Help me smoothly say farewell to Microsoft and Windows
August 3, 2015 12:37 PM   Subscribe

So, I am finally giving up my last personal connection to Microsoft, my home PC running Windows 7 Home Premium, and switching to a really gorgeous iMac. Everything else in my life -- phone, tablet, watch, and laptop -- are already Apple. What preparations should I engage in while waiting for the new iMac to be delivered? And what do you recommend for smoothly getting my data (photos, documents, Quicken file, etc.) from my PC to my new Mac? And is there anything else you would advise I do as I make the transition? Many thanks.
posted by bearwife to Technology (10 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The music in Windows Media Player, put that somewhere.
posted by Oyéah at 12:42 PM on August 3, 2015

Best answer: smoothly getting my data (photos, documents, Quicken file, etc.)

Hook all that business up to your Dropbox. Install Dropbox on your new Mac. Done.

I am biOS, Windows for work and Mac for home, and all my personal stuff is in the cloud. Dropbox for about 80%, Evernote and Wunderlist and Google Docs and Steam for the rest. My Mac could be stolen by a passing eagle right now and I'd be pissed because it was expensive but I wouldn't lose any data.
posted by Lyn Never at 12:43 PM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: (Oh, also Chrome - my bookmarks and browsing history are shared across all my computers, tablet, and phone thanks to Chrome synching.)
posted by Lyn Never at 12:45 PM on August 3, 2015

A number of years back when I made the switch, Windows Migration Assistant made it very easy.

And make sure you back everything up. It's going to suck when you can't find that PDF of your 2014 tax returns that was on a weirdly-hidden encrypted part of your hard drive you forgot about.
posted by General Malaise at 12:53 PM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Keep your old computer around for a while, and when you do get rid of it, make sure to grab the hard drive out of it. You can put that hard drive in an enclosure and hook it up to your new computer through USB.
posted by demiurge at 2:26 PM on August 3, 2015

Best answer: Dropbox can take care of most of that stuff, but if you have lots of photos and videos they might not fit. If you have Amazon Prime you get free unlimited photo storage, and their unlimited cloud storage (which includes any kind of data) is pretty cheap and has a three-month free trial. It's clunkier than dropbox for sure, but if you need tons of space it's there.
posted by Huck500 at 3:42 PM on August 3, 2015

Best answer: Make a software-agnostic copy of any data that may not have a direct analog on your Mac (like maybe a CSV backup of your Quicken data), to future-proof getting at your old data years in the future.
posted by misterbrandt at 4:38 PM on August 3, 2015

Best answer: You can buy iCloud storage, too.
posted by persona au gratin at 2:25 AM on August 4, 2015

Backup, backup, backup!

When you run Migration Assistant, it's going to work your existing disk, and that's when older disks often fail. (Ask me how I know!) You do not want to find out, mid-migration, that your folder of Grandma's letters just vanished into the ether.

A copy in the cloud (Dropbox etc.) is fine, but that usually won't work for large photo or video libraries. And I feel weirdly hesitant about putting tax stuff, for example, into Dropbox. Make local backups, and test them to make sure they actually have the files they should have.
posted by RedOrGreen at 4:53 PM on August 4, 2015

Response by poster: It arrived, and it's amazing. I did back up the old machine, I promise. Some stuff already transferred effortlessly (all my iTunes, calendar, contacts, etc. that were in iCloud) and some, like my Quicken file, I moved via Dropbox. Migration Assistant has been buggy so far on my dear old Windows PC so that hasn't worked yet.

I appreciate the advice so far.
posted by bearwife at 9:35 AM on August 6, 2015

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