External HDD - (Error code -36) MAC USER

Posted on 2008-11-14
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Hi Experts,

I have am External (Firewire/USB2) HDD and when trying to copy files from it, I receive an error.

Error Message: The Finder cannot complete the operation because some data in "Filename" could not be read or written. (Error code -36)

I've ran the Disk Utility on the drive and it reports ok.
I can actually open a file up from the drive and save separately, but there are folder that I need to move from the drive.

The only thing I can think of that may have caused this is that I plugged the drive into an XP system on USB before the occur occurred :(

Can Anyone help???????
P.s. My Mac OS is Leopard.
Question by:RobertoFreemano
  • 2
LVL 53

Expert Comment

ID: 22961364
Is there any possibility that the file name of the folder you can't access, or the name of a file inside it, contains characters that are legal in a Windows flie name, but illegal in a Mac file name?

Here are the rules for Mac file names:

The only illegal character for file and folder names in Mac OS X is the colon :
File and folder names are not permitted to begin with a dot .
File and folder names may be up to 255 characters in length

Author Comment

ID: 22961728
Hi Strung,

The folder & files were all created on the MAC originally and they could be accessed 'without problem'... as soon as I plugged the HDD into my XP machne because I needed to transport a large folder, that's when I notice the problem when I plugged the HDD back into the MAC.

Accepted Solution

nichicks earned 2000 total points
ID: 22963867
Additionally check that you have nothing else plugged into firewire ports or extra USB ports. I had the same happen and found it to be a conflict between the drive and the firewire iSight camera. Figured it was the firewire controllers and left it that.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31516845
Thanks nichicks

I unplugged the iSight Cam & now I can transport my documents. FEW!!!!!

Many Thanks :)


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