Migrating from PC to MAC, and VM Best Practices

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Jack Sun, Oct 30, 2013.

  1. Jack Sun, Oct 30, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013

    Jack Sun macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    #1
    First post! My shiny new rMBP is sitting in the Shangai Fedex depot, and I am preparing for its arrival.

    I will FINALLY be moving onto a serious machine, after years of mediocre stop-gap PC options, and want to set it up as my digital home, consolidating all the pieces of my digital life there. How best to do that, considering the following:

    -I want to keep the new MBP as clean and un-bogged-down as possible
    -I have digital stuff everywhere: on 3 old PC laptops, a Western Digital 1TB backup drive, DropBox, Google Drive, iCloud, Ipad, Iphone, usb keys, sd cards, DVDs, CDROMs, etc
    -I want all my stuff/photos (I don't have much other media) in one place, either on the MBP or an external option (seriously considering AirPort Extreme 2TB)
    -I need some programs and things from my PCs, but don't want to migrate too much over (most programs, bookmarks, contacts, mail, etc) and clutter up my new blank slate
    -I need some PC-only programs (MiniTab, iGrafx, etc...mostly operations analysis stuff for my consulting job)

    Here's what I'm considering/planning, with the little I know:

    -Set up my iPad and iPhone on MBP, with wifi sync
    -Put all the files, photos, etc, from all the places in one place (WD drive?) and blast it all with a Duplicate File Zapper. Then use Windows Migration Assistant to move over only what I want, such as pics
    -Set up Parallels or VMWare with Windows 8, from an upgrade disk, and install my Office Enterprise Suite, Minitab, iGrafx, etc

    Some questions based on above:
    -What should I do overall?
    -Will iPhoto and other Mac apps auto-categorize pics and files if I just dump many different libraries, formats, etc on it? How best to do it?
    -Can I migrate programs from my PCs, or do I need source files and fresh installs? With iWork already installed, should I still buy Office for Mac also or just use my existing Office Enterprise suite (I use Excel and Outlook a LOT) in a Windows VM?
    -Should I try Bootcamp or start straight with VM? If VM, which one?
     
  2. Matacarvalho macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2013
    #2
    Just relax a little. Dont you have a life?

     
  3. GSPice macrumors 68000

    GSPice

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    #3
    [​IMG]

    ----------

    Seriously though, this is what I recommend.

    1) Actually receive notebook
    2) Learn one thing at a time
    3) Come back to the forum and search for the answers
     
  4. Jack Sun, Oct 30, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2013

    Jack Sun thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    #4
    ???

    Wow, thanks for the extremely condescending replies.

    To respond, actually I do have a life, a real life. I'm not on here asking how much RAM I need for my video games.

    I'm a management consultant to senior executives, have a wife and two small children, have responsibilities across work, family, society. I need my life best organized, and have a simple set of questions about doing so while simultaneously switching to a new OS. I'm under the impression that OSX is so wonderful and user friendly, so assume that it can help with some of my specific needs.

    Can someone please give more helpful answers, or direct me to the forums for adults?
     
  5. GSPice macrumors 68000

    GSPice

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
    #5
    whoops
     
  6. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #6

    I moved from Win7 to OSX two years ago, so here's my suggestions.

    1. With all that stuff sprayed around I can't for the life of me understand why you haven't already bought a NAS. I've had NAS units for years and have consolidated stuff onto 1 active NAS with a duplicate for mirror backup. I use this instead of Time Machine (I don't have much need for versioning - you might). I also make a daily backup of OSX user files from my MBA with CCC to the main NAS. Synology is a brand of NAS that many OSX users like - it's not what I have but then I started before I migrated.

    2. Unless you are a hot shot gamer I suggest you go the VM route for running Win programmes. I personally like Parallels. You WILL need the original Win programme files to reinstall. You might start with reusing your Office Enterprise in Parallels and see if it is as easy to use as before. I quickly ditched Outlook in favour of Mail so that I could sync across devices and then migrated to the OSX version of Office. I didn't take to iWork as I found Numbers a pain to use compared to Excel.

    3. I'm not a fan of iPhoto as it tries to impose its own structure on my files but then photos aren't a big part of my data. What pics I do have are on a NAS share called - Pics.
     
  7. GSPice macrumors 68000

    GSPice

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2008
  8. MN7119, Oct 30, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2013

    MN7119 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2011
    #8
    Congrats on your new MacBook. I made the move from PC to Mac back in 2006 and never looked back. I just ordered a new 15" Macbook with 1TB so I can store all my files in the computer. I have all my photos on iPhoto and share them in my home network so I can access on iPad and Apple TV. I also run Windows using VMWare but I want to try Parallels on my new Mac. As for backups, once a week I plug two different external HD on my computer and use Time Machine and Super Duper to make two different backup copies. Probably not the most efficient way to do it but it works for me.
     
  9. Jack Sun thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    #9

    Very interesting, thanks! For whatever reason I haven't come across this relatively simple and inexpensive option of a personal or family "cloud" setup before. From quickly looking around at options, I see that a NAS can be set up for remote access along with the home wifi, which is fantastic. So another question, is Airport Extreme 2TB capable of this? If so, seems great for me, superfast a/c wifi and home/remote "personal cloud."

    And thanks for the other info and responses about VMs, networking, backup options! I may give Parallels a go, with my Office for Windows. It looks like the next Office for Mac will come out within months, and might then go for that.

    For a photo solution, I'm still looking into it but found this interesting article on a shared iPhoto library via NAS:
    http://www.maclife.com/article/howtos/how_share_your_iphoto_library_networked_storage
    What would be optimal in my mind is a solution that would automatically move all pics from iphones/ipads/macs to a NAS. I assume that iphones and ipads can be set up to auto backup pics to a mac's iphoto library, then those could be set up to be moved or stored in NAS?
     
  10. drsox macrumors 65816

    drsox

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2011
    Location:
    Xhystos
    #10
    There are many versions of a NAS so you should think through what you want it to do for you. At its simplest it's a single centralised storage point for all your files (mostly the non-system related ones - these should usually stay on your Mac). A related question is about backup and failure resilience. Sometimes these are mixed in with the NAS decision.

    You can do a NAS with an Apple Time Capsule or with USB drive(s) attached to an Airport Extreme, but if Time Machine isn't important to you, then most folks opt for a RAID NAS (2,4,6,or more drives in one box) or just the one drive in a NAS enclosure. The RAID versions give you some resilience to drive failures (can be set up for single or dual drive failures - mostly it's just for single drive failure).

    If however, you have 100% external cloud backup or some other backup, then a RAID NAS is less critical. (RAID isn't a backup it's just a method of limiting the damage caused by a drive failure).

    I use my NAS unit as a store of data, music, video AND some system related files. Currently there about 6TB of stuff in it (mirrored to a second unit). I never take my MBA out of the range of my home network so my active files are on a share on the NAS that's loaded at login. Normally people wouldn't do that as laptops are supposed to travel. But for you it would serve as a store that all your devices could access, both locally and remotely.

    If you want very high local data rate access, then consider a DAS. This is a locally attached storage solution that only one device can access (the one linked to it). I've never used one so you would need to consult others more expert than I.

    Yes, I think you can use a NAS as an integrated iPhoto store, but I don't use iPhoto except in a very limited way, so can't help much with it.

    The best way to get more info about a "normal" NAS and OSX/iOS devices is probably to poke around on the Synology forums and ask some questions there.
     
  11. Krazy Bill macrumors 68030

    Krazy Bill

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    #11
    Oh my. You are all over the place. :eek: Exactly what are the specs of that machine sitting in Shanghai?

    All I can say is you have a lot of work ahead of you. Getting a Mac doesn't magically make migration any easier just because it's a mac. (Once you're there though...)

    Don't we all. :)

    Take some time off from work. Buy some liquor. Have at it.

    As a consultant would you really use Pages and Numbers in a professional environment? :eek: Either continue to use MS Office in a Windows VM or get the OSX equivalent. Note: Office for the mac is not the same suite of apps you'll find for Windows.

    Again, what are the specs of the machine you're waiting for? How much internal storage? I've been using Parallels for years and run XP, Win7 and Win8 all without a hitch. For the things I do I really can't see the performance difference between a VM and Boot camp. Couple that with booting a Windows VM in about 7 seconds and flipping between OS's then boot camp becomes less attractive (except it's free).
     
  12. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #12
    Regarding photos, this may partly depend on how you've been organizing things yourself. For example, I would sort photos into folders based on events, seasons, and years (in that sort of hierarchy), and importing into Aperture and iPhoto allowed me to keep working with that. If you have a huge mess of photos in a single folder then iPhoto will probably attempt to sort them by date... but I admit that I spend the majority of my photo time in Aperture, so I'm not sure what iPhoto does these days.

    Regarding the migration from your PC, I'd suggest going with virtualization software (either Parallels or VMWare Fusion). VMWare had some software that could turn a physical PC into a virtual machine, and I wouldn't be surprised if Parallels has something similar. The benefit of doing this is that you don't lose any productivity capabilities or time. The Windows VM is your old PC, so you don't have to waste time installing your old programs or adjusting the settings. In terms of productivity, if you get stuck on the OS X side and don't have the time to figure it out, you just load the virtual machine and get your work done there. This was the way that I transitioned from Windows to OS X, and it was wonderful. I probably spent 80-90% of my time in that virtual machine for the first week or two that I had my Mac, and slowly I spent more time in the OS X side, learning OS X and the Mac software, and finding Mac software replacements for what I was using in Windows.

    iWork vs. MS Office: you'll most likely need Office. I use Numbers and Keynote regularly, but haven't put enough time into Pages to figure out how it compares to Word. Numbers can't compare to Excel for functionality; I like its layout, but if I ever want to work with a data set then I often have to switch over to Excel. Keynote is so superior to PowerPoint that I haven't touched PowerPoint in years, but I still advise against it (at least for now). Aside from the learning curve of going from PowerPoint to Keynote, actually presenting from Keynote files is a bit of a chore. With PowerPoint, you can save the file and know that virtually every computer that is hooked up to a projector can open that file. You can even export as a stand-alone presentation and any Windows computer will be able to play it. Windows computers can't open Keynote files, and even Macs without iWork installed can't open Keynote files. There are ways around this that aren't particularly big deals (exporting the presentation as a Quicktime file, or presenting off of your iPad or iPhone using a VGA adapter cable are the methods I frequently use), but that's a lot of big changes to get used to at once. I'd suggest tackling that once you're farther along in the transition from Windows to OS X.
     
  13. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #13
    Relax & take a deep breath. Realize that you don't have to do all of this at once. Realize that you're not asking about matters that have one-size-fits-all answers. Read up on what others have done and see if a particular solution to each of your questions suits you best. Or come back with the additional info that we need to give you the recommendations you're asking for.

    Your call. I use both versions of Office on mine.

    For what purpose? Resource intensive usage may be better served with Boot Camp. If you use Boot Camp you can also use Fusion or Parallels to run your Boot Camp partition if you don't want to reboot. This is a frequently asked question so don't overlook prior discussions on the matter or the Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac subforum.
     
  14. simon48 macrumors 65816

    simon48

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2010
    #14
    I can be pricey, but I'm a big fan of RAID and I don't like seeing anyone have a plan to not have data backed up. For example you mentioned putting your photos on a Time Capsule which doesn't have RAID. If it died you'd lose all your photos. Time Capsules are great for backing up your computer, but don't use it as an alternative to having something on you computer and backing it up.

    My best advice is do not have only one copy of anything you remotely care about. If it's not being backed up, use RAID.
     
  15. Jack Sun thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    #15

    Good point about putting all our years of pics in one central place....that may fail. I'm researching Airport Time Capsule as a NAS, and found this (Back to My Mac):
    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3486

    Makes me want to go ahead and buy the TC 2TB as a home/remote NAS, but you bring up another question: Can I keep a USB drive in the TC as a mirror or backup?
     
  16. simon48 macrumors 65816

    simon48

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    Sep 1, 2010
    #16
    You probably could (not the cleanest way...), but you're getting near NAS box with RAID prices.
     
  17. Jack Sun thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2013
    #17
    Oh, and thanks everyone, for all the "relax, take a deep breath" posts.....Not sure what I said to prompt them, and I find it rather condescending, but I guess good advice regardless! :D

    And if anyone else has tips on organizing my digital life using my new Mac ecosystem, I'd love to discuss.
     
  18. shortcut3d macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2011
    #18
    I second the NAS recommendation. I originally started the NAS for HTPC media and DVR. Quickly went from a Synology DS411slim (4TB) to a DS1813+ (32TB). The DS1813+ configured with LACP was writing 245MB/s between DVR and TimeCapsule duties! I recently consolidate systems from larger MBP and iMac to a single rMBP. The data is now organized on the NAS. I use RAID 6 for data protection. FWIW, I moved away from the TimeCapsule because of limited space and slow network speed. I elected to go with Ubiquiti EdgeMax EdgeRouter-POE and Unifi UAP-AC, then hang Netgear GS108T-200NAS switches off the EdgeRouter-POE. The equipment is all SMB grade which provides a ton more configuration, yet still easy to deploy. There is also a moderate performance increase.

    Also, depending on the MBP configuration, you may want to install Windows 8.1 in bootcamp (i.e.- VMware recommended 60GB partition size) and use Fusion to access the bootcamp partition. The performance will be better in both scenarios. Bootcamp is good if you are encoding your digital life with tools like Handbrake because Windows supports OpenCL and Intel QuickSync, which greatly reduce encoding time.
     
  19. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #19
    Depends on your style. Aside from using iPhoto and Aperture for my photos, everything else is sorted into folders across various hard drives. It isn't anything unique to Macs. OS X 10.9 added tagging to the Finder, which should aid with file organization. It's a new feature and I admit that I haven't started to implement it, so I don't have any suggestions there.

    If you're looking for a program to help with organization, there are a few options. Devonthink is one option; Paperless is another. I was always under the impression that these softwares were designed for managing scanned documents. They are, but it seems like they're capable of managing a lot more than that. (I own Paperless but don't actively use it, aside from opening it once or twice; this is why I say that it's capable of more than just scanned PDFs.) If those feel too office-based for you, there's also Ember, which bills itself as a digital scrapbooker and is focused around images. I'm not sure how well it can handle other file types.
     

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