9 Replies Latest reply: Feb 2, 2012 7:48 PM by A Mad Scientist
fwlun Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

Hi,  I was copying files from one drive to another by dragging the files in Mac OS 10.7.2 on a MacBook Pro.  In the middle of the copying operation, the system flashed the following message:



Any idea how to fix this or get around it?  Thanks.

Mac Pro Quad-core 2.66GHzx2, PowerMac G5 Quad 2.5GHz, Mac OS X (10.7.2), MacBook Pro Intel 2.2GHz Core i7
  • Király Level 6 Level 6 (9,595 points)

    Error code -36 is input/output error. It's a nasty one. It usually indicates a hardware faulure. Try a different USB or FireWire cable. If that doesn't work try reformatting one of both of the drives. If that doesn't help I'd venture that one of the drives is toast.

  • fwlun Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    Thanks for your suggestion.


    I did some research myself while waiting for anyone's feedback because I was desperate to recover my files.


    I found it was very strange that if I go into the directory which caused this -36 error, I tried to copy that specific directory or file, I still had the same -36 error.  I then deleted that file.  Something happening to the directory that this deleted file resided.  A hidden file was generated in this directory.  The file name is:




    I then restore the deleted file.  The problem disappeared.  So I looked into each directory of this drive which causing the -36.  Indeed there was no such hidden file in some of the directories.  I either had to delete and put back just any file, the hidden file was automatically created.  I then copy the directories over to my target drive.

    Everything worked.


    So my problem solved but I could not understand why with the .DS_Store hidden file created, it solved the problem.  I don't know what this files does that helped to resolve -36 error code.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (260,490 points)
  • fwlun Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    I seemed to have problem connecting the link.  Can you resend it.  Thanks.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (260,490 points)
  • fwlun Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    Sorry the link worked.


    But the site posting mostly referred to copyright protected content copy.  Mine is not copyrighted file.  Those are my personal files.  Also those information were very old 2006 or so.  I wondered if they still apply today.


    I am more interested in knowing what is this hidden file ".DS_Store" does that allows me to copy once it is there which was created automatically.  Without it I just cannot copy.  Thanks.


    BTW I have been using both Disk Utility and Drive Genius 3 to check and fix any harddisk problem there might have and both of the reported no problem with the harddisk.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (173,635 points)

    The .DS_Store file has nothing to do with whether you can copy or not. It's a file created by the Finder to store the display settings for a folder. The reason why the error went away was that you had a bad sector in the allocation for the file that you deleted. When you deleted and restored the file, the bad sector was no longer allocated.


    You should do two things. First, check the file for corruption, and if it is corrupt, restore it from a backup.


    Second, check the SMART status of that drive in Disk Utility. If the status is not "Verified," replace it. Otherwise, back up all data, erase it, and restore. That will get rid of any other bad sectors it may have. If it ever throws another such error, replace it.

  • fwlun Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)

    Thanks for your info.  It helped.

  • A Mad Scientist Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    HELP!!! I keep getting this error when I try to copy data from an external harddrive. I don't have another copy of this data that's apparently in a bad sector, so how can I remove it from the harddrive to wipe the harddrive (or just plain throw it out) if it won't let me copy it properly to another source? I get the error anytime I try to drag my files off the drive whether it's to another external drive or just my laptop harddrive.


    Any help would be appreciated! I'm at my whit's end!!!