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Possible problems when switching from a PC to a Mac?


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#1 techphobe

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 04:31 AM

I'm thinking of buying a Mac Book Pro after only ever using microsoft windows, one of these
 
Not sure what the differences are between the slightly different makes to that one on the site, slightly different processor for speed?
 
I used to assume it was really difficult to move data from a PC to a mac. But after looking into it, I'm not sure.
 
I have a western digital my book essential external hard drive TB with about 400 GB of unique data on it (the usual video music etc), backed up from my windows PC.
 
Is it possible  for the mac to read the external hard drive and possibly download some of the data? Is it possible to back up this external to another via my apple? (Assuming this is the best way to back it up?) Maybe making the other external drive dual format ie recordable for windows and mac (is this making sense?) I obviously need to back up the external somehow and it's probably too big to put it on a cloud. I could  borrow a windows laptop to do it if not on a mac.
 
More generally how easy is it to move data (docs music video etc) between a windows pc and an apple and back again? & are there many websites or programs you still won't be able to use with an apple these days?
 
Do you have to use icloud with apple or can you use another cloud based backup. (apparently icloud's hard to recover & delete from?)
 
Can you use the same icloud account for a windows and an apple computer ?
 
Do you need anti virus and anti malware progs on apple especially if you watch dodgy sports streams like someone I know might.
 
Is safari the only browser to use or can others work well too?
 
Can you get the back off a mac to remove dust and the battery?
 
As I rarely ever move the laptop, it's usually plugged in, can you remove the battery to prolong its life & is it a good idea?
 
The power lead was crap on my last Dell laptop it kept falling out thereby crashing the computer, is apple's better?
 
Is it true you can't plug a microphone in? Is the headphone jack sturdy, is it repairable if it breaks? (broken these before)
 
Any other little things that are annoying about Apples? Apparently cutting and pasting are hard if you're used to windows?
 
Do you still have to do stuff like defrag?
 
Is it easy to back up? 
 
Btw,
 
This was my previous laptop I got in late 2011, Dell XPS 15 L502X http://www.pcworld.com/product/926445/xps-15-l502x.html
 
It worked fine for me until it died apart from being a bit slow (but I put that down to me always having loads of tabs open in my browser)
 
I did think about getting this dell 15 xps 
, which I assumed was an updated improved version of that, although it about 2.5 x as expensive. But I noticed a mac was a similiar price. Which I thought was strange as they're supposed to be much more expensive. So why not get a mac?
 
Laptop or Desktop? Laptop.
 
What are the primary uses for this computer (IE: mail, web browsing, programming, games, etc)?  On my previous dell laptop, I'd use  chrome opera or firefox, I often have 50+ tabs open in a browser which does slow things to a crawl (I don't know if there's anything you can do about that apart from not have so many tabs open). I watch & download video, stream tv. download music. copy photos. Save documents. download podcasts onto my non smartphone.  That's pretty much it.
 
What software do you intend on using on the computer? Nothing unusual. Audacity. itunes.
 
Do you play games? If so, what type of games?  No.
 
Do you tend to have a lot of programs running at the same time, or do you close every program when you are done using it?  Not sure. I listen to music while I browse and have tweetdeck open if that's what you mean? My previous laptop always seemed  quite slow.
 
Do you store a lot of pictures or music on the computer?  Yes, particularly music.
 
Will you be overclocking?  Don't think so..
 
Location for online shopping/shipment/prices? England. 
 
How many monitors are you planning to use?    I would like the possibility to attach a monitor although I probably never would.
 
Do you need peripherals? OS?    I may want to use a scanner?
 
Any particular reason why you are upgrading? Yes, my previous computers died.
 
=========== 
 
Sorry for the ramble... but thanks for any tips, advice or mac knowledge you can share.


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#2 smax013

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 06:50 AM

I will answer inline of your message, so this might take a couple posts (not of the quote limits on the site).
 

I'm thinking of buying a Mac Book Pro after only ever using microsoft windows, one of these
https://www.krcs.co.uk/online-store/mac/macbook-pro/apple-macbook-pro-with-retina-display-mjlt2b-a-intel-core-i7-512gb-flash-storage-16gb-ram-15-4.html
 
Not sure what the differences are between the slightly different makes to that one on the site, slightly different processor for speed?


Not quite sure of what you mean by "slightly different makes", but I am going to assume that you mean differences between the different models of Macs. If that is incorrect, then let me know.

The at the main level there are the different overall models: MacBook, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Mac Mini, iMac, and Mac Pro. The first three are laptops and the last three are desktop machines. Since you are interested in a laptop, then you would be most concerned with the first three...MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro.

The main differences between the three will be physical size (i.e. weight), screen size, screen resolution, available processors, maximum amount of RAM, maximum amount of storage (i.e. SSD), graphics system, and number of available ports...and of course, price.

Generally, the MacBook Pro will have the fastest available processors, allow for the maximum amount of RAM (up to 16 GB), allow for maximum internal storage (up to 1 TB for the "top" three versions) and the best graphics systems. It will be the heaviest of the three models, but also have the most ports. And of course, be the most pricey of the three models.

The MacBook is probably the most limited. It will have the slowest processors available, be limited to 8 GB of RAM, and have the least amount of ports (only one USB-C port). It will also have the least amount of available internal storage.

The MacBook Air is the "in between" model. It is limited to 8 GB of RAM, but can have slightly more storage if you want (up to 512 GB on the higher end model for both the 11" and 13" size). It does have more ports than the MacBook (two USB ports, a Thunderbolt port, and the MagSafe port for power...and the 13" has an SD card slot).

Based upon your description of what you are after, you likely want to stick with a MacBook Pro due to the fact the it can handle more RAM (useful for the 50+ browser tabs you say you often have open...I do the same thing). You currently have picked the top of the line MacBook Pro, which has a discrete graphics system (i.e. the AMD Radeon mentioned in the specs). From your description of what you will use it for, you likely don't need the discrete graphics. So, if you wanted to save money, then you could go with the "base" model 15" MBP (i.e. this one: https://www.krcs.co.uk/online-store/mac/macbook-pro/apple-macbook-pro-with-retina-display-mjlq2b-a-intel-core-i7-256gb-flash-storage-16gb-ram-15-4.html). It would have a slightly slower processor (you likely would not notice the difference unless you do processor intensive tasks such as encode videos, etc.) and have less internal storage (you could also go with a "special order" configuration like this with the same size SSD and still save a little money: https://www.krcs.co.uk/online-store/mac/macbook-pro/macbook-pro-15-inch-retina-quad-i7-2-2ghz-16gb-512gb.html).

I am assuming you want a 15" screen size, so I won't bother with either the MacBook or MacBook Air. Plus, they are limited to 8 GB of RAM, can potentially be limiting with the number of browser tabs you use.
 

I used to assume it was really difficult to move data from a PC to a mac. But after looking into it, I'm not sure.
 
I have a western digital my book essential external hard drive TB with about 400 GB of unique data on it (the usual video music etc), backed up from my windows PC.
 
Is it possible  for the mac to read the external hard drive and possibly download some of the data? Is it possible to back up this external to another via my apple? (Assuming this is the best way to back it up?) Maybe making the other external drive dual format ie recordable for windows and mac (is this making sense?) I obviously need to back up the external somehow and it's probably too big to put it on a cloud. I could  borrow a windows laptop to do it if not on a mac.


Yes, the Mac should be able to read the external drive. Macs can read both formats commonly used with Windows...i.e. FAT32 and NTFS. They can also write to a drive formatted in FAT32 right out of the box and there are ways to make the able to write to NTFS drives. If you did not reformat the external drive when you bought it, then it is likely formatted as FAT32 (most external drives sold are formatted in FAT32 by default).

Yes, you would be able to connect the current external drive to the Mac as well as another one and transfer files between the two (i.e. backup from one to the other).
 

More generally how easy is it to move data (docs music video etc) between a windows pc and an apple and back again? & are there many websites or programs you still won't be able to use with an apple these days?


It is very easy to move data between Windows and the Mac OS. You can do it by way of a "sneaker net" (aka an external drive, flash drive, optical disc...assuming you get an external optical drive for the Mac) or over a network (either local or the Internet).

Generally, you should not have any problems accessing any websites on a Mac, unless the website is specifically formatted/programmed for use with Internet Explorer (much, much, much less likely than it used to be several years ago).

Generally, most main stream applications will be available for the Mac OS. There might be more specialized business apps that won't run on a Mac without help (more on that in a moment). You can run Windows apps on a Mac using a VM (virtual machine) program that allows you to run Windows on a Mac or by using BootCamp. If you want more information on that, then let me know. FWIW, I run Windows 7 in a VM running in a program Parallels to run my Windows only structural analysis programs.
 

Do you have to use icloud with apple or can you use another cloud based backup. (apparently icloud's hard to recover & delete from?)


No. An actually, iCloud does not really work as cloud backup system for the Mac...only for an iOS device (i.e. iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch). There are ways to do it, but it is not nearly as useful for backing up a Mac as other cloud based backup systems are.

There is no need to use iCloud at all if you don't want. The main reason to use it is to sync contacts, calendars, notes, photos, etc between Apple devices.
 

Can you use the same icloud account for a windows and an apple computer ?


Yes.

To be continued...

Edited by smax013, 08 April 2016 - 07:03 AM.


#3 smax013

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 07:03 AM

Continued...

Do you need anti virus and anti malware progs on apple especially if you watch dodgy sports streams like someone I know might.


You will get different answers from different people on this. Since the Mac OS is less frequently targeted than Windows and it does have some built-in protection, some will argue that if you practice "safe browsing techniques" (i.e. http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/tutorials/keep-your-computer-safe-online/), then you don't need anti-virus on a Mac. Personally, I don't buy that line of thought, so I run anti-virus on my Macs. FWIW, I use Intego's VirusBarrier.
 

Is safari the only browser to use or can others work well too?


Nope. You can use popular ones such as Chrome or Firefox.
 

Can you get the back off a mac to remove dust and the battery?


Yes, but it requires a special screw driver (it is easy to get) as Apple likes to try to discourage that. I don't find need to do that, however. When I have opened my Macs in the past to upgrade the drive or RAM (not doable with current Macs), they rarely have had any dust. I do have the benefit of living in a house with base board heating, which tends to keep the dust levels down.
 

As I rarely ever move the laptop, it's usually plugged in, can you remove the battery to prolong its life & is it a good idea?


You cannot remove the battery from current Mac laptops. I guess technically you can, but it is not designed to be removable and I don't know if the MacBook Pro would run without it in.
 

The power lead was crap on my last Dell laptop it kept falling out thereby crashing the computer, is apple's better?


In my opinion, yes. Both the MacBook Pro and the MacBook Air use Apple's MagSafe connector for power. It is design to detach easily if accidentally pulled to help prevent damage to the power port. So, it will pull out easy, but unless the battery is dead, it should not crash anything (same would be true of any Windows laptop, unless the power port was damaged or the battery was dead).
 
To be continued...

#4 smax013

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 07:40 AM

Continued...

Is it true you can't plug a microphone in? Is the headphone jack sturdy, is it repairable if it breaks? (broken these before)


It is true that Apple no longer provides a separate mic jack on the MacBook Pro. The headphone jack will work with headphones with a mic (with the appropriate connector such as what is on the headphones that ship with an iPhone). I believe there are adapters that would allow you to connect just a mic to the headphone port, but not 100% sure. There are built-in mics on the MacBook Pro. If you need something better, then you are looking at a USB or Bluetooth mic.

The headphone jack seems to sturdy to me, but then I don't use it much. I would assume it is repairable, but likely won't be cheap.
 

Any other little things that are annoying about Apples? Apparently cutting and pasting are hard if you're used to windows?


Macs work very similar in many ways to Windows as both sides have been "stealing" features and functions from each other for years. You will find some minor differences that will at best take you a little bit to adjust to or at worst annoy you constantly. Personally, I go back and forth with easy between the two.

The process of cutting, copying, and pasting the Mac is virtually identical to Window. You can use the menu (in Windows case now, potentially the Ribbon), a right-click (if you have a two button mouse or have Apple's mouse to operate as a two button mouse or configure the trackpad for a right-click), or use a keyboard shortcut (in the case of a Mac it is Command-X for cut, Command-C for copy, and Command-V for paste, while for Windows it is Control-X for cut, Control-C for cut and Control-V for paste).
 

Do you still have to do stuff like defrag?


Nope. Like current versions of Windows, the Mac OS does this kind of stuff automatically in the background.
 

Is it easy to back up?


Yes...no more difficult than Window...if you use Time Machine, some would argue it can be easier.
 

Btw,
 
This was my previous laptop I got in late 2011, Dell XPS 15 L502X http://www.pcworld.com/product/926445/xps-15-l502x.html
 
It worked fine for me until it died apart from being a bit slow (but I put that down to me always having loads of tabs open in my browser)
 
I did think about getting this dell 15 xps 
http://www.pricerunner.co.uk/pi/27-3113280/Laptops/Dell-XPS-15-(9550-9293)-Product-Info
, which I assumed was an updated improved version of that, although it about 2.5 x as expensive. But I noticed a mac was a similiar price. Which I thought was strange as they're supposed to be much more expensive. So why not get a mac?


The argument of Macs being more expensive than Windows computers is misleading. They are and they are not. Yes, you can get similar spec'd Windows computers for less money than the comparable spec'd Mac, but there usually still a difference (i.e. weighs more, is not as well constructed, etc). You will find that if you buy a similarly designed Windows computer (i.e. has same form factor...i.e. thin, light, constructed with something other than plastic) that has the same basic specs as the comparable Mac, then they will be about the same price. This is what you found with the Dell XPS. I am sure that you can find another Windows laptop that has about the same tech specs as the Dell and MacBook Pro, but is bigger and bulkier that costs less.

The other difference is that Apple only makes limited models that appeal to limited market sectors. The downside of this is that Apple has less broad appeal than Windows machines as you can find Windows machines in all different form factors and price levels. For example, Apple's "base" desktop model is the Mini. It is small. Making stuff smaller tends increase its cost. In addition, Apple generally does have a higher profit margin than many PC makers. So, while you can get a $300 or so Windows desktop that has the same or better processor, RAM, hard drive, etc than the Mini, it will likely be in a much bigger case than the Mini and the PC maker will have to likely sell way more of them to make the same profit as Apple. For most people, having a big case on or under their desk is not a big issue, so a Windows PC makes way more sense since it will cost less.

At the end of the day, if you compare an Apple to an apple (pun intended), you will tend to find that Macs and Windows computers are not that different in price many times. But, when there are actual differences (such as size form factor) that can change the pricing difference dramatically.

Of course, the one BIG advantage Windows has is that you can build your own computers (mainly desktops, but can be done with some laptops). This is what I do for my Windows machines as it gives me more flexibility. But that flexibility can come with a price as there is more chance for hardware to not play nice with other hardware, drivers to conflict, hardware not to play nice with some software, etc. Since Apple has a more uniform platform that they control, there is generally less chance of such conflicts on a Mac. And of course, not every one wants to build their own computer...in fact, most likely most don't.
 

Laptop or Desktop? Laptop.
 
What are the primary uses for this computer (IE: mail, web browsing, programming, games, etc)?  On my previous dell laptop, I'd use  chrome opera or firefox, I often have 50+ tabs open in a browser which does slow things to a crawl (I don't know if there's anything you can do about that apart from not have so many tabs open). I watch & download video, stream tv. download music. copy photos. Save documents. download podcasts onto my non smartphone.  That's pretty much it.
 
What software do you intend on using on the computer? Nothing unusual. Audacity. itunes.
 
Do you play games? If so, what type of games?  No.
 
Do you tend to have a lot of programs running at the same time, or do you close every program when you are done using it?  Not sure. I listen to music while I browse and have tweetdeck open if that's what you mean? My previous laptop always seemed  quite slow.


It is mainly trying to determine how much RAM you might need. More programs opens means more RAM needed. In your case, have tons of browser pages open does the same basic thing as having a number of programs open.
 

Do you store a lot of pictures or music on the computer?  Yes, particularly music.
 
Will you be overclocking?  Don't think so..
 
Location for online shopping/shipment/prices? England. 
 
How many monitors are you planning to use?    I would like the possibility to attach a monitor although I probably never would.
 
Do you need peripherals? OS?    I may want to use a scanner?
 
Any particular reason why you are upgrading? Yes, my previous computers died.
 
=========== 
 
Sorry for the ramble... but thanks for any tips, advice or mac knowledge you can share.


You can easily attach a monitor or a scanner to the MacBook Pro.

#5 smax013

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 08:11 AM

I forgot to add...

I suggest you go "lay hands on" a Mac and "play" with it for a little bit, if you can. While in general Windows and the Mac OS operate very similarly overall, there are little differences all over that place. Those little differences can drive some people crazy, especially if you are very used to Windows and very set in your ways. While there is every chance that switching will not be an issue, there is still a change that you might hate it. And that is an lot of money to spend on something if you end up hating it. So, I always tend to recommend to you go try the Mac out some before you switch.

Personally, I prefer working on a Mac (likely because I "grew up" on a Mac), but I am equally happy working on a Windows machine.

#6 MadmanRB

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Posted 08 April 2016 - 01:36 PM

I think macs are horse crap, overpriced for inferior hardware that cant be upgraded and modded to your needs.

Better off with a windows PC and if you want a alternative to windows you can try a dualboot of linux.

Not only is linux free but you can windows apps in it with some effort.

To heck with apple and thier overpriced garbage.


Edited by MadmanRB, 08 April 2016 - 01:38 PM.

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#7 techphobe

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 04:13 AM

What an awesome response Smax.   :clapping:  :flowers:   :bowdown:  I wasn't expecting such a comprehensive reply to my daft questions.

 

 

Not quite sure of what you mean by "slightly different makes"

 

 

:oopsign:  I meant to post this https://www.krcs.co.uk/online-store/mac/macbook-pro.html?drive_capacity=270&screen_size=296

 

I was wondering what the seemingly small differences were that would justify the £250 price difference. I get it's inferior processing speed and graphics, but still seems rather a lot.

 
discrete graphics
 
 
My only beef with my last laptop really was its slowness (although that's a big thing if you're on it a lot), so I was cautious about downgrading anything that could affect that.
But if you're sure it won't affect the speed of the mundane everyday stuff I spend most of my time doing like the loading of websites etc, I'll take your advice and you'll have saved me £150. I'd tip you if I could... The only problem might be getting the person whose laptop I'm borrowing to wait for another 10 days. Might have to offer him a percentage of my savings...
 
And one of my worries was it would be tediously complicated to move any documentation I did on an apple back to a PC, so you've soothed my concerns there too.
 
 
Based upon your description of what you are after, you likely want to stick with a MacBook Pro due to the fact the it can handle more RAM (useful for the 50+ browser tabs you say you often have open...I do the same thing). 
 
 
I'm so glad it's not just me.
 
 
More programs opens means more RAM needed. In your case, have tons of browser pages open does the same basic thing as having a number of programs open.
 
 
An online tech expert (this was a while ago when having 4GB of RAM was seen as quite swanky)  said that having that many tabs open would inevitably affect the speed of your PC/browser, no matter how much RAM you had.
 
 
some will argue that if you practice "safe browsing techniques" then you don't need anti-virus on a Mac. Personally, I don't buy that line of thought, so I run anti-virus on my Macs. FWIW, I use Intego's VirusBarrier.
 
 
The mac salesman I spoke to actively recommended I didn't run an anti-virus. In fact, they said it wouldn't need any maintenance at all apart from backing up. If I wasn't keen on a mac before, I practically swooned when he said that. But he did also say it was great for games too (probably back to the graphics there).
 
 
At the end of the day, if you compare an Apple to an apple (pun intended), you will tend to find that Macs and Windows computers are not that different in price many times. But, when there are actual differences (such as size form factor) that can change the pricing difference dramatically.
 
I guess Apple know their market and the trend for everything is smaller and slimmer, but I think there are a lot of people like me who rarely move their laptop, so if they made a Maxi Mac which made laptops as reliably high quality as now but were a bit cheaper because they were chunky, I'd certainly choose those instead. But maybe it's because their critics are right and their market does depend on image?
 
 
 
Anyway, I'll probably have a few more questions when I finally get my hands on it so I'll be back to let you know how I got on. And thanks again!  :apple:

Edited by techphobe, 09 April 2016 - 04:52 AM.


#8 smax013

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 06:06 PM

What an awesome response Smax.   :clapping:  :flowers:   :bowdown:  I wasn't expecting such a comprehensive reply to my daft questions.

No problem. Always glad to help.

And I will use the old cliche: "The only daft questions are the questions that are not asked"!   :thumbup2: 
 
 

Not quite sure of what you mean by "slightly different makes"

:oopsign:  I meant to post this https://www.krcs.co.uk/online-store/mac/macbook-pro.html?drive_capacity=270&screen_size=296
 
I was wondering what the seemingly small differences were that would justify the £250 price difference. I get it's inferior processing speed and graphics, but still seems rather a lot.

A bit chuck of that difference is the additional of the discrete graphics card. That just usually will be a jump of a couple hundred dollar (US). Depending on the "jump" of the processor, it can be a small cost of like $100 to a bigger jump. You can typically see this much better when going to a site like Dell and configuring as they tend to offer a broad range of options for processors. If did, you typically see a "kink" in the performance vs. price curve of processor. Somewhere along the curve toward the portion with more powerful processors, you tend to pay a premium for not that much increase in performance (i.e. less bang for your buck as processors get more powerful).

 

discrete graphics
 
http://forum.tabletpcreview.com/threads/what-are-discrete-graphics.38661/
 
My only beef with my last laptop really was its slowness (although that's a big thing if you're on it a lot), so I was cautious about downgrading anything that could affect that.
But if you're sure it won't affect the speed of the mundane everyday stuff I spend most of my time doing like the loading of websites etc, I'll take your advice and you'll have saved me £150. I'd tip you if I could... The only problem might be getting the person whose laptop I'm borrowing to wait for another 10 days. Might have to offer him a percentage of my savings...

Discrete graphics tend to only really help with graphics intensive things like gaming, 3D image creation/rendering, CAD, etc. Since it sounds like you don't go any of that stuff, then you likely don't need it. About the only argument for it would be to "future" proof the computer...i.e. for if you did get into something like that in the future since it is not something you can typically upgrade/add on a laptop (a Windows desktop is another matter).
 

And one of my worries was it would be tediously complicated to move any documentation I did on an apple back to a PC, so you've soothed my concerns there too.

Compatibility between Macs and Windows is MUCH, MUCH better than it used to be.

 

Based upon your description of what you are after, you likely want to stick with a MacBook Pro due to the fact the it can handle more RAM (useful for the 50+ browser tabs you say you often have open...I do the same thing). 

 
 
I'm so glad it's not just me.

I currently have about 34 browser tabs open in 19 browser windows. I can be lazy about closing tabs. This is especially true if I am trying to help some on this site sometimes. I might have several tabs open for "research". For example, when responding to your original post, I had about 3 or 4 additional tabs open while typing the response (1 or 2 to the store you referenced as well as 1 or 2 at the Apple website). And then I sometimes for get to close them.

Then I have some tabs (ok, lots) open to "remind me" of things.
 
 

More programs opens means more RAM needed. In your case, have tons of browser pages open does the same basic thing as having a number of programs open.
 
 
An online tech expert (this was a while ago when having 4GB of RAM was seen as quite swanky)  said that having that many tabs open would inevitably affect the speed of your PC/browser, no matter how much RAM you had.

It potentially can. It will depend on the webpage programming. Some programming is more processor intensive than others I believe.
 

 

some will argue that if you practice "safe browsing techniques" then you don't need anti-virus on a Mac. Personally, I don't buy that line of thought, so I run anti-virus on my Macs. FWIW, I use Intego's VirusBarrier.
 
 
The mac salesman I spoke to actively recommended I didn't run an anti-virus. In fact, they said it wouldn't need any maintenance at all apart from backing up. If I wasn't keen on a mac before, I practically swooned when he said that. But he did also say it was great for games too (probably back to the graphics there).

 
Anti-virus is becoming something more important on Macs as time passes. There are now some actual malware type stuff "in the wild" for Macs. While "safe Internet practices" will generally keep you safe, generally anti-virus on a Mac will not hurt (other than potentially in your wallet a little bit...although there are free options...personally, I like to reward people who make good software products with things like money <grin>).

There is generally not much maintenance type stuff to do. I can say that I have to do clean OS re-installs MUCH less frequently on my Macs than I do my Windows computers.

A MBP with the discrete graphics can play games pretty well. Not quite to the level of powerful Windows gaming desktops, but still pretty good. The main downside of Macs when it comes to gaming is availability of games. There are fewer available games for the Mac and sometimes it takes new, big titles a bit longer to be released for the Mac. Of course, since you can run Windows on a Mac if you really want, then you can get past that downside.
 

At the end of the day, if you compare an Apple to an apple (pun intended), you will tend to find that Macs and Windows computers are not that different in price many times. But, when there are actual differences (such as size form factor) that can change the pricing difference dramatically.
 
I guess Apple know their market and the trend for everything is smaller and slimmer, but I think there are a lot of people like me who rarely move their laptop, so if they made a Maxi Mac which made laptops as reliably high quality as now but were a bit cheaper because they were chunky, I'd certainly choose those instead. But maybe it's because their critics are right and their market does depend on image?

My main MBP serves primarily as a desktop replacement that I can take with me if I want. It typically is sitting on my desktop hooked up to an external monitor (which then gets me two screens to use), external keyboard, and mouse.

I have to admit that Apple does frustrate me sometimes with design choices. One reason I do have the MBP as a desktop replacement is that I don't really like any of the desktop models. The Mac Mini is just too underpowered for what I want/need. The Mac Pro is too expensive for something that is not too user expandable/upgradable and I don't need all that power. That would have left me with an iMac. The problem is that the iMac is basically a laptop in "desktop sheep's clothing" in many ways...but you lose the portability. So, I paid a bit of premium with the MBP to get the additional benefit of portability.

Apple has gotten more and more about "form over function". This is a little less of an issue with laptops, especially if you truly use it as a laptop. Generally, for "true" laptop use, you don't necessarily need more ports. I also have an 11" MacBook Air that I do use as a "true" laptop. While the two USB ports (as opposed to just the one on the original MacBook Air) can be useful, I rarely used them other than if I need to plug in a USB flash drive to transfer a file or the Ethernet adapter to connect to a network (much less often needed with the prevalence of WiFi these days).

I do wish that Apple would stop trying to seemingly making Mac more difficult to upgrade. Contrary to what some say, most Macs are still upgradable to some degree...just not nearly as upgradable as a self-built Windows desktop or purchased Windows desktop tower. You can upgrade internal drives on current MBPs, MBAs, Mac Pros, and Mac Minis. You can upgrade RAM on current Mac Pros and 27" iMacs. You can upgrade the processor on the current Mac Pro. Older Macs were generally more upgradeable. For laptops, this is less of an issue as generally Windows laptops are typically limited on upgrades to RAM and drives...although some can have their processor or graphics updated. For desktops, it is a big issue in my opinion. This is why for desktops I tend to go the Windows path and build my own machines. But, then the vast majority of Mac users (and Windows users) generally don't care as much about upgradability especially compared to some of us "tech nerds" who frequent sites like this. <grin>
 
 
 

Anyway, I'll probably have a few more questions when I finally get my hands on it so I'll be back to let you know how I got on. And thanks again!  :apple:

I will be around.

#9 smax013

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Posted 09 April 2016 - 06:23 PM

I think macs are horse crap,


Agree to disagree.
 

overpriced for inferior hardware


Yes and no is all I will say.
 

that cant be upgraded and modded to your needs.


No necessarily true. Most Macs can be upgraded to some degree (i.e. RAM and/or internal drive).

For laptops, Macs are really not all that worse for upgradability than Windows laptops. Most laptops in generally only offer the ability to upgrade the internal drive and RAM. There are some that allow you to easily upgrade the processor and/or the graphics cards, but most are not meant to have their processor and/or graphics system be user upgradable.

For desktops, I agree much more with you. I wish Apple offered more upgradable desktops that did not cost as much as decent used car (the Mac Pro can have RAM, processor, and internal drive upgraded, but I would have to sell my car to afford one).

I do dislike that Apple has gone to more "form over function" as time has gone on.
 

Better off with a windows PC


For many, if not most, I agree...both due to cost and user familiarity. While many people can realistically switch from Windows to the Mac OS (or Linux) without much trouble and allow time to adjust to slight differences in how some things might be done, there are many who would hate the switch (especially if they are really used to Windows) due to the frustration of those slight differences.
 

and if you want a alternative to windows you can try a dualboot of linux.
Not only is linux free but you can windows apps in it with some effort.


The problem is that your typical, "run of the mill" computer user who is not a "tech nerd" who loves playing with computers like some of us don't want to have to expend "some effort". Most computer users want to sit down at the computer and have it "just work" without having to understand how it works or why it works. And like it or not, Linux's free but "grass-roots" type approach makes it tougher for it to go more mainstream. It helps to have a "money grubbing" company behind an OS to promote it and market it so that it seems like a better option for mainstream people. Sure, many could likely switch and ultimately find that Linux would work well for them, but marketing does make a difference.
 

To heck with apple and thier overpriced garbage.


To each their own...although you do seem to post a lot in the Mac OS forum for someone who does not seem to care for them.  :wink:

#10 techphobe

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 07:48 PM

Advice about backing up.

 

I have a 3TB WD external hard drive that has I think about 500GB of data from my broken windows PC on it.

 

I've just bought a Mac Book Pro laptop with 500GB of storage on it.

 

I may get a  Lacie Porsche p9223 1tb to back up the Mac.

 

Remembering I am very computer illiterate... would the best thing to do be to buy a separate EHD for the PC and another for the Mac? Or is it easy to use if you partition it and put the data from both on there? Another suggestion is it's best to separate the operating system from your data, would that then be 3 partitions? Although someone I know who did that didn't like it, as it was messy and he was always saving stuff to the wrong drive.

 

http://osxdaily.com/2013/05/01/use-single-hard-drive-time-machine-and-file-storage/

 

I'm leaning towards the simplest solution (2 EHDs, no partition for the OS on the Mac) but I'm open to suggestions. 


Edited by techphobe, 10 April 2016 - 07:55 PM.


#11 smax013

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Posted 10 April 2016 - 11:50 PM

First, a question...

Do you plan to store data on an external drive that will not fit on the internal drive of the Mac? If so, then if you want Time Machine to backup that data on the external drive, that external data drive will need to be formatted in HFS+ (aka "Mac format"), I believe. I don't believe that Time Machine can backup FAT32 (or NTFS) drives (never tried it myself and cannot fine a definitive answer with a quick Google search).

If that is the case, then you likely will want one external drive formatted as HFS+ for your data. Then the second drive would be formatted also as HFS+ that you then use with Time Machine. I would suggest the former drive be the new drive you are planning on getting and the latter drive be the existing 3 TB drive that you have. The reason is that you will want your Time Machine drive to have plenty of room on it for both the "normal" backup process as well as for "versioning" (Time Machine will backup several versions so that you can restore an old version of a document in case you screw up a newer version).

Then if you need to transfer files to a PC, use a flash drive for those specific files or using file sharing. If you really do need a "storage" drive for use with Windows, then you could partition either the data drive or the Time Machine drive to have a FAT32 partition...or get a separate drive.

Of course, the other options is to use some third party program other than Time Machine to perform the backups. Something like Carbon Copy Cloner or Chronosync or Intego's Personal Backup (comes in the Intego Premium bundle if you decide you want to run anti-virus and decide to go with Intego's Virusbarrier) or other options should be able to backup an external drive formatted in FAT32.

I would not worry about partitioning the internal drive for the OS and data. Just leave it as one partition. I used to do the partition approach, but it has gotten more complicated with Apple creating a "recovery" partition on the boot drive and/or if you want to use Boot Camp. It is easy enough to just leave it as one partition.

#12 techphobe

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 07:26 PM

Do you plan to store data on an external drive that will not fit on the internal drive of the Mac?

 

Do you mean the data from my Windows PC EHD? Would that be a good idea? It's not stuff I need on a daily basis, but definitely stuff I want to keep (irreplaceable family video, photos, documents etc). But I don't think it would be a good idea to fill up a new computer with that.

I chose the 500GB based on my previous computer usage, that will hopefully be enough for the 5+ years this Mac will hopefully last. If it gets more than 3/4 full before then I can always buy another external and put the overflow on that?

 

 

"If that is the case, then you likely will want one external drive formatted as HFS+ for your data. Then the second drive would be formatted also as HFS+ that you then use with Time Machine. I would suggest the former drive be the new drive you are planning on getting and the latter drive be the existing 3 TB drive that you have. The reason is that you will want your Time Machine drive to have plenty of room on it for both the "normal" backup process as well as for "versioning" (Time Machine will backup several versions so that you can restore an old version of a document in case you screw up a newer version).

 

 

I don't understand this. The 3TB drive has my windows data on it, if I formatted it wouldn't I lose all my family stuff? And for other reasons I don't want to use it, I'll explain below but you don't have to bother with that.

 

 

"Then if you need to transfer files to a PC, use a flash drive for those specific files or using file sharing. "

 

Don't have a flash drive, can you just plug the Mac's external into the pc and transfer them that way?

 

Btw, is it common for external drives to die even if they're not used? Most of my irreplaceable family stuff is on that WD 3TB drive, which I backed up and then stuck in a cupboard and didn't think about. When my desktop broke and the backup seemed dodgy it occurred to me digital hardware just isn't reliable enough even if you have 2 copies. Is the best way to ensure your family stuff isn't lost to put it in a cloud? It wouldn't be a large amount (I doubt more than 10GB) and that way presumably they have multiple backups so it's harder to lose data there? In the medium term anyway...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11410506/Print-out-digital-photos-or-risk-losing-them-Google-boss-warns.html

http://www.cloudcomputing-news.net/news/2015/jan/26/what-happens-when-data-gets-lost-cloud/

You can ignore this bit but I'll explain. I only used to have desktop windows machines. I backed it up with a WD my book 3TB Then after I bought a dell xps in about 2011 I barely touched the desktop. When the dell died a couple of months ago (never backed up, that's a problem for another day) I went back to my desktop. I was surprised when I backed it up it took about 12 hours to do, as I'd hardly added anything to it for years. Also the ED back up showed 0GB stored. But when I tried to restore some things from the external they seemed to be there. So I added a photo and backed up again and it took another 3 hours. I presume this isn't how incremental back up is meant to work so there's obviously something wrong there. It's also a few years old so I'd be reluctant to trust it with any new data, but it needs copying as it's the only copy I have of that data and hopefully it's still on there somewhere...

 

So to sum up, if I get an external for my 500 GB Mac it should be at least 1TB pref 2. I don't need to partition anything. And for simplicity I should get a separate external to get a copy of the desktop WD external, which I can do just by plugging it into the mac (but non of the data needs to go on there unless I want, it'll just be a facilitator). Presumably it would also copy the older back ups on there as well

 

" I don't believe that Time Machine can backup FAT32 (or NTFS) drives "

 

Presumably though if I did download stuff from my PC external to my mac, it would then be coverted to mac friendly files and would then be backupable with time machine?

 

Hope all that made some sense...



#13 smax013

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Posted 11 April 2016 - 09:02 PM

Do you plan to store data on an external drive that will not fit on the internal drive of the Mac?[/size]
 
 
 
Do you mean the data from my Windows PC EHD? Would that be a good idea? It's not stuff I need on a daily basis, but definitely stuff I want to keep (irreplaceable family video, photos, documents etc). But I don't think it would be a good idea to fill up a new computer with that. [/size]
 
I chose the 500GB based on my previous computer usage, that will hopefully be enough for the 5+ years this Mac will hopefully last. If it gets more than 3/4 full before then I can always buy another external and put the overflow on that?[/size]


OK, it sounds like you want to archive (backup for long term storage with infrequent use) the data that is on your current external drive. If so, then there is no need to copy that information to the Mac unless 1) you want it readily available to use and 2) you want that data to be part of the routine backup of the Mac. The latter might be useful as part of a broader backup strategy (more on that below).

And yes, if you run out of room on the internal drive, then you can always add an external drive or upgrade the internal drive. A site here in the US called Other World Computing (macsales.com) makes replacement/upgrade SSD drives for MacBook Airs and Retina MacBook Pros. I believe they ship/sell internationally.
 
 

"If that is the case, then you likely will want one external drive formatted as HFS+ for your data. Then the second drive would be formatted also as HFS+ that you then use with Time Machine. I would suggest the former drive be the new drive you are planning on getting and the latter drive be the existing 3 TB drive that you have. The reason is that you will want your Time Machine drive to have plenty of room on it for both the "normal" backup process as well as for "versioning" (Time Machine will backup several versions so that you can restore an old version of a document in case you screw up a newer version).[/size]
 
 
 
 
I don't understand this. The 3TB drive has my windows data on it, if I formatted it wouldn't I lose all my family stuff? And for other reasons I don't want to use it, I'll explain below but you don't have to bother with that.[/size]


If you went this route, you would first copy off the current data on the external drive to another drive (such as the new external drive). After you are sure you have a copy of your data on another drive, THEN you would format it to use as the Time Machine backup drive. This would result with the new 1 TB drive having that old data on it in a Mac format (aka HFS+). Then you could have Time Machine backup both the internal drive (with any new data as well as your programs, OS, settings, etc) AND the new 1 TB drive to the old 3 TB drive that is now in Mac format. This will mean you would end up with the old data in two places...in directly useable format on the new external drive and in the Time Machine backup on the old, larger 3 TB drive.

Does that make sense?

I suppose I should ask how is that old data storage on the old drive...in other words, how did you backup that date? Did you use a backup program (such as maybe the one that came with the drive)? Or did you just do a "manual" backup (i.e. a normal Windows copy)?
 
 
 

"Then if you need to transfer files to a PC, use a flash drive for those specific files or using file sharing. "[/size]
 
 
 
Don't have a flash drive, can you just plug the Mac's external into the pc and transfer them that way?[/size]


Depends on how the Mac's external drive is formatted. If it is formatted as HFS+ (aka Mac format), then you will need some third party software on the Windows computer to read the Mac formatted drive as Windows cannot read HFS+ on its own. If you have it formatted as a FAT32 drive, then yes it would work...but then you cannot use Time Machine to backup that external drive...you will have to use other software/methods.
 
 
 

Btw, is it common for external drives to die even if they're not used? Most of my irreplaceable family stuff is on that WD 3TB drive, which I backed up and then stuck in a cupboard and didn't think about. When my desktop broke and the backup seemed dodgy it occurred to me digital hardware just isn't reliable enough even if you have 2 copies. Is the best way to ensure your family stuff isn't lost to put it in a cloud? It wouldn't be a large amount (I doubt more than 10GB) and that way presumably they have multiple backups so it's harder to lose data there? In the medium term anyway...[/size]
 
 
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/science/science-news/11410506/Print-out-digital-photos-or-risk-losing-them-Google-boss-warns.html[/size]
 
http://www.cloudcomputing-news.net/news/2015/jan/26/what-happens-when-data-gets-lost-cloud/[/size]


Guessing when a traditional mechanical drive might die is kind of like playing the lottery. There are some that arrive DOA. Others might last 10 to 20 years. They could die in use or die sitting on the shelf. It is just too unpredictable. Generally, they are more likely to die while in use than if sitting on the shelf, but not being used is no guarantee. For example, if a strong enough magnetic field gets close to a stored, non-used hard drive, then data might be lost.

That is why backups are good. And the general idea is that the more copies you have on different mediums (i.e. hard drive, optical disc, cloud, tape, flash drive, etc) in different locations, the less likely you will lose that data. So the basic idea of a good backup strategy is to have more copies on different mediums in different locations of your most critical data. Less critical data can have fewer copies and might be fine on only one medium in one location.

So, for your most critical data, you might want to have it stored on the Mac and then in the Mac backup. Then maybe also store/back it up to a cloud service. And last maybe back it up/store it on an external drive or flash drive (if your irreplaceable family stuff is only around 10 GB, then you can definitely get a flash drive large enough for that) and then store that drive off-site (i.e. at a family member's house, a friend's house, in a safe deposit box at a bank, etc).
 
 

You can ignore this bit but I'll explain. I only used to have desktop windows machines. I backed it up with a WD my book 3TB Then after I bought a dell xps in about 2011 I barely touched the desktop. When the dell died a couple of months ago (never backed up, that's a problem for another day) I went back to my desktop. I was surprised when I backed it up it took about 12 hours to do, as I'd hardly added anything to it for years. Also the ED back up showed 0GB stored. But when I tried to restore some things from the external they seemed to be there. So I added a photo and backed up again and it took another 3 hours. I presume this isn't how incremental back up is meant to work so there's obviously something wrong there. It's also a few years old so I'd be reluctant to trust it with any new data, but it needs copying as it's the only copy I have of that data and hopefully it's still on there somewhere...[/size]


Incremental backups can be long at times...depends on the software. The software has to determine what is new to backup and what is not. Some programs are much more efficient at that then others. I will say that those times seem long, however.
 
 
 

So to sum up, if I get an external for my 500 GB Mac it should be at least 1TB pref 2. I don't need to partition anything. And for simplicity I should get a separate external to get a copy of the desktop WD external, which I can do just by plugging it into the mac (but non of the data needs to go on there unless I want, it'll just be a facilitator). Presumably it would also copy the older back ups on there as well[/size]


Kind of depends on what you want to do.

What I would probably do in your situation would be the following:

1) Get the old data off the old external drive in a useable form. If you used a backup program, this might require restoring the data from the external drive to your desktop Windows computer (sounds like you still have that and it works). If it is just in "native" Windows files, then you can hook up the old drive to the Mac and either copy it to the internal drive (if it fits) or the new external drive that is Mac formatted.
1a) If the data is on the old Windows PC is , you manually copy it over to the old external drive and hook the old drive to the Mac and copy the old data in useable form onto either the internal drive or the new external 1 TB drive that is Mac formatted.
2) Once you are SURE you have all your old data in a useable format on the new Mac (either on the internal drive or the new external drive formatted with HFS+, then attach the old drive to the Mac and format it as HFS+ (aka Mac format).
3) Now you should have the old data is useable form on either the internal drive or the new external drive (the latter is more likely it sounds like), both of which are formatted as HFS+ drives. The old drive should also be attached and formatted as HFS+.
4) You can now setup Time Machine to backup both the internal Mac drive and the new 1 TB external drive to the old external 3 TB drive.
5) For your irreplaceable family data, then buy a flash drive of an appropriate size (sounds like 16 GB would do, but might want to get it slightly bigger, such as 32 GB, for future additional irreplaceable family data) and copy that data to that flash drive. This drive could be formatted as FAT32 (unless any of the individual files are larger than 4 GB). Store that drive somewhere off-site. As you acquire more irreplaceable family data, occasionally retrieve that flash drive from the off-site location and add that new data to the flash drive and then return it to its off-site location.
5a) As an alternate to #5, store that irreplaceable data on a cloud service...OR if you are really paranoid about protecting that data, then use the cloud service IN ADDITION to the flash drive (this would result in 4 copies of that irreplaceable data...actually more as the cloud servers would have their backups).
6) If you also want an immediate return to service option in a situation where the internal drive of the new Mac dies, then buy a 500 GB USB 3.0 drive and clone the internal boot drive to the 500 GB external drive using a program like Superduper! (what I use) or Carbon Copy Cloner. Update that clone periodically. A clone is an EXACT, bootable copy of your boot drive. It means that you could attach that external drive to the Mac and boot from it and be back up and running in the time it takes to boot from that drive if something happens to your internal drive. I do this. I will tend to update the clone just before I install most OS updates or new programs. This then also allows me to "revert" to a pre-update/install state if that OS update or program hoses things. FWIW, I also do this with my Windows boot drives.

* Note if you don't trust the old 3 TB drive or it is an old USB 2.0 drive, then an option would be to replace that in the strategy above with a second new external drive.

Of course, the above kind of spends more of your money then you might intend...but that is what I would likely do (I am slightly paranoid about backing up things). So, the more simple option would be just to keep the old drive as the backup of that old data, but maybe at least restore it to the old PC so that you have two copies. Then just use the new 1 TB drive to backup the new Mac.

It all comes down to how paranoid with your data that you want to be...and how much money you want to spend. <grin>
 

 
 

" I don't believe that Time Machine can backup FAT32 (or NTFS) drives "[/size]
 
 
 
Presumably though if I did download stuff from my PC external to my mac, it would then be coverted to mac friendly files and would then be backupable with time machine?[/size]


If stored on an HFS+ drive, then Time Machine can be set to back it up.

#14 techphobe

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Posted 12 April 2016 - 04:57 PM

I don't know if it was clear but the WD drive is I'd guess about 5 years old, possibly more, is it a good idea using a drive that old as the main back up?
My idea would be to get a bigger new ehd than I was intending, maybe 2 or 3TB, and then when I've backed up the mac and WD EHD  to that then back those up to the WD? Then I've got all my data old and new, on 2 separate EHDs, exactly the same data on both? Does that make sense? Maybe then alternate the back ups. Time machine back up to the wd in july then the new drive in september then the wd in decemnber etc. Does that sound like a good system? Even though the WD is near the end of its probable life.
 
Btw, do if you know if changing the format of data results in any quality loss?
 
"I suppose I should ask how is that old data storage on the old drive...in other words, how did you backup that date? Did you use a backup program (such as maybe the one that came with the drive)? Or did you just do a "manual" backup (i.e. a normal Windows copy)?"
 
I don't trust myself to do a manual back up in case I miss something. I think the back up programs search your drive for all documents don't they?
 
This is what I meant about the WD before. On the right in the generic pic where it shows what you've backed up on mine it shows 0GB backed up, even though stuff seems to be on there.
https://cdn.discourse.org/wd/uploads/default/original/2X/b/b81e91bc938d8faaaddd7791c67ea01b6c32f1c2.png Doesn't fill me with confidence but I'll found out when I try to back it up.
 
What is the advantage of a clone over what time machine does, if my mac dies, what would be the difference between what they could do?
 
Also I think your idea to get a flash drive in a format readable by a pc and mac is probably the best idea for transferring between the two. *blood drains when realises how much all this costing*
 
Cheers.


#15 smax013

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Posted 13 April 2016 - 05:56 AM

I don't know if it was clear but the WD drive is I'd guess about 5 years old, possibly more, is it a good idea using a drive that old as the main back up?
My idea would be to get a bigger new ehd than I was intending, maybe 2 or 3TB, and then when I've backed up the mac and WD EHD  to that then back those up to the WD? Then I've got all my data old and new, on 2 separate EHDs, exactly the same data on both? Does that make sense? Maybe then alternate the back ups. Time machine back up to the wd in july then the new drive in september then the wd in decemnber etc. Does that sound like a good system? Even though the WD is near the end of its probable life.


The three key things to remember with Time Machine is that: 1) the backup source has to be a HFS+ (Mac formatted) formatted partition/drive and the backup destination also has to be a HFS+ formatted partition/drive; 2) Time Machine can backup to the same drive (i.e. the source drive cannot be the same as the destination drive...plus in general, that defeats the purpose of a backup); and 3) Time Machine works best if the drive is continuous hooked up to the Mac (Time Machine by default is designed to backup every hour, but there are third party programs that allow you to adjust that as it can potentially be resource intensive if you add big new files or lots of data on a regular basis).

While you can kind of get around #3 by disconnecting the drive, there is no easy way around #1 and #2 with Time Machine. The way to get around #1 is to use another third party backup program (see one of my previous posts)...or partition each drive.

So, the first thing you need to do it decide what you want to do with the old data.

If you want it "on" the Mac to be backed up using Time Machine, then it needs to be on a HFS+ formatted drive (either the internal drive or an external drive). From your description, it seems as if the internal drive would not be big enough to house that old data. So, it would seem then that data would need to be on an HFS+ formatted external drive. And then you would need a second HFS+ formatted drive for use as the Time Machine backup destination.

If you want that old data on the Mac but to be backed up using some third party program, then it can potentially (however, see below) stay on the old drive which is likely formatted as FAT32. Then the new backup drive could be formatted either as HFS+ or FAT32 since you would not be using Time Machine.

If you don't want that old data on the Mac at all, then just leave it on the old drive. You can then backup any new data on the Mac internal drive to the new external drive formatted as HFS+ using Time Machine.

It kind of really comes down to what if anything you want to do with that old data. If it does not need to be part of the backup strategy Mac, then things are easy. If it needs to be part of the backup strategy of the Mac, then things get more complicated.

As to the drive being old, the key point of a backup is to have it in more than one place. That is because the likelihood of two drives (be they both old, both new, or one new and one old) failing at the same time is very low. The odds of three drives all failing at the same time is even lower. And so on. Of course, there are things like lightening strikes or houses burning down, etc, but then that is why have backup that is off-site (i.e. cloud storage or a physical drive stored at another location) makes your backup strategy even more robust. So, personally I would not be too worried about using the old drive as a backup drive...except maybe if it is a USB 2.0 drive as that would mean the backups would take longer (less of any issue if you are using program that does incremental backups...then it will be the first backup that takes FOREVER...but following backups should be quicker...potentially much quicker).
 

Btw, do if you know if changing the format of data results in any quality loss?


I should note that there are two different types of formatting we are potentially talking about. There is drive formatting and there is file format.

Drive formatting has to do with how the OS reads and writes to the drive. This is an OS level thing. There is really not a quality loss issue but rather than how the files are stored on the drive. So, a JPG image files is nominally that same file whether on a HFS+ formatted drive or a FAT32 drive.

The file format then is a function of how an application will read/write the file. File formats then match with applications that can read and/or write those file formats. Some file formats might only exist on one OS as it might be a proprietary file format for an application that only runs on that OS. Many file formats are usable on both Windows and Mac OS (as well as Linux) such as JPG, PNG, MP3, DOC/DOCX, etc. Again, by default, there is no real issue of quality.

Quality really comes into play when dealing with "media files" i.e. music, images, videos. There you can have different file formats that might have different levels of compression (i.e. different sizes of files for the same thing) that can then affect the quality of that media. For example, a JPG image file is a compressed file while a TIFF file is non-compressed. So, generally, a JPG file of the same exact image will be smaller than the TIFF file (assuming same "physical" size of the picture, etc)...how much smaller will depend on the compression level.

The point to all of this is that if you have say a JPG image file on that old external hard drive (assumed to be formatted FAT32) and you copy it to the Mac (formatted HFS+, it will be the same JPG file with the same quality.
 

"I suppose I should ask how is that old data storage on the old drive...in other words, how did you backup that date? Did you use a backup program (such as maybe the one that came with the drive)? Or did you just do a "manual" backup (i.e. a normal Windows copy)?"
 
I don't trust myself to do a manual back up in case I miss something. I think the back up programs search your drive for all documents don't they?
 
This is what I meant about the WD before. On the right in the generic pic where it shows what you've backed up on mine it shows 0GB backed up, even though stuff seems to be on there.
https://cdn.discourse.org/wd/uploads/default/original/2X/b/b81e91bc938d8faaaddd7791c67ea01b6c32f1c2.png Doesn't fill me with confidence but I'll found out when I try to back it up.


Backup programs backup up what you tell them to backup. In the case of the WD SmartWare program, it appears it will backup all files in the checked "user" directories in Windows...i.e. Documents, Mail, Movies, Music, Other, and Pictures. If you don't check that directory, then it will not back it up. It also appears to not backup any Windows OS files or Program files (they likely assume you have the install discs for any programs and an install disc or recovery partition for the OS). So, it appears that any user data files NOT stored in the typical user directories will not be backed up. Since Windows has gotten to the point where it tends to steer people to store all their user data files in the default user directories, that should not be problem.

Now, let me go back the question/point that I was trying to get at that you quoted in the bold. If you used SmartWare, then it becomes a question of file format. In other words, does SmartWare backup all that data into a proprietary file format that requires SmartWare to restore those files...OR does it backup those files in their own native file formats (i.e. JPGs, MP3s, etc)? If it is the former, then hooking up the old drive to the Mac will not allow you to actually retrieve/use the old data...you would need a Windows computer running SmartWare to restore the files first and then copy them to the Mac. If it is the latter, hooking up the old drive to Mac as is will allow you to access those files. I don't know which it is, but doing a quick Google search tends to suggest that it is the former. I do have a WD Elements drive, so I can try playing with SmartWare some...but I likely will not be able to that until the weekend at the earliest. I have to be a good boy and stop procrastinating on doing my taxes <grin> and will be attending a conference through the end of the week. So, I might take me a bit to get to it.
 

What is the advantage of a clone over what time machine does, if my mac dies, what would be the difference between what they could do?


A clone is an exact bootable copy. You would be able to attach the clone drive to your Mac at boot from it right after your hard drive died and get back to work if you need to do so. It would be the exact same setup as what was on your internal boot drive (at the time you made the clone). You can then also restore from the clone drive to a new/fixed internal drive. If the Mac itself dies (i.e. it is NOT the hard drive), then it is basically just a backup...and in theory, once that Mac is fixed, the internal drive would still work anyway.

Time Machine would require your to first get the internal drive fixed/replaced and then you could restore your exact setup (as of the last backup time) to the internal drive from the Time Machine drive using the recovery mode.
 

Also I think your idea to get a flash drive in a format readable by a pc and mac is probably the best idea for transferring between the two. *blood drains when realises how much all this costing*
 
Cheers.


Good thing you saved £150 on the Mac!   :bananas:

Edited by smax013, 13 April 2016 - 06:03 AM.





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