From PC To Mac In A Week!

Another client rang me telling me of his XP PC’s PSU popping and taking out the fuse-box in his house after which, I replaced the PSU and watched dismally as XP hung indefinitely,  just before the logon screen appeared.

This PC had hardware RAID 1 mirror which reported back as ‘optimal’ so no underlying disc problems there – besides which, it would happily boot to a point. It also hung in safe mode before logins would appear so this seemed to point to a hardware failure somewhere.

After running memory tests, finding errors, replacing it with different sticks of RAM and still not getting to login, I decided there must be a fault on the main-board somewhere.

Armed with an Acronis CD, I booted the box and proceeded to make an image of the machine which was then applied to a spare Samsung laptop I had lying around. The image from the old PC booted perfectly and installed some new drivers, thus proving the fault did lie somewhere in the PC hardware. It seemed, the only way to cure this was to find a new Socket 775 motherboard to move the CPU and RAM over to it and rebuild from there with new drivers.

However, I had advised the client (who has a history of being spanked by the annoying idiosyncratic behaviour or Windows) that the next time he needed a new PC to buy an iMac. My theory being, he would enjoy the benefits of sitting in a simple, walled garden OS and be able to work without worrying about Flash/Java updates every 2 weeks or having his website infected by backdoor Trojans when he used FTP – despite being ‘fully’ protected by Symantec 360.

My idea was to run his old PC (now on the laptop) in a VMware environment inside the Mac until he could dispense with the PC altogether.

So far, so good. The only major hurdle has been transferring his gigabytes of emails from Outlook to Outlook for Mac which unfortunately, couldn’t be done as Outlook for Mac will only migrate a PST file that is being pulled in for use with an Exchange server. As we were going to be using IMAP from his hosting company email servers this was not an option. His previous email being all downloaded POP into his local PST file, it was going to be a case of resetting his Outlook accounts in XP to IMAP and putting the contents of his PST file into the IMAP folders so they could upload to the server and be downloaded by the Mac Outlook installation.

There is also the problem of Microsoft not releasing Access for Mac platform which means the virtual XP machine stays in place indefinitely. Oh yes, his version 1.4 of Sibelius doesn’t work in Mac Mountain Lion so he’ll need an upgrade there.

I’m happy to report he loves the Mac and has taken advantage of their ridiculously loss-leading in-store tutorial service – a mere £80 p/y for unlimited visits. I’ve learned quite a bit to, being my first foray into troubleshooting Macs and now I desperately want to build a Hackintosh!

I feel another string to my bow happening…

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