Migrating files from a PC to a mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by chaoticbear, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. chaoticbear macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2007
    My macbook comes tomorrow, and I want to be ready. I have some hundreds of gigs of video on my Windows desktop that I'd like to be able to temporarily dump onto the macbook (kind of like syncing an iPod, in some sick way). I have a wireless connection, and am fairly adept at sharing files wirelessly with windows XP. If I just make it a shared folder across the network, will the Mac pick it up? Or is there something special I need to do?
  2. abijnk macrumors 68040


    Oct 15, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
    There are lots of ways to do it, Apple's site has a nice page on it (Linky!).
  3. mackindergarten macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2008
    If you have that much video files, I don't think a wireless transfer is such a good idea.

    Have you got a firewire cable around, you can start up your Mac in external hard disk mode, by holding down T while it starts up. This will make it appear as external hard drive on your Windows computer, allowing you to transfer your files at much higher speed.

    Hope this was helpful.

  4. Terwal macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2008
    If the MacBook is an MBA (without firewire) can you us a USB cable to achieve the same ?
  5. mackindergarten macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2008
    As far as I know, Target Disk mode (booting up your Mac as external disk) requires firewire. Unless Apple (silently) changed something in the MacBook Air's firmware I doubt it's possible.

    Sharing the folder on the windows machine is always possible, it will show up on the MBA. However, unless you have a 802.11n connection on your PC too, the transfer will take very long.

    For more solutions I suggest, you take a look at the Apple support document mention above. Drop a line, if you need help with any of the solutions mentioned.

  6. Terwal macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2008
  7. Hankster macrumors 68020


    Jan 30, 2008
    Washington DC
    If you have "hundreds of gigs" of files to move over your best bet is firewire. The slow version would be to use a flash disk/jump drive. That's a lot of files though! :eek:
  8. TJones macrumors regular

    Feb 11, 2008
    One neat way is to use the gigabit ethernet ports on both machines. It's faster than Firewire 800 (theoretically at least) and doesn't require any additional hardware.

    Gigabit over copper (RJ-45) is auto-MDI so you can use any plain patch cable and connect the two machines directly to one another.

    The Mac will likely autoconfigure an IP address for itself. Run Network Utility to find out what it is (Applications:Utilities -> Network Utility).

    On your Windows PC configure an IP that's similar. So if your Mac is use an IP like or .131 with a Mask. Don't worry about gateway or dns or anything like that.

    Now on your Mac setup a shared folder (System Preferences -> Sharing)

    Check the file sharing checkbox. Make sure the folder you want to share is listed and with Everyone at least Write only or Read & Write. Hit the Options button and Check Share files and folders using SMB.

    From your Windows PC you should be able to navigate to \\\ (if that's the IP of your Mac) and if you get hit with a password prompt type guest in lower letters as the username with no password.

    And yes it's pretty fast :)
  9. chaoticbear thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2007
    Oh, I phrased the question wrong, I guess. I meant that I am really only going to be moving (probably) 20 or fewer gigs at a time, and then deleting them as necessary. I only have a 120 gig hd on the MB. I'd like to not have to deal with cables, and slow is fine, because I won't really have to do it that often.

    I'll have to play around with shared folders and such, but I need to get going for work here soon.
  10. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    I suggest setting up network share.

    Wireless copying 1gb takes 3-5 minutes over a good connection.
    Gigabit ethernet copying 1gb takes 1 minute. You need gigabit ethernet switch and cat 5e cables.
  11. ::Lisa:: macrumors 6502a


    Oct 28, 2007
    Nottingham, UK
    I agree with the network comments, this is the way I did mine.
    Once I did that, I backed up my files onto an external too.
  12. mackindergarten macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2008
    Ok, if you don't mention speed and all that stuff, just do like this:

    1) Connect the PC and the MBA to the same WLAN
    2) Share the folder on the PC
    3) Connect to this folder through Finder (via the Shared computers)
    4) Copy files over to your MBA.
    5) Wait.
    6) Done.

  13. aditghai macrumors regular


    Dec 25, 2007
    I judt did it 2 days ago and this is the easiest way.

    Get an ethernet cable and plug one end into the PC and the other one into the MAC.

    Go to the PC, to the command promp. Type in IPCONFIG and make a note of the IP address.
    Right click on the folder you wish to share and enable sharing. Once this is succesfully done you shold see a small hand icon.

    Next, go to your mac. In the finder window, under connect go to connect to server and put in the IP you wrote down.

    You should be able to transfer files from your PC to your MAC Now
  14. chaoticbear thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2007
    I must just be dumb, because I can't get this to work. I'm using a regular (not crossover) ethernet cable, used the IP address from Network Utility to configure a similar one in Windows, and tried both subnet mask and (what Windows wanted to default to.), set up a shared folder on my desktop with everyone read and write access, set up SMB sharing in system preferences, and yet, when I try to connect to it in Finder, it can't see my other computer, and the shared folder on the Mac doesn't come up when I look at the network on the PC.

    What else could I be missing?

    (I know I didn't want to do it this way, but I discovered that I really would like to get the stuff off the PC so I can put it on my phone)
  15. mackindergarten macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2008

    try connecting directly to the Windows machine. From the Finder menu Go, select Connect to Server. Enter you Windows machine's IP directly.

    Sometimes, machines fail to show up in the shared section, even if they are accessible.

    Hope this helps.

  16. chaoticbear thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2007
    I tried that too, and it said that it couldn't connect. (error code 36 if that helps)
  17. mackindergarten macrumors 6502

    Feb 21, 2008
    Did you try to connect to your Mac from the Windows machine?
    From Windows Explorer - mount network share (or something like that).

  18. chaoticbear thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2007
    Nope, haven't tried that. I'm not at home right now to either. I did try typing the IP of the mac into IE on the PC just to see if anything happened, but that didn't work either.
  19. Vanyasteen macrumors newbie

    Feb 10, 2008
    Did you start Windows file sharing in network preferences on the Mac?

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