moving PC data to Mac mini

bobdog69

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 5, 2012
5
0
OK maybe I'm a dumb a$$, but I did a couple of searches on this particular site and didn't get any hits. I know it is out there, but I was not able to find it. So, what is the best way to move my crap from my PC to a Mini? Thanks and I'm sorry for being a moron. Give me a break. I mean I've only owned PCs. That should tell you something right there. Outside of having an iPad and iPhone 4s, I don't know much about Macs. I'm so excited to get my own mini. My PC is breaking down, getting the blue screen often and so forth. So it's a great time for me to get one, as I can tell my wife it's broken and I'm going to lose years of data (We're both biologists). She'd freak and so would I. So, again how do I get all my stuff (i.e. windows files especially like office files) from a PC to a mini. Thanks in advance for putting up with me.:confused:
 

philipma1957

macrumors 603
Apr 13, 2010
6,302
211
Howell, New Jersey
OK maybe I'm a dumb a$$, but I did a couple of searches on this particular site and didn't get any hits. I know it is out there, but I was not able to find it. So, what is the best way to move my crap from my PC to a Mini? Thanks and I'm sorry for being a moron. Give me a break. I mean I've only owned PCs. That should tell you something right there. Outside of having an iPad and iPhone 4s, I don't know much about Macs. I'm so excited to get my own mini. My PC is breaking down, getting the blue screen often and so forth. So it's a great time for me to get one, as I can tell my wife it's broken and I'm going to lose years of data (We're both biologists). She'd freak and so would I. So, again how do I get all my stuff (i.e. windows files especially like office files) from a PC to a mini. Thanks in advance for putting up with me.:confused:
the easy way with no file conversion is run windows on the mini.

bootcamp,

vmware fusion

or parallels allow you to run windows on the mac.


I like vmware fusion. it cost about 40 or 50 and a windows 7 os cost about 92

links;

http://store.vmware.com/store/vmwar...=T9kXUwoBAlUAABRG5SsAAAAa&rests=1349475489219


http://www.amazon.com/Windows-Premi...&qid=1349475532&sr=8-1&keywords=windows+7+oem
 

Dixi1801

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2012
46
0
South Yorkshire, England.
Providing the files can be used on Mac programs (office for Mac etc) I'd think it'd be easy as using external storage to take it from your pc and then onto the mini!

Hope this helps, but I'm no mac expert :)
 

Micky Do

macrumors 68000
Aug 31, 2012
1,948
2,134
a South Pacific island
As others have suggested, Office for Mac, handles all Office files..... and any files saved using Office for Mac can be opened on a Windows PC.

Or you can go the whole way and use Parallel, Bootcamp, or similar. Install a Windows OS, and you effectively turn your Mac into a Windows PC

I installed Office for Mac 2008 on my early 2009 Mini so I could open Word and Excel files directly, such as when working with files from the computers at work (transferred on a thumb drive), or those sent to me as e-mail attachments.

However I seldom use Office these days. Other than classes (I am a teacher) I do most of my work at home and prefer iWork. Office may have a few more features but iWork has all I need, and I find it more intuitive to use.

Now I simply open Word or Excel files that come my way with Pages or Numbers, and save them as such.

On the rare occasion I need to transfer files to a PC I export them to a USB thumb drive as a Word or Excel document. Alternatively I convert the file to an Office document to attach to an e-mail.
 
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bobdog69

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 5, 2012
5
0
Thanks for all the advice on Office Docs. I guess I wasn't as clear as thought. I know when I tried in the past upload all of my files and folders from one PC to another PC I all kinds of trouble. They always say it's as easy as pie but in the end it takes forever, $$$ in cords, and you still don't get all the files. Is there any magic (or cords and software) to getting all of my files from my current PC to my "in the mail" mini? (I can't wait until Monday when it gets here)

Is it as simple as plugging in a cord to each machine and with the right software, transfer them all at once? The Office files are relatively easy in that I can purchase a program that will handle them (e.g. Office for Mac), but I just want to get my "junk" off the PC and onto the Mac. I can figure out later how to get them to work. Thanks for all the responses....
 

Micky Do

macrumors 68000
Aug 31, 2012
1,948
2,134
a South Pacific island
Backup externally, and you're good to go

Thanks for all the advice on Office Docs. I guess I wasn't as clear as thought. I know when I tried in the past upload all of my files and folders from one PC to another PC I all kinds of trouble. They always say it's as easy as pie but in the end it takes forever, $$$ in cords, and you still don't get all the files. Is there any magic (or cords and software) to getting all of my files from my current PC to my "in the mail" mini? (I can't wait until Monday when it gets here)

Is it as simple as plugging in a cord to each machine and with the right software, transfer them all at once? The Office files are relatively easy in that I can purchase a program that will handle them (e.g. Office for Mac), but I just want to get my "junk" off the PC and onto the Mac. I can figure out later how to get them to work. Thanks for all the responses....
Providing the files can be used on Mac programs (office for Mac etc) I'd think it'd be easy as using external storage to take it from your pc and then onto the mini!

Hope this helps, but I'm no mac expert :)
Office files are easy... Get external storage, get Office for Mac and you are good to go.
I'd think the same.

When the HDD on my first (Early 2005, G4; Tiger) Mac Mini packed it in, and I decided it was time to go for a new Mini rather than just a HDD. It needed a new power supply and there were other factors, Time Machine being one.

I had my files backed up externally. It was just a matter of plugging the back-up drive into the new (Core-Duo; Leopard) Mini, and continue seamlessly. All I lost was a couple of weeks that I had not backed up, most of which was not important. Now with Time Machine I would not even lose that.
 

Dixi1801

macrumors member
Sep 23, 2012
46
0
South Yorkshire, England.
Thanks for all the advice on Office Docs. I guess I wasn't as clear as thought. I know when I tried in the past upload all of my files and folders from one PC to another PC I all kinds of trouble. They always say it's as easy as pie but in the end it takes forever, $$$ in cords, and you still don't get all the files. Is there any magic (or cords and software) to getting all of my files from my current PC to my "in the mail" mini? (I can't wait until Monday when it gets here)

Is it as simple as plugging in a cord to each machine and with the right software, transfer them all at once? The Office files are relatively easy in that I can purchase a program that will handle them (e.g. Office for Mac), but I just want to get my "junk" off the PC and onto the Mac. I can figure out later how to get them to work. Thanks for all the responses....
All I do with my files and such is put them on my WD passport external hdd via usb, plug the external into another pc then drag and drop from the external to the destination folder on the pc. I assume this may work with mac, as I loaned a friend the hdd and he has a folder on there for all his stuff he backed up when downgrading to SL!
 

borostef

macrumors 6502
Feb 10, 2012
325
25
Zagreb, Croatia
All you need to do is copy your files from your PC to an external hard drive, when done, disconnect the external hard drive from your PC and plug it into your Mac, then copy the files to your Mac.
The time it takes to transfer those files depends on the size of the files and the connection you use (USB 2, USB 3, Firewire, Thunderbolt).
 

bobdog69

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 5, 2012
5
0
Thanks everyone for great answers. I think I have it down. Better go buy a external drive. Anyone suggest a good place (ergo cheap) a good ext. hdd? New egg. etc.?

Tim
 

Caromsoft

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2012
137
23
Transfering data from a PC to a Mac can be easy, or it can be like entering the Seven Circles of Hell. If you are transferring data only, that is relatively easy. Transfer the data from Documents on the PC to Documents on the Mac, usually using either the original PC hard drive (my choice) or an external drive. You should put the pictures from the PC into the Pictures folder on the Mac, etc, but it is not really required. Most people have data on their desktops as well, and if you and your wife have separate accounts then you have separate desktops. Don't forget those files. Data has a way of ending up all over the place. This is the first circle of hell.

Do you have bookmarks that you want to transfer? This is the second circle. You have to know how to export the bookmarks from whatever browser you are using, and import them into the Mac.

Are you using Outlook, Outlook Express, or Thunderbird and POP3? Welcome to the third circle. The data stored in email programs are not in the Documents folder, they are buried deep in the PC. Thunderbird is the easiest to transfer, because Mac Mail will import that directly. But it won't import Outlook or Outlook Express, so you will have to import your mail into Thunderbird anyway. If you are unlucky enough to be using the new mail program in Windows Vista/7 then you have earned bonus time in the third circle, because getting data out of those is nearly impossible.

Oh, and by the way, transferring your emails does not transfer your address book, that is its own circle, number four. And transferring the address book does not transfer the autocomplete from the email program, you know where you start typing an address and it brings up a list? That is a separate file.

Do you have any songs in iTunes? Welcome to the fifth circle. You can't just transfer the songs from one machine to another, you have to transfer the libraries as well. There are good instructions for doing so on the web, but it is not just as easy as copying files.

I tried the Windows Migration Tool from Microsoft once. Waited for over 2 hours while it backed everything up, and when it came time to restore to the new computer the file was unreadable. I could have transferred 90% of what I needed in that time manually. This was several years ago, so hopefully these types of programs have gotten better.

If I were you I would try the suggestion of the Migration Assistant. I wasn't aware of it the last time I transferred data from a PC to a Mac, but It looks like it addresses all of the issues I have pointed out. Just be aware of what you might need to do if it doesn't work correctly.
 

bobdog69

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Oct 5, 2012
5
0
Transfering data from a PC to a Mac can be easy, or it can be like entering the Seven Circles of Hell. If you are transferring data only, that is relatively easy. Transfer the data from Documents on the PC to Documents on the Mac, usually using either the original PC hard drive (my choice) or an external drive. You should put the pictures from the PC into the Pictures folder on the Mac, etc, but it is not really required. Most people have data on their desktops as well, and if you and your wife have separate accounts then you have separate desktops. Don't forget those files. Data has a way of ending up all over the place. This is the first circle of hell.

Do you have bookmarks that you want to transfer? This is the second circle. You have to know how to export the bookmarks from whatever browser you are using, and import them into the Mac.

Are you using Outlook, Outlook Express, or Thunderbird and POP3? Welcome to the third circle. The data stored in email programs are not in the Documents folder, they are buried deep in the PC. Thunderbird is the easiest to transfer, because Mac Mail will import that directly. But it won't import Outlook or Outlook Express, so you will have to import your mail into Thunderbird anyway. If you are unlucky enough to be using the new mail program in Windows Vista/7 then you have earned bonus time in the third circle, because getting data out of those is nearly impossible.

Oh, and by the way, transferring your emails does not transfer your address book, that is its own circle, number four. And transferring the address book does not transfer the autocomplete from the email program, you know where you start typing an address and it brings up a list? That is a separate file.

Do you have any songs in iTunes? Welcome to the fifth circle. You can't just transfer the songs from one machine to another, you have to transfer the libraries as well. There are good instructions for doing so on the web, but it is not just as easy as copying files.

I tried the Windows Migration Tool from Microsoft once. Waited for over 2 hours while it backed everything up, and when it came time to restore to the new computer the file was unreadable. I could have transferred 90% of what I needed in that time manually. This was several years ago, so hopefully these types of programs have gotten better.

If I were you I would try the suggestion of the Migration Assistant. I wasn't aware of it the last time I transferred data from a PC to a Mac, but It looks like it addresses all of the issues I have pointed out. Just be aware of what you might need to do if it doesn't work correctly.

Wow, that is an eye opener, to say the least. I'll do a little more digging and see if I can come up with explicit instructions for each of the categories you mentioned. All of it I have been through trying to simply transfer data, etc. from a PC to PC as my wife goes through PC's like there's no tomorrow. AS per usual I get the hand-me-down PC and usually just end up transferring what's easy and say forget it for all the stuff I lost. I figure it wasn't ALL needed anyway and thus just left it alone. But of course that was after 5 circles of hell or more trying to transfer ALL of her stuff, because like a hoarder, she keeps everything, and I mean everything (stuff going back 25 years when she had to use punch cards for her masters let alone all stuff from her doctorate and post-doc; and paper's published (and all the revisions from the manuscripts), etc. etc etc.....So needless to say my life every few years has been a frigging nightmare.

I will look into the migration assistant for sure because I don't want to have to go through that to get my stuff off of this PC and on to the mini when it comes. And no, she didn't get a new computer. This time I got the new computer. And it was going to be a Mac no matter what. And I figured I'd find the least expensive route to get my feet wet so to speak and that was a mini. I don't need much as I've lost so much over the years that it doesn't matter except for emails and music and a few documents. Again, being new to this forum, I'm impressed by the response to my simple question and I thank you all.

Tim
 

Caromsoft

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2012
137
23
I switched to Macs a little over a year ago, and this was after 20+ years as a Windows only computer consultant. I have been learning the ins and outs of OS X since. The good news for you (and me) is that with Apple it seems about a thousand times easier to transfer everything from an old Mac to a new Mac, using Time Machine, Carbon Copy Cloner, etc. So hopefully you will only have to go through this nightmare one last time! :)

If you have problems after using Migration Assistant post back and I'll try and help you get your system squared away.
 
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