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Moving From Windows To Mac

Posted on 2011-10-27
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Hi, i bought a macbook last week and i am in the process of preparing to move all of the files on my Windows laptop over to my new Mac system.

I have already deleted all desktop.ini files (in order to remove all personal icons)

Is there any other changes that i should make to my user files before i transfer them over, thanks in advance for your help
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Question by:oo7ml
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by:bloodygonzo
ID: 37037520
Here is a KB article from Apple that discusses considerations as well as how to actually move the data http://support.apple.com/kb/ht2518 . The biggest thing is make sure for each file type you have a program that can open it.
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by:pegasys
ID: 37037548
Dump your entire "documents" folder onto an external drive/usb memory stick.

Plug it in your mac, and copy the files to logical places:

i.e.

My Pictures to /Users/yourUserName/Pictures
My Music to /Users/yourUserName/Music         (note also copy the iTunes library here)
My Movies to /Users/yourUserName/Movies
Downloads (which is in your windows library) to /Users/yourUserName/Downloads
Documents to /Users/yourUserName/Documents

whatever is on your desktop to /Users/yourUserName/Desktop

It's that logical :)
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by:pegasys
ID: 37037554
Oh and regards to the file associating.. Don't worry about that, as quite a few windows programs aren't available on Mac so you might need to find alternatives or converters.

OSX won't freak if you don't have an association, it'll just not open it in the expected way :)
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by:oo7ml
ID: 37037831
Ok cool thanks... i understand how to actually move them... just wondered if i would need to do anything to my files and folders etc

2 Questions

1 - i can copy my files to any directory on the mac, right... i don't have to copy "My Movies to /Users/yourUserName/Movies" etc

2 - i have a black external usb drive that i plan to use as a backup for my mac... i used to use it for my windows laptop... once i copy all the files over, i plan to format it... should i format it in any particular way for the mac
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by:Eoin OSullivan
ID: 37038696
Just a note on your last post

1 - i can copy my files to any directory on the mac, right... i don't have to copy "My Movies to /Users/yourUserName/Movies" etc
The short answer is NO YOU CANNOT put the files ANYWHERE.  The longer answer is that you can save them wherever you want (if you have root/admin user permissions) but as OSX is a form of Unix/Linux it PREFERS to work with the files that belong to each user to be stored somewhere inside the Users folder.
It is good policy to put your documents, files, photos into folders INSIDE your user's Home folder.  
You'll note that inside your user folder are subfolders for Desktop, Documents, Downloads etc.  this is similar to the Users folder on Windows 7 & Vista and Documents & Settings/User folder on XP.
OSX has very strict user permissions and putting files and folders outside the Users Home folder can result in file access permissions for some applications or if trying to share files with other Mac users.

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by:oo7ml
ID: 37038779
Apologies, sorry i meant i can put them into whatever folders i like once they are inside the user's home folder...

I know this is a silly question but i just want to set everything up correctly...

I see that OS X came with folders that were already created (Pictures, Movis, Downloads etc...)

What i meant was, i don't have to actually put My Pictures into /Users/yourUserName/Pictures folder that was already created by the system... i can put them into a folder called /Users/yourUserName/My New Pictures Folder

I just thought that these "already created" folders (Pictures, Movies, Downloads etc...) might have had some dependencies in the OS and that you must or should copy photos into the Pictures folder and videos into the Movies folder...

 
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Accepted Solution

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Eoin OSullivan earned 1000 total points
ID: 37038820
The Movies, Pictures and Documents folders are created by OSX by default when a user account is created.
You CAN & SHOULD put but you DON'T HAVE TO put your photos, movies, documents in the folders provided.  

A lot of the OSX Apps and other applications will tend to look in the Pictures folder by default for images .. the Movies folder .. you get the picture ;-)  You can always point these programs elsewhere to locate your files it just takes a little longer to find files.
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Author Comment

by:oo7ml
ID: 37038900
Yes i thought this was how it was set up... similar to windows, however, most of my photos and videos are all in separate folders for events... i.e - if it was a birthday party, i would have taken photos and videos of that day so i don't want to separate them because they are different file types...

Thanks for your help... do you have any input into:

2 - i have a black external usb drive that i plan to use as a backup for my mac... i used to use it for my windows laptop... once i copy all the files over, i plan to format it... should i format it in any particular way for the mac
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Assisted Solution

by:Eoin OSullivan
Eoin OSullivan earned 1000 total points
ID: 37039021
To use it on Mac & Windows .. format as FAT32 as OSX can read/write to FAT32.  Windows tends to format as NTFS format by default which OSX can read but CANNOT WRITE with standard OSX installation.

I'd recommend you get an add-on to enable you to WRITE to NTFS formatted external drives

Free options
OSXFuse - http://osxfuse.github.com
Fuse4X - http://fuse4x.org/

Paid-for options
Tuxera - http://www.tuxera.com/products/tuxera-ntfs-for-mac/
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Author Comment

by:oo7ml
ID: 37039118
Cool, thanks... so am i right in saying that i will be able to copy files from the external NTFS drive that i have backed up my windows files onto... BUT i just won't be able to right back to it (without one of those plugins)... yeah
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Expert Comment

by:bloodygonzo
ID: 37039568
Yes you are correct.
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by:oo7ml
ID: 37039854
I just tried to delete Movies and Pictures on the mac and it says

"Movies" can't be modified or deleted because it's required by Mac OS X

Is there a way around this...
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Expert Comment

by:Eoin OSullivan
ID: 37040000
NO .. leave them alone.
They can be deleted if you login as root and run terminal commands but you will cause a load of problems with some OSX apps and widgets etc which look for these folders to load/store images .. such as iPhoto etc.
Like several other users have said .. try and put your files in the Documents folder (you can put images in there too)
Put your photos into subfolders in Pictures or in Documents
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Author Comment

by:oo7ml
ID: 37040532
Ok cool, thanks for all your help...
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Assisted Solution

by:mccrick
mccrick earned 1000 total points
ID: 37040781
So far, this is good info. The only bit I'll add is that Mac OS uses the file extension of the documents to associate that file type with an application. For example worddocs.doc will automatically open in Word. But let's say you don't have Word and you want them to open in Apple's Pages: Right Click (this has to be enabled on new Macs in the System Prefs/Mouse-Trackpad) and Get Info (could select document and use CMD i). Toward the bottom of the info panel you will find "Open With." Use that to set the default app associated with all files of that type.

Also, Macs will read PC drives but your PC won't read a Mac drive. Still, Time Machine works best with a Mac drive. If you only have one drive (which is unlikely) you would want to format it for PC to do the transfer, then format it for Mac to use with your Mac after your data is transfered.

You can use Apple's disk utility to partition your external drive. One of my drives is partitioned for mostly Mac with a 32GB partition for PC. Some Macs don't play nices with PC partitions bigger than 32 GB. (something to check out before you xfer all of your data to an oversized PC partition.

Your photos and movies CAN live anywhere you want (outside of system folders of course), but don't delete default folders, not worth the trouble. You will not have access to files from one user to another unless you put them is specific "shared folders" or on the drive not in any user folder. You do get a lot of discretion without many consequences.
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Author Comment

by:oo7ml
ID: 37041246
Ok, thanks... i am just about finished copying my files over...

Once i do this, i will format it the drive... is there a tool in OS X to format drives
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Assisted Solution

by:mccrick
mccrick earned 1000 total points
ID: 37041397
In the Utilities folder: Disk Utility. You can make a small PC partition with it as well for future communication with PCs
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Author Comment

by:oo7ml
ID: 37041423
Ok cool, i only want to format the external drive... i will use a different drive external drive for windows
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by:LeeTutor
ID: 37187479
This question has been classified as abandoned and is closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See the recommendation for more details.
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