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Finder Error -36
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vwgtiturbo
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Jan 26, 2010, 02:10 AM
 
Hello there,
I have been experiencing odd errors concerning file copy operations with Finder since the Leopard days, and the issue sometimes rears it's ugly head on my Snow Leopard machines.

Take this example filesystem:
DIR-A/
-----file1
-----file2
-----DIR-B/
----------file1
----------file2
file3
file4

Let's say I select DIR-A/, file3, and file4, and drag it either to/from a network share, or to/from a USB drive. Sometimes, I get this error: Finder: Cannot be copied because some data in $ cannot be read or written (Error -36).

Normally, file3 and file4 will be copied, and DIR-A/ will be created in the destination, but it is empty. The odd thing is that I can go into DIR-A/ at the source, select it's files, and drag it to the destination DIR-A/ and all goes well. Why would I get an error by selecting the Parent Directory, but everything goes well when I select the files themselves?

The same thing may/may not happen with any Child Directories in the parent... They will be created in the destination, but I have to select the files inside of the Child Directory and drag them over manually.

Does this make any sense? Any insight would be awesome, as this error, and it's seemingly random occurrences are driving me up a wall.
( Last edited by vwgtiturbo; Jan 26, 2010 at 02:12 AM. Reason: Structure not correct)
Black 13" Widescreen MacBook
2.0Ghz C2D, 2GB RAM, 320GB HDD
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P
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Jan 26, 2010, 04:06 AM
 
-36 is a general file system error. The root cause is most likely directory damage, or a bad disk sector in the directory area if you're extremely unlucky.. Start with running Disk First Aid - run it from an OS disc if the error is on your boot drive - and if that won't work, try something like DiskWarrior.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
vwgtiturbo  (op)
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Jan 26, 2010, 07:59 PM
 
That would be limited to my laptop's hard drive, correct? I assume so, seeing that it occurs with network shares, and USB drives. The part that gets me is that it happens copying to my hard drive, or off of it, and the fact that the directory is still created on the other end (and if I select the files in that directory that is supposedly goofy, they go just fine).
I'll try your suggestion, and see if the behavior goes away. Thanks for the reply!
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P
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Jan 27, 2010, 09:25 AM
 
It's enough that one of the two drives involved in each transaction has directory damage for that error to show up. In your description, one of the drives in use is always your internal HD, so it seems likely that that drive is the one with directory damage.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
vwgtiturbo  (op)
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Feb 1, 2010, 12:53 PM
 
Well, nothing has shown up as being damaged. Oh well, I suppose it is just one of those quirky things I'll have to learn to live with (and swear loudly every time it happens).
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Feb 1, 2010, 01:01 PM
 
If you do, then keep up-to-date backups.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
vwgtiturbo  (op)
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Feb 1, 2010, 01:04 PM
 
In triplicate!
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vwgtiturbo  (op)
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Feb 2, 2010, 10:54 PM
 
Interesting... I decided, after getting one of these errors, to try PathFinder's hand in copying the data. It copied successfully, and all data is present and correct. Maybe some issue with the Finder rewrite??
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Feb 3, 2010, 05:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by vwgtiturbo View Post
Interesting... I decided, after getting one of these errors, to try PathFinder's hand in copying the data. It copied successfully, and all data is present and correct. Maybe some issue with the Finder rewrite??
I would seriously consider a nuke and pave at this point. It's probably nothing, but intermittent disk errors are not to be toyed with.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
jason.cook
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Feb 16, 2010, 05:27 AM
 
Hi vwgtiturbo. I am having the same problem on over a dozen OS X machines at my work so I seriously doubt it is a disk-related issue among all of them. Error -36 is the final stop for any I/O related error that cannot be identified more specifically. In the OS 9 days it was almost certainly due to a physical disk issue or bad sectors.

However, since OS X 10.4 it has been appearing intermittently even in situations where disk error is extremely unlikely (like, on a dozen brand-new mac pro towers). However, because of the high occurrence of this error in my office, the predictable scenario, and the fact that it is never actually a damaged file (the workaround vwgtiturbo described above - copying the contents of the folder - always works), I think further investigation is necessary.

One thing I have noticed, it seems to only happen in any situation where the copy-paste is from one volume to another, like one disk to another, disk to file share, disk to USB drive, DVD to disk, or disk to virtual partition (which is actually located on the same physical disk). In almost all these cases, there is a file system difference so I haven't been able to isolate whether it's the fact that I'm copying to/from HFS+, FAT32 and NTFS-formatted volumes or whether it's the fact that the copy-paste operation is between volumes in the first place.
     
vwgtiturbo  (op)
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Feb 16, 2010, 09:54 AM
 
Outstanding Jason... Well, not that you're having the problem too, but just that I am not crazy!
You do raise some good points. The issue for me is ALWAYS between two volumes. Initially, I thought it was an SMB issue, as I only noticed it going from my laptop to my server shares (Linux servers via SMB). But now I question whether it is a filesystem or protocol issue, seeing that I have witnessed it while copying to a USB drive, and my destination drives (local or network) are always using a different filesystem than HFS.

In the end, it remains a bit of a mystery, as I have used different protocols and filesystems to duplicate the error (I have never tried from the laptop to an HFS formatted USB drive... maybe in time...). Two things lead me to this being a Finder issue is that 1) it always occurs when copying FROM the laptop to the destination volume, and 2) Path Finder copies the same 'broken' directories/files with no issue.

It's just one of those things that not enough people have issues with, I suppose, to get any attention from the big boys...
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2.0Ghz C2D, 2GB RAM, 320GB HDD
Mac OS X v10.6 Snow Leopard
     
   
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