Previous 1 2 Next 24 Replies Latest reply: Jan 9, 2014 1:33 PM by startingout
lilskye Level 1 Level 1

I hope someone who knows something about Windows PCs can help.  I am a longtime Mac user and have never migrated a PC to a Mac before.  I am doing this for my work computer, which I just got a new iMac and really need to transfer my PC files (Outlook mail folders, calendar and contacts) into my new iMac.


I have followed ALL the directions repeatedly (so please do not give me the link on "how to"), I have called Apple Care who do not have the answer.


I am at initial start-up, with the "Select the Source" window and a whirling apple thing "looking for other computers"....  I have downloaded and launched Windows Migration Assistant and it is also "Waiting for your Mac to connect..."


These are directly connected via ethernet cable hard drive to iMac.  All virus and security settings that I can find have been disabled.  The PC is a 2012 Dell XPS 8300 running Windows 7.


If you go to the Windows Control Panel and look at Security, everything is disabled - EXCEPT "Internet Security Settings are set to their recommended levels"  I have no ieda how to make that go away.  I have tried disabling it in IE and it only let's you go from High to Medium. 



Can someone please help me figure out why these 2 computers cannot recognize each other so I can migrate?


Any help is truly appreciated with much gratitude.



iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.5)
  • lilskye Level 1 Level 1

    One other thought / question I have on this is:


    I get that the PC could be at fault, but why would the Mac also not recognize that something is connected to its ethernet port?


    Anxiously looking for help on this.


    Many thanks!

  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7

    If nothing at > Switch Basics: Migrate your Windows files or system to your Mac helps, you can always use a FAT-32 formatted USB External Hard Drive to move files between PC's and Mac's. 

  • lilskye Level 1 Level 1

    I received a reply from "den.thed" but it doesn't appear in this thread so I can't reply to it   Have no idea why - weird!


    It said: 

    If nothing at > Switch Basics: Migrate your Windows files or system to your Mac helps, you can also use a FAT-32 External Hard Drive to move files between PC's and Mac's.


    It's not that I can't move files - I know I can do that, I want to avoid having to manually spend weeks recreating all the calendar items and email accounts (we have dozens), nested folders of emails and massive amounts of data already there.  The whole point of Migration Assistant is to do all this.  It took me a year to talk my boss into switching to a Mac and the last thing they want to see is that I'm at work 24/7 having to manually transfer a giant headache.


    Why do not the computers recognize each other when connected via ethernet cable?  It's the very first thing we are doing when turning it on.  This is why I said in my first post that we have done everything in the link you provided, it is supposed to turn on, recognize so you can do something.  We aren't even being recognized and I'm staring at a whirling thing saying "looking for a computer" for hours.....  Apple Care says it should do this and they don't understand it.  The blame seems to be on the PC (of course), but my question in my second post is that I still don't get why the Mac also doesn't "see" that something is connected to it....unless it cannot if the PC is masking itself somehow.


    This is unbelievably frustrating.  This should transfer with a click of a mouse....


    Anyone with any ideas, who has dealt with this before with a migration from PC, please help.



  • C F McBlob Level 4 Level 4

    den.thed wrote:


    If nothing at > Switch Basics: Migrate your Windows files or system to your Mac helps, you can always use a FAT-32 formatted USB External Hard Drive to move files between PC's and Mac's. 

    Or use FileDrop. Then the formatting of a USB drive won't matter, since all you'll be moving is files that can be opened on either system

  • C F McBlob Level 4 Level 4

    lilskye wrote:


    Why do not the computers recognize each other when connected via ethernet cable?  It's the very first thing we are doing when turning it on. 



    A simple ethernet to ethernet connection WON'T do. Try connecting BOTH through a router. My Mini recognizes my laptop (Win8) and my other desktop (Win7) all on the same NetGear router.

  • den.thed Level 7 Level 7

    I don't have a PC and never have.


    Thanks though, I'll keep FileDrop in mind the next time my daughter is here with her pc and were sharing photos and music.

  • lilskye Level 1 Level 1

    Hi C F McBlob:  Thanks for responding.


    The Apple Migration instruction specifically tell you to connect an ethernet cable, and Apple care told me to do the same thing.  See "Before you begin the transfer process" here:



    I'm at the "Select the Source" window image except there is no "Source" for me to select because I just see "looking for other computers...." because the Mac is never finding one to connect to.


    However I did try to connect my new Mac physically to our Time Capsule (which is the Wifi router for the office) and it still didn't recognize anything.  The PC is wirelessly connected on the same network.


    Bear in mind this is on initial start up of a new Mac - initial set up.  The first thing you are greeted with is is "do you want to transfer from another Mac, or PC, etc."  So you are not logged into the computer yet (purposely) you don't have a computer name or login yet.  And you are not "in" the computer yet to connect it to a Wifi network.


    It is supposed to recognize on its own - but I'm not sure how it does this.  The Apple Care guys said I was doing everything correctly and they can't understand it.  This PC is only 1 year old and the iMac brand new.  This is why I'm assuming its got to be something hidden in the PC that isn't allowing the computers to recognize each other.


    How do I connect them on the same router???  Can I physically connect the PC via ethernet to the Time Capsule and also the iMac physically via ethernet to the Time Capsule and have them recoginze each other???  Unless the iMac recognizes this on its own, I can't do this in pre-set up mode (cuz it's not on a "network")...


    Hope I'm making sense!  LOL!!!!

  • lilskye Level 1 Level 1

    den.thed wrote:


    I don't have a PC and never have.




    I couldn't agree MORE.  There is absolutely NOTHING that gets done on this thing that doesn't have a zillion problems attached to it (like this one!)....  Last night just disabling their virus protection stuff took forever and the only way you can "turn it off" is to completely uninstall it.  It's beyond obnoxious, hence why I want our office moved to a Mac !!!  Yippeee.....

  • lilskye Level 1 Level 1

    Okay I went by an Apple store to ask their opinion and the guy told me that H F McBob is correct - that I can't connect the 2 computers via ethernet (even though that is what the Migration insturctions say to do), but he said that I shoud be able to connect each computer via ethernet to the Time Capsule and have them recognize each other.


    Does this sound right to any of you???


    The PC is clear across the room and no where near the internet line, so I would either have to buy a REALLY long ethernet cable to drag over to it, or take the whole computer apart to try and get it near the TC.  The mac of course is no problem to move.


    I just don't want to do all this if this will not really act as a network (I guess as a server of sorts).


    I am confused as the TC manual says that it can be used without internet, but I don't seehow (I've tried rebooting it without a connection).  I do not know why the internet is involved at all since what we need is the TC to act as a wireless router (which it is) and do not need to involve the internet at all to link the 2 computers.


    I will try and post this as well in the Time Capsule section of discussion.  I am just totally frustrated that these computers should just communicate wirelessly and/or with each other somehow and do not seem to, as Apple says they should.  I know this will turn out to be something really simple and dumb and I'm just not seeing it.



  • C F McBlob Level 4 Level 4

    Yep, You've GOT to have something that broadcasts BETWEEN them. A router works best. About eleven years ago I went through a two week learning process when I tried to connect two iMacs via ethernet. Couldn't do it to save my life. I asked about fifteen people until someone finally told me to get a router I did, and suddenly they were connected.

    For wireless (which my laptop is most of the time) you NEED something that communicates "actively" between both devices. Even then, wireless sharing is mighty tricky. I had some (limited) success with it using a MacBook Pro and a Windows 7 desktop that was hardwired. There were certain volumes the MacBook just wouldn't see on the desktop unless I connected it via Cat5, though. THAT was a Windows shortcoming.

  • lilskye Level 1 Level 1

    Hi C F McBlob - Bear in mind that Migration Assistant has only been available on OS Lion & Mountian Lion, so what you were trying to do a few years ago couldn't work


    Just to clarify (as I don't want to confuse anyone reading this using Migration Assistant), the Apple Care guys and the instructions online specifically state that these should be connected to each other via ethernet:


    Quoting from here:



    Make sure that both the Windows PC and the Mac are on the same network, such as your home network. These are the preferred network connections, in order:

    • Use a CAT6-certified Ethernet cable that is in good condition to connect the Ethernet port of the PC directly to the Ethernet port of the Mac or Ethernet adaptor (USB or Thunderbolt). You shouldn't use an Ethernet cable that has any kinks in it or is missing connector tabs.
    • Use CAT6-certified Ethernet cables that are in good condition to connect the Mac and PC to your home network router/hub/switch. You shouldn't use an Ethernet cable that has any kinks in it or is missing connector tabs.
    • For wireless, use the fastest wireless signal possible (802.11n 5Ghz). Try to have the PC, Mac, and the wireless access point all in the same room close to each other.


    It is only a sales guy at an Apple Store who said it can't be done that way.


    Now the guys in the Time Capsule discussion section are saying (which makes sense) that Migration Assistant bypasses all the normal OSX sharing - it is specifically intended to bypass these for this purpose, which would explain why in other normal circumstances you can't connect the two computers via ethernet and have them communicate without a server or router, etc.


    I have Migrated other Macs to Macs before via ethernet.


    But supposedly I'm doing everything correctly and this can only lead me to believe this is an issue on the PC side where some sort of "protection" needs to be disabled.  I've emailed our office PC geek in the UK to see what he has to say tomorrow.


    If all else fails, I will just use MA and transfer from my personal home Mac via ethernet to get some of the basics, I just will have to rebuild much of the email accounts folders and calendar.


    I was just hoping someone here had done this with a PC and knew what I was encountering on the PC side that's the hang up.


    If I learn anything amazing that solves anything I'll come back here and post it.



  • Trev-N Level 1 Level 1

    I'm having the same problem with my new MacBook Air. Have the Mac and PC on the same Time Capsule network. There are other articles out there that help you set up file sharing, WORKGROUP home network, and WINS file setup on the Mac, and Local Security Policies setup on your PC.


    However, I'm still ****** because I can see the shared folders on the PC from my the Mac and shared folders on the Mac from the PC. But the Windows Migration Assistant still can't see each other.


    The other annoyance is that my wife did her MacBook Pro migration from her PC two days ago with no issues. They seen each other instantly. Both PC's are Windows 7. Mac is OS X Mavricks.


    I'm still looking for solutions...


    (And I'm like you; my files are moved. I just want to move the other info that is embedded in the application configurations)

  • lilskye Level 1 Level 1

    Hi Trev-N:


    It is very frustrating though to hear that your wife could do it with no problem and you cannot - have you checked her old PC's Security settings and compared them to yours to see if there's anything different?


    Here was my resolution:


    I didn't have the time or energy to waste any longer fussing with trying to learn all the ins and outs of the PC purely to migrate.  I firmly believe it was something in the firewall and anti-Virus stuff in the PC...


    But in my case, I already had a new home iMac since January and had the same work email accounts set up on that, so I had 10 months' worth of emails already in my mail.  I was hoping to migrate the calendar & contacts, primarily because I keep all the vast info (passwords, etc) in the "notes" section of Contacts - which for some reason is the only area of Contacts that does not copy over when you export it to VCF file....


    So in my specific case what I ended up doing was using MA to migrate my home iMac to the new office iMac, which mirrored everything.  Then I deleted the personal email accounts I didn't want on there, and any and all other files that were personal (to make it really be an "Office" computer.)  I manually added the calendar items I felt I really wanted to remember (which were not so terribly many - it took an hour).... and forgot the rest.


    Etc etc etc.


    However, because I needed to run the Windows version of Quickbooks on the new office Mac, I ordered and installed Parallels, which I had never used before.


    I'm writing this in case it helps someone with this issue if there is no other choice for them:


    I have to say, that if all else fails with MA, this works!  Parallels was $79, downloaded like a breeze and installs.  Then you download your version of Windows inside Parallels (or load your Windows CD) register the key just like you're starting a new PC, and voila!  Then you can install Office (from your past CD, etc) and now you can copy your "old" stuff from your PC onto the new.  While it will not move things like your calendar items into the Mac calendar, you can put it in a folder called "Old PC Stuff" and have it at the ready in Outlook if you ever need to refer back to it.  The likelihood of this will be seldom if at all, as you move forward in life using your calendar on your Mac, but it will at least be availble to you in a folder if you ever really need it.


    On the other hand, you may find that what you are leaving behind is not really needed.  Most files (Word, Excel, Contacts, etc.) can all be simply copied or exported and Mac translates them into its Contacts (except the notes) and into Pages & Numbers, etc. (or you can buy Office for Mac.)  It all depends on what you are trying to migrate and why.


    I hope you are able to find a solution and it works!

  • Eric Root Level 9 Level 9
    Mac OS X
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