MAC OSX - Error copying files to external hard disk [filename too long]

Posted on 2005-05-01
Last Modified: 2010-04-29

Hi there,

This one is causing me pain...

Me: MAC G4 Powerbook - OSX

Trying to do general house-keeping.  I have circa 40,000 files, including .psd .xls .doc .tiff . - well you name it I have it.  What I'm trying to do is copy all the crap [approx. 30GB contained in various folders] to an external disk.  For some reason I cannot cut and paste but have to just "copy".  Problem is, at various points, the copy fails due to a filename which is too long!  

Archive fails as well, so I can't compress to one file and move.

Pulling my hair out on this there no easy way of solving this?

Any help much appreciated.

Question by:mocquery
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    What disk format is the external drive?  (HFS, HFS+, FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, ISO9660)?

    Only HFS+ and NTFS support very long filenames, and Mac OS X does not support
    writing to NTFS partitions.

    LVL 1

    Accepted Solution

    Just format the External Disk using Mac OS Extended
    Once done you can do all the functions, copy cut paste.

    This normally happens when you purchase an external disk and use it without formatting it

    Try it

    LVL 4

    Expert Comment

    Agreed on reformatting. Drives usually ship with a format that will work on multiple platforms, however, this usually means that any and all files will have to conform to the naming conventions of any and all platforms. This can mean the length of the name, any odd characters (/,:,\,$, etc.), too many folders deep in a heirarchy, can cause an error when trying to copy. If you reformat using Mac Extended and intend to only use it on a Mac with OSX, then you should be fine. Any other platform/version won't be able to read the drive and will want to format it.
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    as many others have said, reformat the external to Mac OS Extended. the problems your seeing with archiving may be space issues. you wont be able to archive that much unless you have another 30-32 GB of free space on your local disk. the reason you cant cut and paste is because your moving the file to a different drive, and mac doesnt support a "cut and paste" system when moving a file from one disk to another. so stick with copy and delete the one left over.

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