Migrating PC to iMac

The most challenging tech experience of all has begun; I’m migrating from PC (Windows XP, a life-time user) to Mac. The iMac, named Big Mac, sat in the box two weeks because I was in fear of how best to begin. I’ll keep you informed of my tips and tricks along the way, but I thought it best to ask the experts who have already graduated from this experience.

Today’s special guest is Mark C. Robins, CEO of Lawyer Locate, a Canadian firm that does exactly as its name suggests. Mark is one of the most generous Twitter pals on Earth. Nary a Friday goes by when he isn’t doling out #FF greetings, and I love him for that.

My questions have multiplied since I wrote this; the Big Mac was still safely ensconced in its box. Today is day two of the experience, and my head is swimming. Mark is going to help me and you, too:

What is the first tip you’d offer someone migrating from PC to Mac?

If possible let Apple transfer all your PC files and programs for you; there may be a small cost if you did not Buy “Joint Venture” but well worth it to have the experts do it.

If you have an external hard drive that houses photos, music, files and Outlook email what do you recommend for files migration?

Again same as the previous answer let Apple do it for you. In Canada it is simple to take your Mac and drive to the Apple Store Genius Bar (make an online appointment first) and they will do the rest, sometimes while you wait.

Are there resources you used when you/your company migrated over? Sites, links, apps that make it easier?

Sorry to sound like a broken record but we did a great deal of research into this and found that even our PC IT people recommended letting Apple do it. In our case we have four iMac’s to set up and they took care of all the transfers and set up over a single weekend.

Here is the link to joint ventureJayme Note: I bought three years of Geek Squad, Ask An Agent, and I want to say I have called several times and am duly impressed. They will take remote control of my PC or Mac and do all the set up for me.

On a scale of 1-10, how hard is this migration? How long do you expect it to take?

It took 1 weekend at the Apple store to completely migrate all our PC data and  programs. We opted to use “VM Virtual Machine for our Windows stuff.

Talk about iMail vs. Outlook? Compatibility? Best way to migrate files or archives?

There were some issues at first with bringing over PST files and the iMail does not have as many pretty bells and whistles. In the end, we have found iMail much better and more stable than Outlook. There’s also the issue of ease of use with our iPhones , iPads etc. We chose to use PST Converter Pro to import our Outlook PST files.

I’m already going to run Windows for Mac, but not Outlook. What other software is recommended to ensure compatibility?

VM ware Fusion is what we use and it works great; there’s a bonus of faster speeds as it uses 100% of your RAM to run the windows program so no bogging down, and easy switching between Mac and windows.

I’m thinking I’ll always need to keep a Windows computer/laptop handy to access external hard drives’ files; what do you think about that?

No need at all! You can have all your PC and Mac files on the same iMac hard drive and I suggest you invest in a Mac “Time Capsule” back up drive.

What advice can you give someone without an IT department migrating on his/her own? (I’m thinking it’s “have patience!”)

At the beginning I suggested that you use Apple care, Genius Bar and Joint Venture. The Apple support is second to none and I highly recommend using them when you have issues or problems. You will no longer need an IT person or company. With Apple they take care of you from beginning to end and everything in between.

Making the change was a huge fear for me but once we started there has been no looking back. I cannot imagine ever going back to PC-based computing and even now I rarely use the Windows side of my iMac. There’s really nothing there that I can’t do with an Apple App.

Enjoy the new way of computing, Jayme, one without blue screens and crashes!