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How to Switch Your Home Office to a Mac

written by: KateG•edited by: Ronda Bowen•updated: 7/8/2010

Making the switch from Windows to Mac can be a nerve wracking affair for the home user, but what about when you have more than your home movies and iTunes files at risk? This guide is specifically designed to show a home office user how to make the move.

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    Right now it seems like everyone is taking the plunge and changing their office setup from Windows to Mac. If you want to do the transition with ease and grace then these simple steps will help you to become a Mac pro in no time.

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    Step One

    Asses your hardware needs. If you already have a handle on what you need then you can skip this. If not then take a look not only at what you have now, but what your needs may conceivably be in the next 3 to 5 years. Yes, a Mac's life span can be 5 years, and if well maintained over 7 years.

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    Step Two

    Examine your peripherals. Some peripheral devices that connect to a computer with USB ports will also work on the new Mac that you are going to buy. You could salvage your printer, keyboard and maybe even your speakers. Even if a device is not using USB you may still be able to salvage it with a trip to any computer store. Just get a set of USB adaptors.

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    Step Three

    Evaluate your software. For the most part you are not going to be able to re use a lot of your software. Your job is to find a comparable software product.

    *Tip .doc files: if you don’t want to buy Office for Mac then you can get iWork for 79 dollars, it has .doc format compatibility.

    * Tip Freeware: You may want to search for freeware that could duplicate the function. There is a wide variety of freeware sites for Mac computers. Use your search engine wisely, and you could end up saving a whole lot of money on software by switching to Mac. No, you shouldn't run into a lot of the trial wear issues that abound with Windows based freeware.

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    Step Four

    Price it out. You can buy new in any Mac store or you can buy a refurbished machine for a significantly lower price. You may find what you want for a significantly lower price.

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    Step Five

    Buy your machine and install any software that you may need. This should be very simple, but instructions will come with the software, or for web based software on the website.

    * Tip, when in doubt, or without directions, you should just be able to drag the applications icon to your Mac Hard Drive, this will begin the install. Some installs are so quick that you will not see a load bar.

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    Step Six

    If you need it get training on how to use your system at the genius bar, with a book or from web based tutorials. You will find many great resources are available to you at no cost.

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    Step Seven

    Move your files, if you didn’t let a Mac Genius do it for you. This service is available when you buy in store and request the transfer. It is also a free service, so if you buy new consider letting the experts do the dirty work.

    *Tip: You should back up your files before attempting an at home transfer. Use any external storage or web based virtual storage to save your files, just in case.

    Moving Files Yourself

    1. Get a USB based storage medium (not the one you backed up on) and copy your data to it.

    2. Close out the storage medium safely on your PC and plug it into your Mac.

    3. Once the storage drives icon appears open the drive.

    4. Drag your files to their desired locations. (Images to "Pictures", documents to "Documents, ect....)

    5. Wait for the coping procedure to complete. You will know this is done when the download bars disappear.

    6. Remove the storage medium and test the files.