I need to transfer in order to get my library on my MacBook? Does anyone have experience with setting up the Time Capsule?
  • hugh222 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Ah yes I missed that. Thanks for the info

    Tbh, the files I need to transfer are actually sitting on an old external HD that has broken recently. I have data retrieval software on my PC that can thankfully retrieve all the data on it, but since the data won't fit on my PC's HD I am hoping to transfer it from the old external HD onto my new external HD and then onto my Macbook.

    Now that I think about it, would I be able to transfer this data via ethernet as you have suggested, from my old external HD (thus cutting out the new external HD as a 'middle man')?

    *edit: I'm just reading the info that you gave me the link for how to migrate data from PC to Mac...

    I just have one question regarding this bit (from the 'Direct Connect' section):

    "+4. *Type your PC's network address* in the Server Address text box using one of these formats:+

    +* smb://DNSname/ShareName+
    +* smb://IPaddress/ShareName+"

    Do you know how I can find out my PC's network address?

    Message was edited by: hugh222

    Message was edited by: hugh222
  • neuroanatomist Level 7 Level 7 (31,690 points)
    hugh222 wrote:
    Do you know how I can find out my PC's network address?

    Start menu > Run. Type cmd and a command prompt window will pop up. In that window, type ipconfig - that will list the IP address assigned to your connection.
  • hugh222 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Awesome, thanks very much for your help
  • hugh222 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I still need help figuring out how to connect my PC to my Macbook
  • hugh222 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Ok, sorry it's been a few days since I last posted... I've only just had the chance to do all this (it took me a while to find an ethernet cable)!

    Anyway, I still need help!

    Regarding connecting my PC to my Macbook via ethernet cable, I still can't figure out how to do this!

    I am still stuck at step 4 which I have quoted in my post above.

    Could someone (neuroanatomist?) tell me exactly what I need to type into the server address in order for my macbook to find my PC? The instructions on the page that neuroanatomist gave a link to above are rather vague.

    Specifically, what is my ShareName? And what is my DNSname? How do I find out what these are?

    The only info I get from the cmd prompt box is:

    +Connection-specific DNS Suffix: home+
    +IP Address: blah blah blah+
    +Subnet Mask: blah blah blah+
    +Default Gateway: blah blah blah+

  • neuroanatomist Level 7 Level 7 (31,690 points)
    Here's very detailed tutorial. Hope that helps!

    There's also a 3rd party software assistant:
  • hugh222 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I am connecting the computers using an ethernet cable between the two, as opposed to connecting via a network, so are all the steps mentioned in that article valid?

    For example, the first part about setting up sharing on my PC?
  • neuroanatomist Level 7 Level 7 (31,690 points)
    Yes, since a samba connection is still a network connection; usually, those are blocked unless sharing is enabled.

    I suppose, if all else fails, you can use the HDD for the transfer...
  • hugh222 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Brilliant, that all seems to be working. Thanks once again Neuro

    As a sidenote, it's nice to now know how to set up a network too! This is something I should have done a long time ago!
  • hugh222 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Oh one last question...

    I have noticed in Finder that I can view my PC, plus my gf's PC, and another one is there too, possibly a neighbour's computer. Does that mean m neighbour can access the files that are in my PC's sharing folder?
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