"Existing data will not be imported" warning screen


Why am I getting a "Existing data will not be imported" warning?

You are trying to setup Lima on a Mac computer but your Lima disk is a Windows disk (1), or vice versa. 

This in itself is not a problem: the Lima works very well with both Windows and Mac disk formats and will integrate seamlessly with the Lima app on any other devices, including Mac and Windows desktops.

During installation however, the Lima setup wizard gives you a chance to "import" any existing data present on the Lima hard disk directly into Lima. This is a new feature. Earlier versions of Lima assumed that the disk connected to the Lima device was initially empty and the only way to populate content was to copy files into your desktop Lima Drive, after installation was complete (or by taking pictures or capturing movies on your mobile phones).

The new import process however uses your more powerful desktop computer to directly translate and encrypt your existing data into Lima. To do so however requires temporarily disconnecting the disk from your Lima device, connect it to your desktop computer, then reconnecting it back to your Lima device after the import/encryption process is complete. This makes it possible to import content at a much faster rate. The Lima setup wizard will guide you through these steps.

Unfortunately this process cannot work if your desktop computer cannot read and write the Lima disk by itself. MacOS by default is not compatible with Windows disks nor is Windows with MacOS disks.

(1) For the tech savvy, by "Windows disk" we mean a disk partition formatted with the NTFS Windows filesystem (exFAT is not supported at this point), while a "Mac disk" would be formatted with HFS+, the  default MacOS filesystem.

OK I get it, but this disk is brand new, it's supposed to be empty!

Most external USB disks come pre-formatted and typically contain setup programs and documentation. In this case, you should choose to "Install Without Import". You will not need these setup programs to use Lima and they will be left on the disk anyway should you wish to reuse the disk for other purposes in the future.

Meh, the disk contains some old files I don't really care about.
No problem, just select "Install Without Import".
I have a large amount of data on the disk, so I really need this to work!
The best option is to perform the Lima setup on a different computer, one that is directly compatible with your Lima disk. It is okay to uninstall right after the data is imported, then install on your original desktop and log into your existing account.

If that is not possible, you may want to try and transfer the disk data onto another disk with a compatible format. By default MacOS can *read* Windows disks and third-party drivers exist for Windows to read from MacOS disks. If you choose one of these two options, select "Quit Install" and retry the installation later.

As a last option, you can always import your data manually after installation (see the next paragraph below) but this will take more time and require more available space on your desktop local disk.
I have a small amount of data on the disk and I still would like it to be available on Lima.
The simplest solution is to click on "Install without Import" to continue installation without the new import feature.

After installation is complete, you may at any time import the data manually by following these steps:

1. "Eject" your hard drive (NEVER disconnect the Lima hard drive without doing this first). To do this, select 'Lima preferences' from the Lima icon menu, then 'STATUS', click on "Manage" and click on "Eject". If you need more instructions just click here.

2. Disconnect your Lima hard drive and connect it to your desktop computer.

3. View the content of the Lima hard drive on your desktop computer and drag or copy/paste the files or folders you wish to import directly into the Lima Drive (that is, the Lima desktop icon on MacOS, or the "L:" Lima Drive on Windows) just as you would add regular content to Lima.

4. When you are done, eject the Lima hard drive from your desktop computer properly and reconnect it to your Lima device.

5. The Lima device will start downloading your newly imported content, freeing space on your desktop disk as it goes.


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