can't copy files to external drive anymore (error code -36)

Discussion in 'Mac OS X System & Mac Software' started by sweetneet, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. sweetneet

    sweetneet Registered

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    ok so I did do a search on this problem, but i started a new thread b/c I think i may be having a slightly different issue...please hear me out..

    I have a Macbook, running Mac OS X Tiger (version 10.4.11). I have had a 500 GB external HD (MyBook) hooked up to it (via USB) for the past 4 months or so, never really had any issues, was always able to transfer files, no problem.

    However, today i suddenly ran into some serious problems. :( I tried to transfer some pictures to the external drive and after copying 200 or so files it gave me an error, said a specific file could not be transferred (specifically it said "the Finder could not complete the operation because some data in "IMG_3435.JPG" could not be read or written. Error Code - 36 "). At first I thought maybe that specific file was corrupted or something but i checked it out and it looked fine. So I then I tried transferring another folder of pictures, and then I got the same error right away (after transferring 3 files), for a different file. :confused: And now i'm at the point where I can't transfer ANY files to my external HD anymore! (T_T). And it's weird, when i transfer folders, it will transfer the folder itself but not the files. Strange..

    I'm so confused because it was all working fine before for months, and now, it all of the sudden doesn want to copy files to the external drive. (?)

    my question is, what is the problem here? What are my options for solving this? is it my external drive, or is something wrong with my MacBook? Space is not an issue here, as there is plenty of space on external drive for the files to be copied. And I NEED to transfer files from my Macbook to an external drive because my MacBook HD is going to fill up any day now (currently have 3.5 GB free on a 74 GB HD...my macbook is about 2 years old).

    Oh and i should mention, i just checked and the formatting for the external HD (the Mybook) is MS-DOS FAT 32. It currently has about 350 GB free. In another thread about this problem w/ transferring files, someone mentioned external hd's with MS DOS FAT 32 not being ideal for use with Macs, and recommended reformatting it. I just not sure if I should do this right away though, because my husband uses the external drive as well to backup stuff from his PC (so it's not being used exclusively for Macs). However if this is really the only solution then I'll just go out and buy another one to use exclusively for my MacBook and reformat it...

    thanks in advance for any tips/suggestions!! :)
     
  2. sweetneet

    sweetneet Registered

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    i should add that i just ejected the external HD, turned it off, then turned it back on again and tried to recopy files. when i tried to copy the files (that previously gave an error), it gave me TWO adjacent popups this time...one with the same error as before (error - 36) AND another with a warning saying that the files were already there (??). Indeed, i checked in Finder and the files did actually get copied before. (??)

    So at first i thought maybe it was actually copying the files and just giving an error, but i tried copying more files and they give the error but do not show up in finder this time. So strange..
     
  3. jeno

    jeno Registered

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    Error -36 = I/O error

    I have this similar issue before with my external HD. The worst case is that suddenly my external HD would not connect at all. Mac OS does not recognize the device. I end up reformatting the whole HD to Mac format.

    I guess the problem is that Mac is having problem reading and writing to a windows formatted drive. I have a few thumb drive that will only work on windows pc but not Mac. Couldn't reformatting it under Mac either. Weird...
     
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  4. sweetneet

    sweetneet Registered

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    thanks jeno. yeah after reading your post and other replies to similar threads i decided to just go ahead and bite the bullet and reformat my external HD to HFS+. i backed everything up to my my new PC and reformatted everything, and now i'm transferring files to it from my Mac. I had 24 GB to copy and it all went well with no errors at all so i think did the trick. thanks!! :)
     
  5. ora

    ora Registered

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    Sounds good!

    OS X has a temperamental relationship with FAT32 format drives. If you need a large drive to share between a mac and PC in future you can also just format it as NTFS then use Mac Fuse to let the Mac read and write to it.
     
  6. pitsel

    pitsel Registered

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    Hi!

    I have the same problem about the error code 36, i'm trying to copy some files, (about 100Gb) from a Western Digital 500Gb external drive to another (same model) both formatted in MacOS Journaled; but just in the middle of the transfer, the error code pops up... I just can't loose that information.

    I tried to use DiskWarrior, DiskUtility, Tech Tool, you name it... and everything seems to be fine with the physical structure of the HD. I don't have Windows here at the office, and even if I got one, i won`t be able to test the transfer in Windows because of the Format.

    Any thoughts?
     
  7. lindro

    lindro Registered

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    I just installed a 640GB Western Digital MyBook external HD. I partitioned it, reformatted as a Mac OS extended journaled, put a system file in one sector to make a boot disk. When I tried to copy my photo files from another HD, I get the same error code -36 on an image file that seems to be A-ok. I have about 200 GB of files to copy on this disk and can't possibly send them one by one. Is there any way to cure this error code or bypass a file that doesn't want to copy?
     
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  8. Rex1000

    Rex1000 Registered

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    I've had the same problem. I have never had a Mac that had so many issues. My MacBook Pro is a piece of 2500$ junk. Blue screen, it's slow, issues with reading other drives. I love how Mac doesn't take responsibility for these issues, they just give us instructions requiring way too much effort and computer knowledge for what I invested in this junk computer. I just want it run smooth without issues. I shouldn't have to invest my savings into buying new hardware or getting a computer science degree to repair what should work fine. I won't buy anymore Mac products this is for sure. In order to fix my drive issue I would have to buy another hard drive so I can back up and wipe the drive that's having the issue. What a joke! Mac is shit. They used to be much better, now they're just craptastic pieces of junk.
     
  9. DeltaMac

    DeltaMac Tech

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    So, is that all you have, a bad hard drive? All hard drives fail. Some last longer than others.
    I understand your frustration, when one piece makes all the rest appear bad.

    How long have you had your Mac?
    If you are still in warranty, then get the hard drive replaced.

    How long since you were last able to back up your hard drive?
     
  10. Doctor X

    Doctor X Registered

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    You should have that whether you have a Mac, PC [​IMG], or even Timex Sinclair 3500. So much pain saved by a back-up. Huge-Ass Ext-HD are rather cheap nowadays. A cloning program can be free--Carbon Copy Cloner--or reasonable--SuperDuper!. I believe TimeMachine now makes bootable clones.

    Add that to what DeltaMac wrote.

    Take a few deep breaths [​IMG]

    --J.D.
     
  11. Rex1000

    Rex1000 Registered

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    It's my external drive that's having problems, error message when I try to copy folders over (I can copy individual files, but not folders). I want to reinstate the external drive but I can't back up terabytes of data, without going and getting a new drive or burning multple disks. I also want to reinstall and or back up my Mac OSX to this external drive but I also get errors when I try to do this. Long story short things are broken and I'm tired of computers (in particular my MacBook). I've always had Mac products since the classic, as I mentioned before this MacBook has given me nothing but problems. And no I don't have apple care - y should I pay that cash out when I dropped 2500 on this MacBook - in my little world I'd think a company should stand behind their products, Mac offering apple care is basically them saying we know our products aren't reliable, so spend another 200-500$ for a warranty.. Just in case! I'm done with Mac, next purchase will be a 500$ windows pc, at least ill have a couple grand left over to fix it if it goes south.
     
  12. Doctor X

    Doctor X Registered

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    is irrelevant to

    You have a bad/faulty/corrupt/whathaveyou external drive, it will be that way whether you connect it to a Macbook, PC laptop, or a rabid vole.

    --J.D.
     

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