Help Transfering pictures from PC hard drive to Mac

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by i-sidd, Jul 24, 2007.

  1. i-sidd macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2006
    As the title says, there are a lot of pictures on my GF's old 2 year old laptop and it stopped working and we would like to be able to save the pictures. We have an external hard drive enclosure. Is there a possibility that we can transfer only the pictures from the laptop hard drive to my macbook using the external hard drive along through its usb and plugging it to the macbook. Will it harm the macbook.

    I am noob at doing all this so please if anyone who has been ina situation like this and would be able to suggest me what I can do to save those pictures. I would really appreciate the help.

  2. ScottDrummer macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2007
    mac to mac -
    same as below but without the faff.
    Just use a network cable direclty with each mac, cut out the external HDD.

    mac to windows PC
    enable windows sharing in the mac prefs
    if you have an ethernet cable just plug it in to both pc and mac, give windows a few minutes to realise its connected on a lan ;) then connect via explorer in windows to the mac. you connect via start>run> \\macname (where macname is the name of your mac! :rolleyes:)
    then when prompted enter username and password of the mac user into the fields
    you then have access to the users home directory. just drag and drop the files.
    do the same to transfer back afterwards.
    be careful with the naming conventions used, windows dosnt support the same characters therefore when putting them back on the back they may be called something completely different. As long as there is just alpha characters in there you should be ok.
  3. i-sidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2006
    the problem here is that the pc is not working so I cannot start up my pc, I can only take the hard drive out from the pc and then somehow transfer the pcitures to my mac, that is what I am looking for.HOW CAN I DO THAT?
  4. ScottDrummer macrumors 6502

    Jun 27, 2007
    you would need to put that HDD into another pc or an external hdd enclosure
  5. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    Hey i-sidd,
    There should be no problem putting an external drive onto a macbook; I do it all the time. Here are some pointers:
    1) Make sure your enclosure supports your drive type; Most likely an older laptop drive is 2.5" ATA-66, but it is possible that it's SATA.
    2) Follow your enclosure's instructions for drive settings such as master/slave/cable select on older drives.
    3) Usually 2.5" do not require external power other than what is delivered over USB, but sometimes they do. Try first w/out power, then again with. Again, defer to your enclosure's instructions.

    If we can know, what enclosure is it? Do you know what the original PC drive is (sata/pata?) Is the drive formatted for FAT32 or NTFS? (If it's NTFS, you'll have to jump though a few hoops before you can just copy data off it)

    Good Luck and let us know what happens,
  6. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007

    I re-read your post, and it isn't clear to me if you have REMOVED the internal hard drive of the defective laptop, or if you have an external hard drive with the photos (or a backup of the photos) on it. Can you clarify?

    If you do need to take out the hard drive, most machines make it very easy to do. Then I would suggest you connect it to your macbook with a device like this one from NewEgg. It lets you plug a bare drive (2.5", 3.5", 5.25" and IDE or SATA) into your USB port.

    If you don't have an empty drive enclosure and the photos are on the internal drive, i would certainly recommend that you get the drive adapter.
  7. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    Not really it should "just work" on the Mac though it may not be perfect it should just display in Finder.
  8. i-sidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2006
    I have an external enclosure, however, I don't know whether the Hard drive of the PC is FAT32 or NTFS.

    So you guys are saying that I should take the hard drive out from the (pc) and then put that into the enclosure and then connect that to the macbook?
  9. swiftaw macrumors 603


    Jan 31, 2005
    Omaha, NE, USA
    Unless the PC is very old it'll be NTFS format, which a Mac can read from but not write to.

    You should be able to put it in an external enclosure, connect it to your mac, and copy the files onto the mac's HD.
  10. i-sidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2006
    Could you explain a bit more on POINT 1 and 2 that you wrote. How do I check the hard drive type. Where will I find the enclosures instructions about master/slave etc.

  11. i-sidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2006
  12. bertpalmer macrumors 6502

    Apr 12, 2007
    Why isn't your PC working - hopefully it's not the harddrive! :(
  13. i-sidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2006
    Its a long story about why the pc is not working, but in short, when I start the laptop(PC) it does not boot and I tried calling dell and they told me all the steps to follow by putting in the recovery cd but so that we could save the data, but that did not work, so I just now want to be able to get the pcitures out the hard drive and transfer them on the mac and once I have that, then I can format my c drive on the pc adn not worry about anything.

    I just need to somehow save those pictures.
  14. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    1) Make sure your enclosure supports your drive type; Most likely an older laptop drive is 2.5" ATA-66, but it is possible that it's SATA.

    Post what laptop it is, and we can google it and find out what drive it usually has. If it's recent, it's probably SATA, otherwise it's usually ATA - Almost always it will be 2.5" unless it's an ultra portable, then possibly 1.8". I'd bet that there's a 90% chance it's a parallel ATA 2.5" drive.

    2) Follow your enclosure's instructions for drive settings such as master/slave/cable select on older drives.

    I'm not sure if you have an external enclosure after reading your original post again. Since you are only temporarily using the drive and then putting it back (right? to format it?) I would suggest getting that drive cable reader thing I linked to. When I say "follow the instructions," there is sometimes a pin setting on the drive before it will work; often they are printed right on the hard drive. However, SATA drives don't have pins so nothing to set, and usually 2.5" drives are jumperless too. That Vantec cable has instructions to set the drive jumpers to Master or Single Drive. Most likely IF your drive even HAS jumpers, it IS already the master/single drive only setting.

    Also, I apologize for the bit about jumping though hoops to copy from an NTFS volume. Yes, you can just hook up the drive and copy FROM it, just not back to it; So doing a rescue operation works perfectly. Someone brought up a good point... You're sure the drive itself isn't what's causing the problem? No clicks or grinds, right?

    If you need some help on this, PM me and I'll be more than happy to give as much help as I can.
  15. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    I forgot to say that the easiest way to check the drive is pop out the drive and physically inspect it.

    This is PATA, and this is SATA. (pictures; Keep in mind I'm referring ONLY to the connection in the back of the drive, not what the rest of the drive looks like.

    On a lot of Dell portables, the hard drive is removed from a little tray under the headphone/speaker/mic jacks. On my 600m there is a little screw under the headphone jack that once removed will let the tray slide out with the hard drive.
  16. theman macrumors 6502a

    Jul 26, 2007
    Here are some better pictures:

    PATA (IDE) and SATA

    It is unlikely that your enclosure will support both SATA and PATA, so hopefully you get lucky.


    1. Remove HD from your laptop. Inspect it. Is it 2.5" (normal laptop size)? or is it 1.8" (mini size.) It will be smaller than a 3.5" desktop HD. Is it SATA or IDE (PATA)?

    2. If your enclosure can fit the drive (same size and connection) then install your HD into it. Hopefully the enclosure supports 2.5" at least... Then just plug the USB into your Macbook, to connect the enclosure.

    3. Now, see if you can read the files. Most likely it will be NTFS, but if it won't read, it could be FAT32. If it doesn't read, first make sure everything (usb and power) is connected. Make sure you have the drive properly inserted into the enclosure (follow the directions if you have them). If it still doesn't read, it is most likely FAT32. (which would really suck).

    4. If your Macbook can read the files, then it's just as simple as drag and drop. Then, you can just stick the HD back in your Dell and format it.

    Good luck! :)
  17. i-sidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2006
    theman,ab2650, thanks both of you for putting the pictures and showing how the SATA and the PATA looks like.

    I checked the HD and it does not have pins and I have a 2.5 hotdrive. here is how it looks like.

    However, it cannot be used since the HD of the laptop does not have any pins. The laptop model is DELL latitude D610. here is the link

    So now guys tell me what I need to to do and what will I need in order to transfer the pictures.

    Thanks a lot for you help!!!
  18. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    Well, hopefully your HD is still fine; Here's what you'll need to find out (and get the photos off it finally!)

    The Lattitude D610 has an ATA-6 hard drive; It's the one with pins.
    Your enclosure is ATA as well; It should fit, if the drive is under 9.5mm tall, which it probably is.

    Follow this guide from Dell on how to remove the hard drive. It's somewhat like I said, but two screws on the bottom of the chassis, then slide the drive out. You need to undo a few more screws to remove the drive from the tray. There also may be an adapter over the pins converting it to a memory-like slot pins. This pulls right off (if it is there). The goal is to get a bare drive that looks like the photo above. This should go into your enclosure just fine.

    There is no need to set any jumpers. You probably don't need to provide power as most 2.5" enclosures are bus (usb/firewire) powered.

    Plug it in. It should audibly spin up, and within a few seconds show up on the macbook's desktop. If it doesn't, or you're prompted that the disk needs to be formatted, don't do it.

    Lets start from there; Let me know what happens or if you run into a roadblock. PM me if you need my email for quicker response. -ab
  19. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    Correct me if i'm wrong, but FAT32 would be better since you can read and write to it. In this operation i-sidd only needs to read, so NTFS or FAT32 would be of equal value.

    The only windows usable drive that wouldn't be readable under OS X (i think) would be the fabled WinFS. Everything else would be a snap to copy data from.

    BTW, if you get the drive loaded, your photos are probably located in "My Pictures" which is buried in the drive. It will be something like:

    /DriveName/Documents and Settings/UserName/My Pictures/photos.jpg

    likewise, stuff that was on the desktop would be:

    /DriveName/Documents and Settings/UserName/Desktop/

    Good Hunting!
  20. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    I didn't elaborate on this earlier, but I think this is an adapter dell puts on so you can slide the drive in easier, rather than lining up pins: Here's a picture.

    This piece just comes right off; it's held to the drive by the pins. Pull it straight off, no twisting or angling or you will bend some pins. Now you should be able to attach the drive to your enclosure. Save the adapter so you can put it all back together in the D610 to format it later.

    HTH -ab
  21. i-sidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2006
  22. blumoon macrumors member

    Mar 22, 2007
    I'm very impressed with how helpful you guys are in answering the OP's questions. I'll be switching to Mac soon and it's good to know I can get some help which I'm sure I'll need. :)
    Keep up the good work. I have learned so much these past few months lurking.
  23. ab2650 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 21, 2007
    i-sidd, I sure did; Sorry it took so long to respond. If you don't mind, I'm quoting your PM here so others can see what may be going on...

    Well, dang. What other resources do you have to test this out. There could be a few things at fault.
    1) The drive is faulty, which isn't good news.
    2) The enclosure is faulty or incompatible.
    3) A setting or problem on the MacBook (which is a stretch).

    Unfortunately, and honestly, 1 is the most likely. But if you have either a spare hard drive, spare enclosure, or spare computer around we can rule some of these out. Also, did you say how large the drive is (in gigabytes). Sometimes certain enclosures have limits...

    So next tests, if possible: Try the drive in the enclosures in another computer; try another drive in the enclosure; try another enclosure.

  24. i-sidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2006
    Well, I don't have any other resources to test it out, I think I have een left with two options now.

    either I reformat the hard drive and loose everything.

    I should I go the the apple store and see if they can help me out, in the mall there is also a DELL kiosk I am not sure how much of help they will be for me.

    Regarding the HD size I belive it is 40 GB.

  25. i-sidd thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Apr 27, 2006
    ab2650, Thanks fro all you help.
    I would just like to update you guys that, I was about to reformat the HD when I realised that I might had taken a back up of the pictures on my ipod and to my surprise I found all the pictures there. Sorry for wasting your time guys.

    I cannot format the HD, since I got the pictures.

    Anyways I hope this thread will help all those who like me didn't know how to transfer pictures/files in a situation like mine.

    You guys are great and once again I would like to thank all of you and specially ab2650 for your time and patience.

    This forum ROCKS!!!

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