13 Replies Latest reply: Jan 19, 2013 10:29 PM by southweststokie
southweststokie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

new to apple with new imac, and trying to hard connect a few old windows hard drives. Is there an easy way to get the imac to search out relevant and transferable files ? These are standalone hard drives that are connected up to the Mac via USB. Migration Assistant doesn't appear to apply ? Can someone point me in the right direction please ?


iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • 1. Re: connecting old windows hard drive
    Allan Eckert Level 8 Level 8 (41,525 points)

    How are the drives formatted?

     

    If NTFS, then no easy way to search from Mac.

     

    Allan

  • 2. Re: connecting old windows hard drive
    Mike Osborn Level 4 Level 4 (1,205 points)

    Can you provide a better explanation of what you consider "relevant and transferrable files"? 

  • 3. Re: connecting old windows hard drive
    Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)

    No there is No program to search any type drive in any format for Relevant files. In fact there are NO files used by Windows that can be used on a Mac. Except your personal files like word processing files and the like office type files, music and photos (and maybe a few more for other programs that may have a Mac version).

     

    It is up to you to decide which files on all those drives are Relevant To You and then copy them to your new Mac.

     

    OS X has no problem reading Windows, NTFS, formatted drive but it can't write to them so don't try to delete them, just copy them. Then you can use those drives on your Mac but they must be formatted for the Mac.

  • 4. Re: connecting old windows hard drive
    den.thed Level 7 Level 7 (23,900 points)

    Go to > Migrate your Windows files or system to your Mac and click on ► Manually migrating near the bottom of the page to see how to move your photos, music and other files to your Mac from an External Hard Drive.

  • 5. Re: connecting old windows hard drive
    Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)

    Sure there is a way to search those drive from a Mac. Mac OS X can read NTFS formatted drives just fine and that is what is needed to search them, IE to Read them. Now Mac Spotlight may not do it but then Spotlight is just about useless anyway. If the OP used Easyfind it can search those drive for any type file.

    Allan Eckert wrote:

     

    How are the drives formatted?

     

    If NTFS, then no easy way to search from Mac.

     

    Allan

  • 6. Re: connecting old windows hard drive
    dwb Level 7 Level 7 (20,200 points)

    There's a program called EasyFind that is very useful for finding files that Spotlight doesn't readily find. You can use it to search on extenders like .doc and .mp3 to find files. Your documents, pictures, music and such are the only files your new Mac can use so that should be a decent way to do it.

  • 7. Re: connecting old windows hard drive
    southweststokie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Legacy mp3's, word, excel, and any jpegs/photos is what I'm aiming at. Appreciate you taking the time to help. Quite a few replies on this one, so need some time to check everything out.

  • 8. Re: connecting old windows hard drive
    Mike Osborn Level 4 Level 4 (1,205 points)

    You've received some good tips on how to search your external Windows drive for files you might want to move over to the iMac.

     

    I don't know how many files you're considering moving.  If the files are scattered all over this external hard drive and aren't easy to locate, then EasyFind might be the way to go.

     

    If it's not a project that would take several hours to set up, you might think about creating three folders on your iMac's desktop:  (1) Windows Documents (your Word/Excel files might go here); (2) Wiindows Photos (for your jpg and photo files; and (3) Windows Music (for your mp3 files).

     

    Then navigate to your external hard drive, select the files you want to move, and drag them into the folders you just created.

     

    Once the files are on your Mac, you can then open one of the desktop folders, say, your Windows Music folder for example, select all the mp3 files in it, and drag them as a group onto your iTunes icon in your Dock.

     

    Once that's done, you could do the same thing with your Windows Photos folder...open it up, select all of the photos, and drag them onto the iPhoto icon in your Dock.

     

    Your Windows Documents folder items could be selected and dragged onto your Documents icon in the Dock.

     

    There are probably a gazillion ways to do what you want to do, though...you'd want to choose what works best for you.

  • 9. Re: connecting old windows hard drive
    southweststokie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Again, thank you for your time. Confess to novice status on the Mac, and gritting my teeth through predictable frustrations. Latest issue is that the external drive is no longer visible in Finder, but I can see all its properties in Disk Utility. Probably a very basic reason, but it's refusing to pop up in Finder (having done so previously). Any suggestions ?

  • 10. Re: connecting old windows hard drive
    Mike Osborn Level 4 Level 4 (1,205 points)

    You might try rebooting your system and see if the drive reappears in the Finder for you. I have my Finder preferences set to always display disk drives on the desktop, which makes it much more convenient to move files from one drive to another.

     

    If rebooting doesn't do the trick for you, try powering the Mac down, let it sit for a minute or two, then power it back up.

  • 11. Re: connecting old windows hard drive
    southweststokie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks. Nothing doing, and after hooking up the hard drive to one of my soon to be redundant Windows laptops, it's clear there's an issue with the drive. strange that Finder got to read it once, and then it gave up the ghost. Gonna start on about 3 other HD's and leave the dodgy one until last to retry. If I can, I'll try and do the others over the network. Have downloaded Easyfind which seems as though it might turnout to be a useful app.

    Once again, really appreciate your input.  I'm so impressed with my iMac, and I'm never going back. Cheers

    SWS

  • 12. Re: connecting old windows hard drive
    Shootist007 Level 6 Level 6 (16,640 points)

    That dodgy drive may be fine, that is the drive itself inside the external enclosure. It has been my experience that what fails on external drive is usually the enclosure electronic and the physical drive is fine. I just had a Western Digital 500GB external fail. Yes it was a few years old but I took the drive out of the enclosure, as they are the same physical drives you buy and install inside a computer, and connected it to a computer with a SATA/IDE to USB adapter and the physical drive is fine. It happened to be a IDE style drive so I put it in one of my olders systems. That was about 3 months ago and the drive is still working fine.

     

    So if you can't get that external seen by any computer take the drive out of the enclosure and try it. It's probably still OK.

  • 13. Re: connecting old windows hard drive
    southweststokie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Agree. Have proven the enclosure to be the problem, as have checked whether an old windows laptop can see the erroneous drive (via USB), and it can. Have re-checked doing the same with the Mac, and it can't. I'll just use the Windows machine as a temporary intermediary for all the drives that end up with this problem. Still odd that Finder did what I expected it to do once i.e. opened the drive up, then after that it's as though it never existed.

    SWS