Mac -> PC data transfer

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by blurb23, Aug 15, 2011.

  1. blurb23 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2007
    I need to dump the stuff from my MBP's hard drive onto a new Windows PC, does anyone know of any apps/programs that would do this?

    Or would I be able to do this simply be connecting them via ethernet cable? If so, what's the proper procedure for that?

    My main concern is getting my iTunes library (both videos and music) transferred over. Apps are obviously a no go, but I need my iTunes library transferred.

    MBP is running Lion and the PC is running W7.
  2. blurb23 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2007
    Anyone have any ideas of info on this? I could really use the help.

    I tried copies all of my stuff (directly copied the whole 'iTunes Music' folder) onto my external HDD, but Windows can't read it.

    I know I can do it over wifi, but that will take over 24 hours. There has to be a faster way, right?
  3. kevinero macrumors newbie

    Jun 6, 2007
    Use Disk Utility in your Applications/Utilities folder to format the external drive to FAT32. This will erase all of your data on the external drive, so be sure there is nothing on there you want to keep. Also, if you have any files over 4GB in size you will not be able to use FAT32. Once the drive is formatted FAT32, it can be read by both your Win7 and Lion machines.
  4. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida

    Hard drives (and other storage devices like USB keychain drives) must be formatted before data can be read and written. There are several different formatting methods that can be used, and each has its advantages and drawbacks.

    Macintoshes since the era of System 8.1 use the HFS+ (Hierarchical File System Plus) format. In order to be a bootable drive for Mac OS X, a drive should be formatted HFS+ (Journaled).

    (Note: an Intel Mac cannot boot from a hard drive that was initially formatted on an earlier PowerPC Mac without a GUID partition table.)

    HFS+ cannot be read by Windows machines (or by a Boot Camp Windows installation on a Mac). There is commercial software, MacDrive which allows Windows to read and write HFS+.

    Windows machines use both FAT32 and NTFS formats.

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table 32 bit) is readable and writable by both Mac and Windows operating systems. It is a good choice for storage, such as USB keychain drives, that have to move between systems.

    However, Windows artifically limits the size it can format FAT32 volumes to 32 GB (but you can format a FAT32 volume using Apple's Disk Utility - choosing the "MS-DOS" option - to any size). FAT32 also has a 4 GB limitation of the maximum size for an individual file. Normally this wouldn't be a concern, but it can get in the way of video projects and backup software, which create large single files.

    NTFS is a proprietary Microsoft format, and is not an open standard. Macintoshes cannot write to NTFS formatted volumes, and reading from NTFS with a Mac is not 100% reliable. There is some software for Mac OS X that allows reading and writing from NTFS; MacFuse NTFS-3G are open source, Paragon NTFS is commercial

    Once in a while you run into FAT16, mostly in very old drives or older flash memory cards. FAT16 is limited to 4 GB total volume size, and it not used for computer hard drives any more. If you have an older digital camera, do not format the memory card in a computer, always use the camera itself to format the cards.


    I found all of that information within 10 seconds by doing a google search for "mac rumors format".

    There is a whole repository here with INFORMATION that people can READ so they don't have to post redundant topics.

    Not to sound harsh but seriously.
  5. blurb23 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2007
    Well, yes, I understand the difference between FAT32 and NTFS formatting. I was just giving it a shot by plugging in my external drive.

    I'm trying to get them directly connected via Ethernet using Samba, but I'm having trouble with that as well.

    On my Mac, I do Finder -> Go to Server -> and I put in smb://[PC IP address]/[User Name], but I can't get them to connect.
  6. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

    Aug 1, 2011
    Best Way I Know

    Best way I know is to use an Ethernet cable.

    Simply connect the Macbook to the PC via a straight Ethernet cable. Disable all other connections (Wi-Fi etc) on both machines to avoid IP conflicts.

    On the PC, start a command prompt session and hit 'ipconfig' and check your PC's local IP address

    On the Mac, go to Finder and hit 'Command+K' and in the resulting box you want to input 'smb://"PC's IP address"' ... Now hit connect.

    This should mount your Windows machine as an external drive on your Mac. You can then move files back and forth without having to deal with the painfully slow speeds of Wi-Fi.
  7. Young Spade macrumors 68020

    Mar 31, 2011
    Tallahassee, Florida
    Well what I think it is, is that the Windows drive is formatted in NFST (or whatever that abbreviation is). If so, you cannot write to it if the drive is whatever the drive the MB is formatted in.

    When I'm on the SL or Bootcamp partition, I can go into the other partition and read files (play videos, music, etc.) and even copy, but I cannot write. I think that's the problem here.

    If you can't get it to work... I think (although this might take longer) you would be able to write to a FAT drive and then copy everything from that to the Windows. Of course that's if you can't get the software/direct transfer option to work. Obviously this way would restrict files larger than 4 gigs as well :/
  8. blurb23 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2007
    This is ideally what I'm trying to do.

    Whenever I do the smb://PC's IP address, my Mac won't connect to it saying that the server may not exist or it's unavailable. Do I have to enable something on my PC itself to allow that connection?

    Also, I'm supposed to use the IPv4 address for the IP right?
  9. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Your PC must allow incoming connections through windows firewall and have file sharing enable on at least once folder for this to work.
  10. blurb23 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2007

    I've disabled Windows Firewall completely and made a folder on my Windows Desktop called "Mac Transfer" and enabled file sharing on it. Whenever I do the "Connect to Server" thing on my Mac, though, it still times out and says there was a problem.

    I have them directly connected via ethernet cable, is there something I'm missing?
  11. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    try through a router.
  12. blurb23 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Feb 25, 2007
    Wonderful, that's exactly what I needed!

    Thanks for all of the help everyone, I appreciate it a lot.
  13. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Glad I could be of help!

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