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A non-standard method of PC to Mac file transfer Network
Switching to Mac and have tons of MP3s, Word docs, and other vital files that you really need on your Mac? Of course, you can buy Move2Mac, or any other file transfer software/special cables, but of no one wants to pay anything when it can be done for free. There's also the "Connect to Server" feature on Macs in which you can mount your PC's hard drive on your Mac's desktop, when both computers are on the same LAN and drag files onto your Mac. However, this feature is still very unstable for me a large majority of the time. It was consistently freezing up both machines in the process of transferring files. About 15 tries later, a hard reset did more than make me ill, it left my 17" PowerBook completely unbootable. I was left with no option but to completely reformat and reinstall OS X, rendering all my previous set up work on the machine.

So after reinstalling, spending countless hours awake re-setting up everything and getting over my anger, I was still back to the drawing board relative to transferring files from the PC to the Mac. So after racking my brain, I thought of something to try, and lo and behold, it worked 98% seamlessly, was absolutely free, and never once caused my Mac any trouble!

So what is this magical solution? You'd probably never think of it, actually: Yahoo Messenger. The latest versions of Yahoo Messenger for PC and Mac have something amazing built-in: when two users are logged on and sending messages and files (the files is the key here) over the same LAN, it automatically defaults to sending those messages/files via the LAN rather than the internet. This allows for speeds up to 100Mbps for file transfers between the machines connected via Yahoo Messenger on the same LAN!

Log onto Messenger on your PC using one username, and on your Mac using another usernamename, message each other, request to send a file, make the Mac accept it, and your file begins transferring from the PC to the Mac at LAN speeds without any crashing problems. The only reason I said "98%" seamless above is that ONE single time out of 30 transfers, my PC only locked up and required a reboot, while the Mac just cancelled the transfer and awaited another one - beautiful!

However, the only limitation I've seen is that the files need to be under 900MB in size, as 900MB+ files will download but won't finalize and save onto the Mac's drive (I let it sit six hours hoping it would eventually save, but it wouldn't). I created about 25 or so .zip files using StuffIt for Windows with roughly 900MB of data in each of them, and a couple hours later, I had all 19gigs of my data on my Mac without crashing the Mac a single time!

Hope this helps other switchers out, enjoy!

[robg adds: I've never had any trouble with Connect to Server talking to either my Windows or Linux boxes, but if you are having issues, Messenger seems to offer a unique solution to the problem. I'm sure there are other creative ways of working around it as well ...]
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A non-standard method of PC to Mac file transfer | 7 comments | Create New Account
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A non-standard method of PC to Mac file transfer
Authored by: balthisar on Apr 14, '03 12:03:09PM

I've not had any problems either (knock on formica [it's what's readily here]) with connect to server (other than FTP not working to the internet). BUT, here are some alternate, native methods:

(1) Setup your Mac to use SAMBA/Windows file sharing. Then connect to the Mac from the WinBox.
(2) Setup your Mac or PC as an FTP server with the right permissions. You can then upload/download from one machine or the other.
(3) Search this site to setup WebDAV on your Mac. Then use Windows to connect to your WebDAV server.

--Jim (me)

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A non-standard method of PC to Mac file transfer
Authored by: lamon on Apr 14, '03 06:02:29PM

I almost consistently freeze my mac when transferring files larger that a few
hundred Ks when logged from my mac to my PC usig SMB. Glad to know I am
not alone in that case. I suspect it is because the PC runs W95. Logging from
the PC to the mac works, but there are other issues (on the PC side). The best
method I've found seems to be using ftp with the mac as a server.

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Useful with iChat too
Authored by: Scripter12 on Apr 14, '03 01:23:35PM

We've used this for transferring files overseas. Rather than
settnig up a server or FTP server we simply had two computers
communicating with iChat and used drag and drop to exchange
files. This has to be the easiest way to exchange files which are
too large to email.

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A non-standard method of PC to Mac file transfer
Authored by: torndownunit on Apr 15, '03 05:45:32AM

I can't figure out how to use SAMBA or any of that stuff. But I just turn on FTP sharing on my Mac and connect to it from the PC. It gets the same transfer rates mentioned in the tip, so I have always assumed it just connected through the network as well. Logging into you Admin account you can access all Volumes.

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Burn a CD!
Authored by: werikblack on Apr 15, '03 09:58:42AM

With CD writers selling for $50 or less in many cases, you could
burn CDs on your PC, and you can already do so on your
PowerBook! A CD-RW disc is only a buck or two retail, and this
is quick and easy, especially for large file transfers.

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Authored by: aogail on Apr 15, '03 05:54:15PM

Just enable remote login on your Mac, download the personal Windows SSH client, and w007, you've got yourself a great way to transfer files. Unlike an IM client, it's actually made for transferring files. Nor will it choke on 900+MB.

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strange problem
Authored by: stuzz on Sep 21, '03 12:43:40AM

I was able to share files through yahoo! messenger to my PC yesterday (just for 1 day actually) but then I don't know why it doesn't work anymore. It's strange. It now says that the file I am sending is too big. I guess it ain't sending it via the LAN. Kindly help me, please.

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