Can I transfer files between a PC and Mac?

Ecodisk

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 8, 2005
64
0
Portland, OR
I'm going to get a Mac soon and there are a bunch of files on my PC I want to put on it (music, pictures, etc.). I'm assuming I can't just set up a Lan between the two to transfer files. If I burn data CDs on my PC can a Mac read them? Would it be possible at all to share an external hard drive between a Mac and PC? If none of these ways will work can I have some suggestions please?

I know most of these are pretty dumb questions, but whats a noob supposed to do :p
 

LeeTom

macrumors 68000
May 31, 2004
1,538
95
You can actually do all three. You can share files between a PC and a Mac via networking, a Mac can read your PC's cd-r, and you can share a firewire hard drive between them, as long as it's formatted using the FAT32 filesystem.

Lee Tom
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
LAN is good.

If you have a hub or router, or even if you can attach the two directly by Ethernet cable, you can create a shared folder on the PC and log onto it from the Mac OSX using Command-K, smb://[yourpc's IP address] -- you can also create a Personal File Sharing shared folder on tha Mac and log on from Windows - theres probabaly several other ways that other MacRumorites will be quick to correct me on.

One thing you'll have to watch a bit between Mac and PC is the length of file names, and "illegal" characters in the file names.

You can also burn a CD - burn it as a Disk at Once CD, not a Packet-writing CD.

USB keychain flash drives also work for smaller amounts of data.

You can share a drive between Mac and PC, but it can only be physically connected to one machine at a time. You can network a shared folder on it to the other machine, however.
An external firewire drive could be moved from one machine to the other, if the PC has firewire. You would have to format it with FAT32 for this to work.

Or if you are buying something, you could look at a Network Attached Storage device, which is basically a hard drive with a tiny Linux server and ethernet port included, that plugs into your network. This would be a fileserver that both machines could use and back up to.

Anyway, you will have lots of ways to interoperate.

Thanks
Trevor
CanadaRAM.com

Edit: Lee types too fast :D
 

Ecodisk

macrumors member
Original poster
Mar 8, 2005
64
0
Portland, OR
I'm so glad to know I can set up a LAN. That would of been alot of CDs.

I have another noob question now. Are zip disks on Mac and PC the same format or does it work like a floppy drive, each machine has its own special format?
 

LeeTom

macrumors 68000
May 31, 2004
1,538
95
the way it works with zip disks is very similar to how it works with cd-r's and firewire hard drives:
Macs can read Mac AND PC formats.
PCs can only read PC formats.

So your Mac will read your PC zip disks and cd-rs, and can thus make PC-compatible cd-rs and zip disks.
Sounds like you should have no problem.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.