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From PC to Apple

lizzieh

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I have always used a Dell PC which is nearing it's end. I would like a Macbook Air.

I back all my files, photos etc to two external Iomega hard drives. Will I be able to transfer those files from the hard drives to the Air?

I am used to using file explorer on the PC and hard drives, and copying files across, but am I right in thinking I won't have a file explorer on the Air?

If anyone can advise me, I'd be grateful.
 

silverado8405

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I'll be a change going from one to the other but you should be able to transfer your files back and forth. The Mac version of windows explorer is the finder.
 

twerppoet

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This may help:

http://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201746

The article is a couple years old, so some interface elements will probably look different, but ti should still be close enough.

If you have an Apple Store nearby, you should be able to take your Windows PC in and have them migrate the content for you. At least they used to advertise that service. Best to call in and ask, then set up an appointment.
 

giradman

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As already stated and linked, the Migration Assistant can help you transferred much of your personal information - also as pointed out Finder is the app in OS X that behaves similar to Windows Explorer although there are differences - below is pic of my opened Finder window just to give you a visual appreciation.

Also, you'll need a basic understanding of the file system differences between the Mac OS X & Windows drives - quoted below is a brief outline - you MBAir will be formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled), while I'm assuming that your two Iomega drives are either NTFS or FAT32? I'm not sure if you are planning to keep your Dell PC (where you might be reading & writing to the drives from both operating systems?) - if not, you might want to reformat them to HFS+, which is required if you plan to use Time Machine, the backup program for Mac OS. I was a switcher 2 years ago (MBPro & iMAC) and have enjoyed the experience - good luck. Dave :)

Hard Drive File Systems

HFS+ (Hierarchical File System), a.k.a. Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
  • File system used by Mac OS and needed for Time Machine
  • Windows requires additional software to use the Mac OS
NTFS (Windows NT File System)
  • Read/Write NTFS from native Windows
  • Read only NTFS from native Mac OS X
  • Windows needs additional software for interaction
FAT32 (File Allocation Table)
  • Read/Write FAT32 from both native Windows and native Mac OS
  • Maximum file size: 4GB
  • You can use this format if you share the drive between Mac OS X and Windows computers and have no files larger than 4GB
.
Screen Shot 2015-02-16 at 2.45.36 PM.png
 
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lizzieh

lizzieh

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Thats all very useful. Thanks. With finder will I be able to drag and drop or coy, files across from Mac to Iomega? Not sure what HFS+ is.
 

giradman

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Thats all very useful. Thanks. With finder will I be able to drag and drop or coy, files across from Mac to Iomega? Not sure what HFS+ is.

Hi again - the hard drives I currently use w/ my MBPro & iMac are for Time Machine backups and cloned bootable backups using Carbon Copy Cloner, so do not look quite like your Iomega HDs would appear; so, I've plugged in a 32 GB USB drive w/ some old stuff from my previous PC - see the pic below - I've opened the drive in Finder (blue arrow), so what is shown in the window are the files/folders on the USB drive (would be be same w/ your attached HDs) - from there, you can drag files and/or folders to the left into whatever may be listed there (that list can be easily altered).

As to HFS+, meaning is explained, i.e. this the the HD format of your new Mac computer which is different from that used on a Windows PC computer, i.e. NTFS - you'll need to understand the differences, especially if you plan to still use your PC w/ your new Apple computer - I'll let you add to that discussion, if desired.

Also, I would strongly suggest that you join the Mac-Forums - I'm 'RadDave' there - great forum for Mac users. Dave :)
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Screen Shot 2015-02-17 at 6.47.27 PM.png
 
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lizzieh

lizzieh

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Thank you, again, for taking the trouble to help. I understand what you mean about the HD formats, and I probably wont need to use the PC once I have the Air. Will have a look at the Mac forum, thanks for that.
 

silverado8405

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Also you can put two finder windows next to each other and drag between them as well. Just went thru this whole process a month ago when my pc died and I got a Mac mini. Fairly straightforward copying everything from my back up hard drive to the mini.

Having switched I have to say I'm a fan. I used Linux in the past and OS X is built on the same foundation (Unix) so it's been a fairly easy transition as to knowing how things work. The hardest part I've had with the whole process has been using the apple mouse and figuring out where certain things are in the settings menus, which can happen at a windows version change as well.
 

giradman

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Thank you, again, for taking the trouble to help. I understand what you mean about the HD formats, and I probably wont need to use the PC once I have the Air. Will have a look at the Mac forum, thanks for that.

Hi again - first, good news that you will not be needing your PC, just would greatly confuse the issue of HD format when both Mac OS X & Windows are being used together. Now if you intend to continue to use your Iomega drives, as mentioned before they are likely formatted as either NTFS or FAT32 - your Mac Air's HD will likely be Yosemite (which is OS X 10.10.x) - this Apple OS can read both of the other two formats but cannot 'write' to NTFS; plus, if you want to use Apple's backup program, i.e. Time Machine, a dedicated external HD is recommended but must be formatted as HFS+. Bottom line is that your Iomega drives will need Apple formatting.

Second, I would be curious as to the 'age' of your Iomega drives - I owned a couple years ago and both eventually crashed - HDs deteriorate w/ age, i.e. about 20% die after 4 years and likely half are dead by 6 years, so if these are 'old' HDs, then you will need to consider replacements - if interested, check THIS THREAD in the Mac-Forums I mentioned earlier (I have a number of posts there and put in some informative graphs). Dave :)
 
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lizzieh

lizzieh

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OK this is getting a bit complicated for me. Are you saying I won't be able to take the files from the Iomega drives and copy them to an Air?

The drives are more than 4 years old.
 

giradman

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OK this is getting a bit complicated for me. Are you saying I won't be able to take the files from the Iomega drives and copy them to an Air?

The drives are more than 4 years old.

Sorry for the apparent confusion, but I did not say you cannot copy your files from the Iomega drives to the Macbook Air - your new laptop will be able to read and copy your files on those old drives (regardless of their format which again is likely Windows NTFS or FAT32 - you can plug them into your old PC and determine their format which may impact on whether you want to continue to use them).

If your want to still use the Iomega HDs w/ your new laptop, then their format will be important, i.e. Apple's OS will not be able to write back to the old external HD if it's format is NTFS, but it will if FAT32; for best compatibility since you will no longer be using your PC would be re-format the old drives as Apple HFS+, once you have retrieved all of your old files.

BUT, I made this transition 2 years ago (Windows PC & Dell laptop) to a MBPro & iMac - transferred the files needed from the old PCs to my new Apple machines, then bought new external HDs and formatted them w/ Apple HFS+ (although these can be bought available already it that format if desired) to use as my backup drives. At 4 years of age, your Iomega HDs are now on that downslope of chancing 20% to 50% failure in a couple of years - I would recommend buying new HDs, if cost is not an issue (1 TB Western Digital HDs are well under $100 each). Please let me know if these explanations help; if not, I'll try again and you'll get plenty of great advice at the Mac-Forums - good luck! Dave :)
 

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