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
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
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?
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:+
Do you know how I can find out my PC's network address?
Message was edited by: hugh222
Message was edited by: hugh222
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+