Best Way to Transfer Files from PC to Mac...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by FasterSoonerNow, Jul 9, 2004.

  1. FasterSoonerNow macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2004

    Burning them to CD's? Please... There's got to be something better.

    Is it possible to put a crossover cable between them to simply form a network between the PC and the Mac?

    Or should I just plug the Mac into my router with the PC already on it?

  2. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2003
    New Jersey USA
    You actually have a few options.

    If you have a fairly modern PC, then you just network. Macs do not need Crossover cables (new ones anyway) so, you can turn on sharing and connect via the router or directly and transfer the data files.

    There is a commercial product that uses USB or ethernet called PC to Mac (I think) I am told it works well for older PCs that use Windows 98.

    If you cannot network, you always have the option of pulling the drive, and placing it in an external firewire case and using it like that. It will read/write FAT32 and read NTFS. Then you can reformat and have an extra drive.

    Burning CDs is slow, but it does give you an archive. Or, go buy a 5 pack of CDRW. I find them very handy for simple transfers. In most cases, you would be surprised how little actual data you have (unless you have MP3, video, or photos) But I back up machines at work and most people can fit everything onto 6 or 8 CDs.

    Good luck.
  3. FasterSoonerNow thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2004
    There's about 40 gigs worth of music alone... :)

    Hehe... Needless to say I think I'll be going the networking route. It's not an old PC by any means... Dell Dimension bought in '01 running XP.
  4. reaper macrumors 6502

    Apr 9, 2004
    19th Hole
    Then the direct connect should work just fine. It has actually come in quite handy for me at times.

    - reaper
  5. HardHatMac9 macrumors regular

    Jun 2, 2004

    I just did this. Use an ethernet cable to connect your mac and pc. There are instructions on the apple website. If you search "networking mac and pc os x" you should find them.

    I suggest transferring in "bundles." You might run into problems if you try to do all 40 gigs at once.

    Hope that helps!
  6. zakee00 macrumors regular


    Jul 7, 2004
    Anchorage, Alaska
    networking works great for me, easy setup. i have an AE, my PC hooked up to the LAN port, and my ALbook wirelessly connected. they share files great, and share internet also. the thing is, 3MB/sec isnt that great for large files :/ i want 1GB sec :D
  7. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a


    May 2, 2003
    Home of Al-Qaida
    Thumb/Flash drive. Stick it into USB port, drag and drop, pull.
  8. colinp macrumors member

    Jul 7, 2004
    I'm using a crossover cable to transfer from my Dell tower with XP and my 12" Pbook. Transfer speeds are INCREDIBLE! We're talkin' hundreds of megabytes in a few minutes. Oddly, when transfering from my dads Dell tower to his Dell laptop transfer speeds were noticeably (and dramatically) slower. I tried using wifi to transfer, but it was REALLY slow. I picked up the crossover cable at Staples, but you can find them at Radio Shack (were sold out when I went) or any computer store. I'm not sure what kind of speeds you'll get from hardline networked computers, but I imagine it'll be fairly fast.
  9. FasterSoonerNow thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2004
    The Crossover cable connects to the ethernet port just as a normal networking cable would, correct?
  10. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    Yes - but you don't need a crossover. But you can use one if you want.
  11. m.r.m. macrumors regular

    Oct 25, 2003
    i use a firewire cable when i need to move large (>10gb) amounts of data. ethernet (especially on my 12" pb) or airport extreme just don´t cut it then.
  12. Lewisham macrumors member

    Oct 22, 2003
    Actual transfer method

    The best transfer method once the network is going, I have found, is FTP. Although it seems a bit round-about, it means that you can setup the transfer, and leave it alone. You can then check every couple of hours to check everything is cool. Samba has a big habit of throwing errors when you try something like this, driving you nuts and making the task of transferring the amount of data you want nigh-on impossible.

    Quick way:
    1. Put WS_FTP on Windows, take advantage of the 30 day evaluation :)
    2. Set WS_FTP to retry lots of times if something goes wrong (it usually does, but will resume nicely with FTP)
    3. Start the Mac OS X FTP server from the Sharing Prefs panel
    4. Connect with WS_FTP, and begin the upload.
    5. Wait.
    6. Wait.
    7. Go to bed.
    8. Wake up.
    9. Wait.
    10. Done :)

  13. osprey76 macrumors 6502

    May 3, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Ethernet should work fine. Your newer Mac has an autosensing Ethernet port that will flip itself to match whatever is connected. More info from Apple.

    I was going to recommend trying the Firewire idea, too. But, I doubt the PC could see the Mac as a hard drive since the Mac hard drive format is not understood by PCs.
  14. netytan macrumors 6502


    May 23, 2004
    Is it not possible to just get an Ethernet cable and plug it into your Mac and you're PC, which im assuming has an Ethernet port. And transfer the files? Or do you need a router, hub and etc. forgive me if this sounds dumb, only new ;).

  15. matthew24 macrumors 6502


    May 30, 2002

    You need a cross-cable when you connect two computers directly (without a router). When you use a router you just need two straight cables (then the signal is being 'crossed' in the router).

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