Very technical question for an amateur

Discussion in 'iMac' started by lowelife, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. lowelife macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    #1
    just purchased my first iMac after many years of being a pc'er. My Dell lost its operating system and I was tired of the viruses. He's my amateur question for all of you awesome experts:

    I purchased a hard drive enclosure box thinking I could remove the hard drives from the dell and drop everything onto the mac (told you I was an amateur). Obviously that doesn't work so easy. My wife is frustrated that her iTunes, quicken, outlook address book, etc. are still stuck on the old Dell, which can not fire up due to the error message: system32\ntoskrnl (and i don't have any disks to reinstall on the Dell). Any idea how I can transfer the files from my hard drives onto the iMac and have it read them? I downloaded vmware fusion and then realized you need Windows XP to read the hard drives and I don't want to pay $250 for Windows XP (never got the original disk with my Dell)...I would appreciate all of your expert advice!

    THANKS!
     
  2. yoyo5280 macrumors 68000

    yoyo5280

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    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia & Bay Area
    #2
    The apple store is really good at helping at this.
    You said you have the Dells hardrive in the enclosure? Take it to the apple store along with you mac, and they will try to recover as much as they can.
     
  3. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Indianapolis
    #3
    What's wrong with copying over the user space?
     
  4. iknowyourider macrumors 6502a

    iknowyourider

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    #4
    Do you have an intel imac? I have found it easy to use files on both windows and an intel mac. I was unsuccessful using windows files on a power pc mac.
     
  5. lowelife thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 30, 2008
    #5
    They told me the Dell needed to be working, but I never asked about bringing in the hard drive with the enclosure...may try that after calling them. Thanks for the suggestion!
     
  6. lowelife thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 30, 2008
    #6
    Thanks Eldorian...the amateur in me does not understand "user space."
     
  7. lowelife thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 30, 2008
    #7
    I was able to access the Dell hard drives from my hard drive enclosure...unfortunately I could not open any of the files. I think the multiple operating systems (bootcamp?) would allow me to open all of these files...or would it?

    thanks everyone!
     
  8. yoyo5280 macrumors 68000

    yoyo5280

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    Feb 24, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia & Bay Area
    #8
    Does the hardrive show up on the mac? If so we are on to a good start.

    Many of the files will not be openable, but go looking for your iTunes music for example and see if you can get it.
     
  9. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Location:
    Indianapolis
    #9
    Does the old Dell even load into Safe Mode? Can you get someone else's OEM discs?

    Otherwise if you can mount the disk on your Mac you can pull off the files from the user directories. They should mostly be in Application Data and My Documents.
     
  10. lowelife thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 30, 2008
    #10
    Hard drive does show up on the desktop and I can open it. Unfortunately when I try to open the iTunes files it won't respond, or open. Folder opens, but unreadable.

    Thanks
     
  11. lowelife thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 30, 2008
    #11
    Cannot get it into safe mode as the error message; windows/system32/nt....is corrupt (not exact message) pops up before the system starts...I have not attempted to find somone (yet) who may have the disks. I found on their website that Dell will ship a new operating system disk one time. Would rather not deal with Dell unless I absolutely have to...that's why I am now a HAPPY Apple customer. Thanks...
     
  12. sickmacdoc macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

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    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #12
    Also, just to clarify one thing- Microsoft XP Home Edition SP3 disks are available for use with Boot Camp for a heck of a lot less that $250! :eek: The ones I use for client machines are the System Builder disks that are $89 at newegg.com and other places for example.
     
  13. ADent macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 9, 2007
    #13
    It sounds like the Apple Store can help translate the files.

    But if you want to do it yourself you should be able to copy all the files to the Mac.

    But you need to translate at least some of them. For example the Mac version of Quicken uses a different file format and has a slightly different set of features.

    iTunes - There is a database file and an .xml file. You can chose a different database file by holding the open key down when starting iTunes. If that does not work try importing the xml database. You may have to open the xml file and do a massive search and replace if the location of the files moved.

    ---

    If you can get a cheap copy of Windows you can use BootCamp (yuck) or a virtual machine software to directly access the files using Windoze. I use VMWare and have had good luck with it. There is free VirtualBox, but never tried it.
     
  14. Eidorian macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #14
    What's wrong with mounting the drive on the external and copying over what you can of your user folder in Documents and Settings?
     
  15. musukosan macrumors regular

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    Aug 6, 2008
    #15
    What model Dell do you have?
     
  16. Arne macrumors regular

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    Germany
    #16
    did you have compression or encryption enabled for some folders on you PC?
     
  17. BJMRamage macrumors 68020

    BJMRamage

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    #17
    I had a similar issue when going from a corrupt WinPC box to my iMac. Luckily I was able to import from the old Hard Drive with the external Enclosure.

    I could copy and open most files (design and tunes) but all my emails were lost. I had the file with the emails all in it but couldn't open the file on a Mac and after a few weeks, gave up and moved on. I also reformated the drive to be Mac savable and now use that (and 2 others) as back up drives.

    The music should be able to copy to teh Mac and you can play by importing the Library file or something like that.
    Mine did as did all the music kept the Counts, Dates, Etc. (13,000 songs at that time was too much to reimport.)
     
  18. lowelife thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 30, 2008
    #18
    It's an Dimension 4700...
     
  19. musukosan macrumors regular

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    Aug 6, 2008
    #19
    Have you tried hitting ctrl+f11 when booting the computer (when you see the dell logo)? This will put into recover mode. You don't have discs to reinstall the OS, instead, they are on a hidden partition on the HD. Once you get into recovery mode, you should be able to repair XP so that it boots. Just make sure you don't delete the entire drive. I don't own a Dell so I don't know all the options, but my Sony allows you to 1) repair XP 2) reinstall XP (deletes some stuff but not all) 3) complete reformat and install (deletes everything). You will have explore your options carefully. If you can just repair and still have your stuff, then once you got it up and going maybe you can just setup a network and transfer the files.
     
  20. rs13 macrumors member

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    Oct 28, 2008
    #20
    if your not totally confident with it i would take the drive to the apple store/ genius bar and im sure they will be able to help you.
     
  21. lowelife thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 30, 2008
    #21

    Thanks...I will try that.
     

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