Transferring PC to Mac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by hardikp, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. hardikp macrumors newbie

    Mar 28, 2012

    Im thinking of buying my first Mac. I need advice re: transferring data. My PC laptop has 75gb of data on it (which is full). I also have 250gb of data on an external hard drive (which is not formatted for macs).

    How do I easily transfer this to a Mac as I understand to convert the external HD to mac compatible will require me to format it first and lose all my data.

  2. rlogan814 macrumors member

    Jan 23, 2012
    Wirelessly posted

    When I moved from PC to Mac, I just put both computers on the same network and selected the files and folders from the PC to share and then found them in the finder window on my Mac mini. I was just transferring iTunes music and video files and also photos.

    Since then I've used bootcamp to set up a 100gb Windows partition to play swtor. If you are interested in continuing to use pc programs then you could just bootcamp a large enough partition on your new Mac's hard drive to hold all of your windows stuff. What's the point of getting a Mac if you are going to do that though?

    After all that, you'd have to reformat the external drive to the Mac format. I did that with my seagate 500gb goflex drive and now use it for time machine back ups.
  3. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Depending on your OS version, you could choose exFAT.


    Overview of the four major file systems (called "Formats" in Mac OS X) used on Windows and Mac OS X, compiled by GGJstudios. You can use Disk Utility to format any HDD to your liking.

    Any external hard drive will work with PCs or Macs, as long as the connectors are there (Firewire, USB, etc.) It doesn't matter how the drive is formatted out of the box, since you can re-format any way you like. Formatting can be done with the Mac OS X Disk Utility, found in the /Applications/Utilities folder. Here are your formatting options:

    FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
    • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS X.
      [*]Maximum file size: 4GB.
    • Maximum volume size: 2TB
    • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB.
    NTFS (Windows NT File System)
    • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows.
    • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
      [*]To Read/Write/Format NTFS from Mac OS X, here are some alternatives:
      • For Mac OS X 10.4 or later (32 or 64-bit), install Paragon (approx $20) (Best Choice for Lion)
      • For 32-bit Mac OS X, install NTFS-3G for Mac OS X (free) (does not work in 64-bit mode)
      • For 64-bit Snow Leopard, read this: MacFUSE for 64-bit Snow Leopard
      • Some have reported problems using Tuxera (approx $36).
      • Native NTFS support can be enabled in Snow Leopard and Lion, but is not advisable, due to instability.
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support NTFS
    • Maximum file size: 16 TB
    • Maximum volume size: 256TB
    • You can use this format if you routinely share a drive with multiple Windows systems.
    HFS+ (Hierarchical File System, a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled) Don't use case-sensitive)
    • Read/Write HFS+ from native Mac OS X
    • Required for Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner or SuperDuper! backups of Mac internal hard drive.
      [*]To Read/Write HFS+ from Windows, Install MacDrive
      [*]To Read HFS+ (but not Write) from Windows, Install HFSExplorer
    • Maximum file size: 8EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 8EiB
    • You can use this format if you only use the drive with Mac OS X, or use it for backups of your Mac OS X internal drive, or if you only share it with one Windows PC (with MacDrive installed on the PC)
    exFAT (FAT64)
    • Supported in Mac OS X only in 10.6.5 or later.
    • Not all Windows versions support exFAT. See disadvantages.
    • exFAT (Extended File Allocation Table)
    • AirPort Extreme (802.11n) and Time Capsule do not support exFAT
    • Maximum file size: 16 EiB
    • Maximum volume size: 64 ZiB
    • You can use this format if it is supported by all computers with which you intend to share the drive. See "disadvantages" for details.
  4. RedCroissant Suspended

    Aug 13, 2011
    Apple Store?

    Maybe I'm crazy, but couldn't you just take both of them to an Apple Retail Store and have them do it for you? They advertise that they will transfer all your files for you.
  5. waynep macrumors 6502

    Dec 31, 2009
    I move to a Mac from a PC at home a year ago.

    The Mac will read an NTFS formatted disk (your external) without a problem. It won't write to it unless you add some other software to the Mac. I have not added anything to write NTFS. Don't intend to. After you copy the stuff from it to your Mac, I would reformat it to FAT32. I use that on USB drives (disk and thumb) that I intend to use on both a PC and a Mac.

    As far as getting the data of your PC? Share your PC drive out over the network. Or copy the data you want to the USB drive. Those are the two easiest ways to do it.
  6. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    The Migration Assistant in Lion will transfer data from a PC. You have to install the software on your PC as well and it will then transfer via Wifi (not quick) or Ethernet (quick).

  7. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    Be sure to check the system requirements for the Windows pc to run the Migration Assistant. I recently couldn't use it because the pc didn't have service pack 3.

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