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iTune sync error 'Attempting to copy to the disk '[drive-name]' failed. An unknown error occurred (-54).'

Posted on 2016-08-02
Last Modified: 2016-08-20
We started having an error when syncing iTunes to our iPhone 6 plus: "Attempting to copy to the disk Macintosh HD failed. An unknown error occurred (-54).":

Our setup:
  • iTunesis version
  • iPhone iOS 9.3.3
  • Computer Windows 10 Pro build 1511

What we have done so far:
  • 'Authorized' the iTunes computer
  • the iTunes folder uncheck 'Read-Only'
  • assured that iTunes folder has all privileged
  • ran iTunes with admin privileges
  • ran cCleaner registry cleanup

Please advice on what else we can do.
Question by:rayluvs
  • 7
  • 2
  • 2
  • +1

Expert Comment

by:Justin Smith
ID: 41739619
Here are two solutions that have helped users in the past:

1. I repaired disc permissions, did a SAFE reboot, shutdown and restarted my computer normally. I shut down then restarted the iPhone 6c, plugged it back into the computer and it seems to have cleared up the problem.

2. Unlocking the phone before syncing solved it for me!

Error code information:From an OS9 reference, error -54 is a software lock on a file or a permissions error. (Although there is no formal list of OSX error code some of the old codes still apply to OSX .)

Author Comment

ID: 41739634
makes sense! we'll try!

Author Comment

ID: 41739663
Hi, when you say " I repaired disc permissions" what exactly do you mean?
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Expert Comment

by:Justin Smith
ID: 41739702
That is actually on OSX, a Mac. You are using Windows 10 so that wouldn't help much. I think it's the same thing as User Permissions, where you can accept or deny something automatically within Windows. Do you know what I mean?
LVL 53

Expert Comment

ID: 41739747
There are a bunch of suggestions in this Apple KB: https://support.apple.com/en-ca/HT205597

Among them is the possibility that a file you are trying to synch is locked on either the computer or the iPhone, but I would suggest you read the whole KB.

Author Comment

ID: 41742562
Ok will do!
LVL 29

Expert Comment

ID: 41743583
Attempting to copy to the disk Macintosh HD failed. An unknown error occurred (-54).":

That error message suggests that you've mounted a Mac disk onto your Windows system somehow and don't have write permissions to it.

Author Comment

ID: 41747729
Non work!

FYI: we have Windows not Mac.

What else can we do?
LVL 29

Expert Comment

ID: 41748214
Try to install software to read HFS+ disk partitions.

HFS Explorer is free.  


Author Comment

ID: 41748221
We don't have Mac, it's a windows PC.  The error message appears when sync iTunes with our iPhone.

Accepted Solution

rayluvs earned 0 total points
ID: 41756425
Solved!  This is wwhat we finally did:

  • uninstalled iTunes
  • restarted the Windows PC
  • deleted all iTunes folders and shortcut created by the apps
  • ran cleanup windows registry
  • reinstalled latest version
  • sync excellently!

Juts uninstalling didn't work; we had to delete the folders and links and then cleanup registry

Author Closing Comment

ID: 41763502
This was the only option to solve our problem.

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