P2 Card Transfer using PC Laptop to Mac Tower

I originally posted this as a reply to a Creative Cow Forum post but figured I’d share this bit here as well:

I’d like to add an option that might help some people. Use a PC laptop that has a PCMCIA card slot and 1394 port and an external firewire hard drive as an intermediary between your P2 camera and your final editing Mac tower.

The workflow goes like this. Insert the P2 card into the PC’s card slot. Copy the P2 cards (in their entirety, as I’m sure is covered in Shane’s tutorials) to the laptop hard drive or the external hard drive. Copy the files from the laptop hard drive to the external hard drive (if you haven’t got them their already). Take the external HD to your tower and log and transfer or copy to your editing HD and then edit.

The rub lies in the formatting of the external hard drives used. And here is where I am happy with using MyBooks as external (transport and secondary backup copy) drives. and only here, as I don’t trust them beyond this. MyBooks come formatted as Fat32, so they are easily read on the PC automatically and they are cheap. My G-Tech isn’t recognized by my PC laptop, ’cause it’s formatted as Mac OS extended. I find that my Mac G4 tower reads them as well, formatted just as they are. So they work as the perfect transport HD from that PC laptop to my Mac tower.

I’m big on having redundant data, so I like to have multiple copies of everything around and the MyBook, while having a bad reputation, works good as an additional backup, and I stress ADDITIONAL backup. The 1TB MyBooks that I get at my Costco have USB, FW400 and eSATA for $139. Makes for handy data transfer with whatever connections you’ve got. Heck, in a pinch, you might even be able to get away with copying the data via USB!

Additional notes: I haven’t run into the file size limitation that you might run into with Fat32 formatting, so you should keep that in mind.

I’ve since moved on to a MBP and Duel adapter, but the above got me through my P2 HD class and helped a lot of other students get their data off their P2 cards as well. Plus it’s a lot cheaper than some of the other solutions. Hope this might help some others too.

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