switching from XP to Mac, how to do

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by clauder, Apr 3, 2007.

  1. Hi,

    I have a question if I want to switch from Windows XP to a Mac... All my images
    reside on an external drive (LaCie firewire drive), which is i guess formatted
    in NTFS... Now if I switch to a Mac, how can I retrieve these images? Can it
    read the NTFS system to get all the images off it? Or do I need to do something
    else (consider that burning to DVD is not practical, I have some 80.000 images
    of assignments shot over the years, backed up onto seperate external HD's, all

    Same goes for my lightroom library, can it be used as is?

    many thanks
  2. ray


    your mac can read your external drives with an NTFS format. However, it cannot write to it
    (reliably at least). What you will want to do is connect your external drive to the mac and
    then copy the images to an internal drive (or another external drive), reformat the Lacie with
    HFS+ and then move your images/libraries back.

    I cannot answer your lightroom question. I would imagine that you could use it, but I have
    no actual experience to back it up.
  3. Many external hard drives were formattted with FAT 32 when shipped, and are already compatible with both Windows and MAC. If you are not sure what you have, the first thing would be to find out. If it is really NTFS, then setting up a local network from the old to the new computers to transfer the data to reformatted drives would be quite easy. If you have multiple external drives, convert them one-by-one to the new format as you transfer the data.
  4. As said above, out of the box the Mac can read but not write NTFS. To me this sounds like the perfect occasion to get an extra read-only backup copy, by hooking up the NTFS drive once, copying the contents to a new external drive formatted for the Mac, and then retiring the old drive, as a backup you can't accidentally overwrite.
  5. What they said, though I might add - If you only have 1 copy of your data which is on the
    external drive, I wouldn't format the external drive immediately after copying the data,
    because that's inviting disaster. What I would do is make a copy of the data on your
    internal drive (assuming you have space), THEN MAKE ANOTHER BACKUP - either buy or
    borrow another USB or FireWire external drive and use that to make another backup before
    finally reformatting the external drive and copying your data back. This will take extra time
    to do, but if your data is important...

    I read that the lightroom libraries are compatible, but I haven't seen any real world tests
    yet. Besides, it doesn't really matter that much because with lightroom you are still able to
    get at your images in the normal way if you had a problem (browsing through the folders I
  6. Thanks for all the asnwers above!

    Basically what i need is the Mac to read the NTFS, and then store the images on another (new) external drive in a Mac format...

    I have 2 exact copies of each drive (you never know), so i can tamper with one and leave the other backup intact in case something goes wrong

    It's gonna take some time, but it looks like it is feasible without too much trouble

    anyway, thanks a lot for all your help!
  7. Best o f luck with the transition. Without wantin to inflame this happy conversation into a pc vs mac debate, let me just say as a 6 month switcher from XP to OSX, (life lonf windows user) i can say that the experience has been absolutely fantastic. I love the simplicity, looks and reliability of OSX and will never go back to windows. Enjoy!

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