Way to skip files that won't copy?


Hello all,

I'm trying to move files from a zip disk to a USB key, as zip disks are not entirely practical anymore.

But to my dismay, I have several files with strange characters, or mysterious "icon" files that will not copy.

When the copy process hits one of these files, it stops the entire process, where it will not proceed to copy the rest of the good files.

Is there a way to get my mac to copy all of the acceptable files to the USB key, while skipping the unacceptable ones? I can go back later to deal with them indivually if I need to (except the "icon" files, which do not show up in the finder)

Additional information that may be useful to anyone with a potential solution:
I'm running Mac OS X 10.3.9
I will not reformat the file system of my USB key, as I use it frequently in PC's as well as macs.

Thanks in advance

Additional notes:
This seems to happen regardless of whether I use copy paste, or drag and drop.
Also, occasionally the mac OS will give me the option to skip files, but not for all files, and will eventually get to a file it will not allow me to copy or skip and just stop the copy process. This seems to be random, as I have not seen a pattern in how the OS decides whether or not to let me skip a file or to just stop copying altogether.

Again, thanks for any help you may be able to provide.


U.S.D.A. Prime
If you format your USB key as HFS+ instead of FAT32, then the special character named files will probably copy over.

The problem is that your Zip disk is probably in HFS/HFS+ format, while the USB key is in FAT32 format -- FAT32 doesn't support some characters in filenames that HFS/HFS+ does, so it's choking on those.

Synchronizing the format of the devices may help.


Thanks for the suggestion, but I need my USB key to be able to work in PC's also, so reformatting to HFS+ is not a viable option.

Anyone else have any ideas, or even encounter this before?



One thing you could do is make a HFS+ disk image and the copy that image onto you USB key drive. Then you can stick your resource-fork-loving files onto the image and the others in the DOS accessible areas.

/As for the copying thing I dunno, I usually fall back to the terminal for that.


U.S.D.A. Prime
I was going to recommend zipping the files, since that would be cross-platform, but making a DMG would work as well if you only needed the files on Macintosh machines.


For most of the files, I would like to have access to them on both PC and Mac, so zipping them might work.

What's the best way to zip files on a Mac?


Staff member
In Panther and Tiger, you can simply select the files in the Finder, get the contextual menu (ctrl-click or second mouse button) and choose 'Archive'. It zips. But there's also a lot of zipping and unzipping tools to be found on www.macupdate.com and www.versiontracker.com ... I personally use StuffIt Deluxe, but that, of course, costs money. You're using 10.3.9, so your Finder should do alright.