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bryan08252 09-26-2009 10:04 PM

Transfer files question from pc to new iMac
I feel like its Christmas morning and I am 5 years old! Went to the Apple store and came home with a 24" iMac, 4gb/1TB. I also got an external hd as a backup. Now the external hd says it is formatted for iMac.

On to my question. I have a ton of photos and music files I want to move from my pc to the iMac. Can I use the external hard drive I just bought to do that since it is formatted for iMac? Or do I need to buy a separate external hd to move my files to and then move them onto the iMac?

As a side note, I am still typing on my pc. I haven't taken the iMac out of the box yet. But I am dying to get it hooked up!!

CrimsonRequiem 09-26-2009 10:18 PM

You don't have to buy a new external. You can always partition your external to be half Mac and half Windows. Or you can make it universal for both Mac and Windows.

FAT 32 is universal between the two the only problem is that it has a limit of 4GB being able to be written to that particular partition.

NTSF format is generally Windows, which Macs can read but are not able to be written on.

Mac OS X Journaled is Mac only so a Windows machine won't be able to recognize that format.

bryan08252 09-26-2009 10:59 PM

:Grimmace: That was painful to just read. The first paragraph was awesome. I understood that I don't need another hard drive. After that, you lost me.

Let me ask this: Can I take a USB and run it from my pc to the iMac directly and transfer files?

Or do I have to partition the external hd?

CrimsonRequiem 09-26-2009 11:03 PM

Since you already formatted it for Mac, you probably have to format it something other than Mac OSX Journaled. IE. FAT 32, or NTSF for your Windows Machine and to be able to read and write to the external HDD.

chscag 09-26-2009 11:06 PM


Originally Posted by bryan08252 (Post 914938)
Let me ask this: Can I take a USB and run it from my pc to the iMac directly and transfer files?

No, because your external hard drive is formatted to the Mac file system (HFS+) and Windows can not read nor write to that file system without third party software.


Originally Posted by bryan08252 (Post 914938)
Or do I have to partition the external hd?

That's what you were advised to do in the first reply wasn't it?


Collin Bl 09-26-2009 11:06 PM

Here is another choice - Belkin : Switch-to-Mac Cable

wmprice1240 09-26-2009 11:34 PM

Alternatively, once you get your new iMac setup you can setup a network share and directly copy your files from your PC to your new machine. Of course you will need a router that allows both machines to be connected to your network to accomplish this.

Mac 101: File sharing

bryan08252 09-27-2009 07:55 AM

Thanks for all the possibilities. I like to KISS (keep it simple stupid). And since I am stupid, I am going with this option:


Originally Posted by Collin Bl (Post 914948)
Here is another choice - Belkin : Switch-to-Mac Cable

tbutler12345 09-27-2009 08:45 AM

Im not an IT whiz but I managed to set some of my PC files (like my docs and my music) to be shared files - now when both my mbp and pc are on i can get at my shared pc files from the finder.

so i get to share files over my wifi network easy. not quite sure how i did it but it was fairly easy - think i clicked a few buttons on pc to set it up as a host but nothing too complex. If you dont have wifi think the same is possible with a direct ethernet conncection(?)

southchatham 09-27-2009 11:12 AM

Another solution in the keep it simple mode is burn your pictures and music to dvd, then install the dvd on the mac. Plus now you have the extra dvd back up.

bryan08252 09-27-2009 08:06 PM

Quick update... I went to Best Buy and bought a pc-Mac cable. Nothing to load, partition, etc. I plugged the usb into the pc and into the Mac. In less than a minute I was transferring files. Took about 2 hours to transfer 4000 songs and about 6000 photos. It was very simple. Thanks again!

Now, if only I can get connected to the internet. I tried just moving the connection from my pc to the Mac but it isn't working. I will call my service provider tomorrow and see what the problem is. But I do love the way things flow on the mac.

ron4mac 09-27-2009 08:19 PM

If your PC is connected directly to your service provider's modem, you may just need to reset (power cycle) the modem. Many such modems 'remember' the machine they are connected to. If you connect a different machine it will not immediately work with it. Once power cycled, it will work with the first machine that is connected to it.

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