Learning Experience: Attempting to Transfer a Windows 7 Install to Boot Camp (PC to Mac)

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Source System
Lenovo Notebook
SSD Hard Drive
Windows 7

Target System
MacBook Pro (Late 2013, 13.3″ with Retina Display)
SSD Hard Drive
Boot Camp

For the more literal folks, I apologize. I realize that a Mac is actually a PC but for the sake of simplicity I added it to the title so everyone would understand what I was trying to do.

I recently needed to transfer a Windows 7 install from a Lenovo notebook over to a MacBook Pro Bootcamp partition. I need to make it clear that this project was not a success. However, I have learned a few things that others will find useful. In addition, had I followed some advice available in a blog post it’s possible that it would have worked. After all, I did succeed in migrating the partition over and it did attempt to boot…

This particular transfer was a bit more challenging due to the fact that both systems use SSD drives. As a result, I couldn’t simply pull a drive and execute more direct partition clones.

Should you be considering such a move then a good place to begin is a blog post by twocanoes titled Migrating a Real PC to Boot Camp with Winclone 4. Basically, this is the advice I did not follow. Now, my reason for not following it wasn’t irrational. I was very concerned that I’d run Sysprep before cloning, only to then discover that it simply wouldn’t work. Perhaps if I hadn’t been trying to do this quickly I could have attempted this while also having a good fallback clone of the partition made BEFORE running Sysprep or any other changes (and it did not turn out quickly – I spent more time trying to make this work than I did simply starting with a fresh Windows 7 Bootcamp install).

So, once again, I’m confident that I could have succeeded in this endeavor had I followed the advice from twocanoes. However, even though I wasted a lot of time I did learn a few valuable things along the way.

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Using a PS3 Bluetooth Controller with a Mac

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The Short Version: Download and install a program named PS3Controller. Enable Bluetooth. The pairing code for PS3 controllers is “0000”. I had to connect via USB first to make it work. Read the entire post for additional issues. Note that I’ve only gone through this process using OS X Lion.

See an additional update regarding Mountain Lion and Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga at the end of this post.

A while back I managed to get the PS2 version of Shadow of the Colossus working in an emulator for Windows. Using a different driver, not referenced to in this post, I was able to use the PS3 controller (at the time I was only able to get it work via USB).

Recently, I decided see if I could get a PS3 controller working in OS X Lion in order to use it with several different console emulators. This turned out to be relatively simple using a piece of software named PS3Contoller.

One benefit to using this driver is that it supports Bluetooth, which is the wireless protocol used by the PS3 controllers. I did have some issues getting it to connect when working in the OS X Bluetooth system preference. When I plugged the controller in the red LEDs flashed continuously but it wasn’t detected as a Bluetooth device. However, if I had the controller connected via USB and then hit the PS button while the Mac was looking for devices, it usually found it (the controller stops flashing once it connects).

The pairing code for PS3 controllers is the standard “0000”.

Note that in my case I had to connect it via USB first. Otherwise, it didn’t seem to detect it. In addition, it seems that each time I wanted to use the controller after shutting down the Mac or putting it into stand-by, I had to reconnect it via the Bluetooth system preference. However, once it was connected it stayed connected throughout that session of use.

If you’re planning to set this up within Bluetooth range of the PS3 then I recommend that you flip the power switch on the back to the OFF position. Otherwise, the PS3 will turn on when you hit the PS button on the controller.

I was able to have two PS3 controllers connected via Bluetooth at the same time. However, I wasn’t able to get Sixtyforce to detect two PS3 controllers at the same time (though I could connect a GameStop USB controller and a PS3 controller and use both for different players). I suspect that the ability to use two PS3 controllers for different players is determined by the program and not the driver.

Updated 09/30/2012: I recently purchased a new 13″ MacBook Pro. It came with a free upgrade to Mountain Lion, which I installed. Since this was a new system it hasn’t had any of the drivers/software installed that I’ve mentioned in this post.

It’s possible that Mountain Lion has built-in support for a PS3 controller, but I haven’t tested it with other software. However, I do know that I don’t need to install any software to use a PS3 controller (wired) with Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga. The game detects the controller and works with it perfectly.