The Windows Migration Assistant is a free program written by Apple to run on a Windows PC. This program works with the new version of the Migration Assistant supplied with OS X Lion, to migrate files and data from a Windows PC.
This tutorial will take you step-by-step through the process of migrating from a Windows 7 PC to a Mac computer running OS X Lion or OS X Mountain Lion.
Before we delve into the actual steps, let's take a moment to double check what you need for the migration to work successfully.
If you are happy that your set-up satisfies all of the above then you should be ok. If your not sure lets take a look a each point in more detail.
In order to run the new Migration Assistant you need to be running OS X Lion (version 10.7 or greater).
If you are already running Lion then you obviously have a compatible Mac. If your not then check out our article about upgrading to OS X Lion.
As part of the migration process you need to download the Windows Migration Assistant. This is a Windows application, written by Apple to handle the PC end of the migration process.
For the migration to work you need to be running one of the following versions of Windows.
To avoid any problems during the migration it is a good idea to ensure that Windows automatic updates are disabled in the system preferences.
In order for the migrated data to be transferred from the PC to the Mac, both computers need to be on the same network.
But what type of network can you use? Either, a wired Ethernet, or a wireless network (WiFi).
It is an advantage to have access to the Internet for two reasons.
So that completes the preparation. We are now ready to perform the migration using the Apple Migration Assistant.
Let's start by setting up the Windows PC.
Log-in to the Windows PC as the user whose account you are migrating.
Open Internet Explorer, or your favourite Windows browser, and open the Apple download web page for the Windows Migration Assistant Installer. The website link is http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1415. Click on either of the download buttons to initiate the download.
Once the download is complete, run the program when prompted. This will start the Windows Migration Assistant Installer program. The welcome window is shown in the screenshot below.
Click on the 'Next' button and you will be shown the license agreement window, again shown in the screenshot below. You will need to satisfy yourself that the agreement is ok, change the checkbox to 'I agree', and then click the 'Next' button to continue.
The Installation will then continue, as shown below, with a window showing a progress bar. Grab a coffee, sit back, and wait for the installation to complete.
After a few minutes the installation will complete, and you will see the following screenshot.
Click the 'Finish' button, and the program should automatically start up.
You will be greeted with the welcome screenshot shown below. Simply click on the 'Continue' button.
If you remember the beginning of this tutorial, one of the prerequisites was to disable automatic windows updates. If you didn't then you might see an error message. If you do then you can either change the windows setting or simply click 'Continue'.
The Windows Migration Assistant is now waiting for a response from the Migration Assistant running on your Mac computer. You will see the screenshot below.
The Windows Migration Assistant will wait indefinitely for a response from the Migration Assistant on the Mac.
Now we turn our attention to the Mac. Start the Migration Assistant which is located in the Applications/Utilities folder or menu.
The screenshot below shows the first screen, the introduction window. Here you need to select the option that says 'From another Mac, PC, Time Machine backup, or other disk'.
Before you get to see the next window you will be prompted to enter the password of an admin account, as shown below. This is to allow the necessary system changes to take place.
Now you will see the screenshot below which confirms which migration method you want to use. Select 'From another Mac or PC' and once again click the 'Continue' button.
Now we are at the point where the Migration Assistant is going to attempt to connect with the Windows PC, but first it needs to ensure that all applications are closed as indicated by the screenshot below.
The software will attempt to detect any other computers and display an icon representing each available computer, and ask you to select the correct one for the migration.
In our example the Windows PC is named 'garys-PC'. The screenshot below shows that our Windows PC has been detected. Simply select it and click OK. Note that it also says click 'Continue' on the Windows PC so go ahead and do this. Both Migration Assistants are now talking to each other!
We are now almost at the point where the migration will start. But first there is one last check. On the Mac you will see a verify window, like the one shown below, that is indicating a six digit number (826165 in our example).
Check that your Windows PC is displaying the same six digit number in a window like the one shown below. If it is then click 'Continue' on the Windows PC.
One last step on the Mac before the actual file copying begins is to confirm exactly what folders and data you want to migrate. Simply use the check boxes to make your selection and then click 'Continue'.
Finally, you will be relieved to know that the transfer will now start. Both the Windows PC and the Mac will display the progress status, as shown in the two screenshots below.
The transfer will now take place. The length of time that it takes will depend on the number and size of the files being migrated, and the speed of the network.
You will see the two screenshots below when the transfer has successfully completed.
So that completes the migration. You can close the Migration Assistant on both the Windows PC and the Mac computer.
You should now find that your Mac will have a new user account. The first time you log-in you will be asked for a new password. You should then find that all of the files and data has been copied over correctly.