PC to Mac Transfer


macrumors member
Original poster
Nov 30, 2004
Hey guys, I just bought an ibook and I need to transfer all my documents from my old Compaq desktop to the ibook. Is there any specific flash drive that will transfer the files? Or would I have to Email all the documents to myself and open them to my ibook that way? Thanks...


macrumors 6502a
Jul 4, 2004
Orlando, FL
oooo, very good question..... Im interested on the answer to that one. Im a soon to be switcher aswell.


macrumors 6502a
Jun 14, 2004
Hudson Valley NY
You could burn them to a CD, transfer the files across a network, or use a thumb drive. The fastest would be to use a network, the slowest would be the thumb drive option.

mad jew

Moderator emeritus
Apr 3, 2004
Adelaide, Australia
I might be missing something but couldn't you just burn them to a CD? A flash drive really should work too (99% sure) but I haven't had much experience with them. Otherwise, you could put them on the same network and use file sharing to drag them across but this is a bit of an overly complicated way to do it unless you want to keep transferring files between the two later on.


macrumors 6502a
Mar 4, 2005
I'm just finishing up this process myself. The best way, I think, is to put them on the same network, and have the pc share files (either all of them or selected folders). This lets you move things over at the pace you want, and they're always available. If you don't have a hub or a router, just string an ethernet cable between the two. The mac will switch wires internally to make it a null modem cable. Note that the mac doesn't "move" it only seems to "copy." (tell me how to move a file in one step?!?) So, be sure to delete the files from your pc after moving them or you could get duplicates and wrapped around the axle later.

Also, if you're on XP pro, you should download MS's remote desktop client, and configure the PC to accept remote control connections. It works pretty well and is faster than PCAnywhere, but not encrypted (which is just fine on your own network). Required, if your PC is "headless," which is a great way to go (use the PC monitor with the mac!)

Moving your outlook stuff, if that's what you're using, is a major bitch. Basically, it goes like this:

- open outlook EXPRESS and import your outlook pst file. It will only open your primary PST file, so if you have more than one you'll have to switch where new mail is delivered, and repeat the process.
- drag your emails from outlook express into an explorer window (a folder). each email will be a file with an eml extension.
- move the folder to your mac
- open entourage
- drag the eml files into entourage (no more than 100-150 at a time, or it will lock up!)
- with entourage open, open OSX mail, and import your entourage mail

So, it's Outlook PST file -> Outlook Express -> files in explorer -> files on the Mac -> entourage -> mail.

I think you're pretty much locked into that chain, so pick where you are currently and where you want to go, and follow the chain. Microsoft's PST import tool only works with Mac PST files. Isn't that dumb?

For contacts, just email them to yourself (as vcards), and pick up the email on the Mac. Then open the email, and drag and drop them into your entourage address book, and then drag and drop them from entourage to mail. Note: be careful with how the email with the vcards is encoded, or you'll just get a winmail.dat file. I used UUencoding, and it worked ok.

Your mac should have come with a 30 day trial of MS Office, so using Entourage to do all this shouldn't be a problem. I don't know how to move the calendar stuff.

A couple of random notes:
- when you turn on file sharing on the pc, or start sharing a folder, it may take a minute or two for the Mac to see it in the finder.
- some of my files on the pc are locked as "in use". I used the PC to copy them to the Mac, but I can't figure out how to unlock them so I can move them to the documents folder (they're PDFs for crying out loud, and copies!!)
- if you opt to burn to cd instead, you should first put them in a zip file or something. Otherwise, when you copy them back to the mac the copies may all be marked as read-only, which is irritating. (that's what heppened to me with 2 pcs before)

There are a few things I miss from the PC, but overall I'm pleased with the change. Good luck!


macrumors 6502
Feb 2, 2005
United Kingdom
If you have an iPod, I think you could use that, (if you enable it for disk use.) I'm not sure whether or not the iPod will let all types of files be transferred on it.
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