3 Replies Latest reply: May 30, 2009 8:05 PM by Darwinboy
Darwinboy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I'm just trying to copy a folder from the Mac internal drive to an external drive and it starts OK but then stops and a message says 'Operation could not be completed because an unexpected error occurred (error code -50). Does anyone have an idea what this could mean?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • K Shaffer Level 6 Level 6 (10,755 points)
    The error code is listed among a few in this Apple document:

    Mac OS System Error Codes: 0 to -261
    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1618

    This is the definition given there, for the Error code -50:
    -50 (paramErr) Error in user parameter list.

    If the folder you are trying to copy contains Mac OS X system
    parts, user account info, or other items, there may be some
    connection; but not necessarily.

    This error can occur in several different (yet apparently similar)
    actions involving file moving & copying, including using apps
    intended on burning files to a disc. You could try repairing
    the disk permissions on the computer's system using the
    native Disk Utility and select the macintosh HD in the menu.

    The above is not necessarily a fix for your specific circumstance,
    since the error message can also appear while trying to sync an
    iDisk or device data between the computer and some other item.

    Sometimes, permissions on files or folders may have to be set
    to 'ignore permissions on contents' or the equivalent, to copy
    them from one place to another; this would depend on who
    owns them in the computer, and if you are the Admin of it, etc.

    You may have to further investigate this matter to see what ideas
    involving your specific activities may invoke the error message.
    I was able to find several instances where the same message
    occurred while moving copying or trying to burn content, so to do
    a search in google or in Apple Support may invite numerous hits.
    Some of these would be irrelevant to your cause.

    You could check the item's ownership using Get Info (highlight
    single-click, and choose Get Info from File menu; or use Cmd
    + i, to bring up the info window on each item highlighted) to
    see if something there may need to be unlocked or for the
    purpose of copying, the permission level changed.

    My suggestion is to read further, and if you have additional
    information as to the content of the files or folders, that may
    be helpful to any other readers who may have specific info.

    In any event...
    Good luck & happy computing!
  • Darwinboy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks. Will investigate further!
  • Darwinboy Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Problem appears to have gone after upgrading to Leopard (10.5.6). Thanks for suggestions.