Previous 1 2 Next 22 Replies Latest reply: Jan 6, 2014 12:09 AM by SHADYZZ
tsunamijack Level 1 Level 1

I sometimes encounter an "The operation can’t be completed because an unexpected error occurred (error code -50)" message when trying to copy large video files from one external disk to another, and when erasing large video files—or folders containing them—from external disk drives.


What causes this? How can I correct or get around the error in order to complete the copy or erase operation?

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7
    -50paramErrError in user parameter list





    Use exFAT not MSDOS (FAT32) for your external drives to work with PC's or use OS X Extended journaled for only Mac use


    changing the format will erase the data, so remove it first or use another drive to transfer too later


    read why here, your likely going over the 4GB file size limit or have bad characters in the file names


    Drives, partitions, formatting w/Mac's + PC's

  • tsunamijack Level 1 Level 1

    All my drives are formatted: "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)."


    The drives in question are 2 and 3 Tb each.


    The file sizes (up to 5 Gb) and folders (over 100 Gb) are large; but do not have bad characters in the file names.


    Also, this problem popped up during a large copy operation. About 800 Gb had already bee copied when the operation stopped. The master (root) file size was 1.19 Tb.


    Once the computer stopped copying, I discovered I could not erase either. The same error msg appeared.



  • ds store Level 7 Level 7

    I don't think DU can handle 2TB and 3TB drives, all I can think of it's bad sectors on the drive and when you go to copy large amounts....


    Use Disk Utility Erase Free Space option, however it might not complete, one other tried that and it didn't work on his 3TB drive so I suggested he partiton it 3x, then zero each then format the whole drive.


    These large drives are causing a problem lately with Mac's it seems.


    Don't know why really.

  • fane_j Level 4 Level 4

    tsunamijack wrote:


    I sometimes encounter an "The operation can’t be completed because an unexpected error occurred (error code -50)"

    One of the causes of this error is a file name containing an illegal character (eg, solidus) being copied over the network, but that doesn't seem to be your problem. At any rate, I regard Finder as unreliable for copying large amounts of data. Try ditto and see if you get any errors with it.

  • shafiq786110 Level 1 Level 1

    Any more updates on this?

    Im having the same problem, i used this forum's steps to see if i could fix the problem, the transfer got further but then came up with the same error again

    I had to change my HDD from MBR to GUID which got it further but im now back at the same problem again

    Any help would be appreciated, im using a 3TB external hard drive

  • Ncat Level 1 Level 1

    Hi All,

      Likewise - does anyone have any other thoughts on this error.  I've had some major problems lately associated with this - I run all my iTunes media from external drives and a couple of weeks ago I started to encounter errors which resulted in Orphaned Files on my external drive.  I was running out of space so purchased a new external Firewire/USB disk (4Tb) and copied over all my files, then something happened which orphaned all the files.  Thought it was a bad disk so purchased a different make and I've been in recovery mode every since.  However, for no reason I've started to get this "error code -50" when trying to do anything on my new external drive - even trying to create a new folder so I know it is not a copy or filename issue.


      I unmounted the disk, though I had to force eject because something had it locked, powered off the device and restarted and everything was fine - for a while and then it did it again.


      Any thoughts/help/ideas much apprecaited before I lost all my media again :-(

  • Jacob6 Level 1 Level 1

    i get an error with some songs when syncing to my iphone, what causes this? HELP

  • shafiq786110 Level 1 Level 1

    The error for me occured because my hard drive was faulty, it had a few bad sectors on the drive itself. A quick call to the company who i bought it from got me an exchange and removal of the error     

  • somanna Level 1 Level 1
    Mac OS X

    Hello Shafiq,


    I have been facing this error 50 'demon' since yesterday. I do not know what will be the fate of the precious projects I have on it. You said that it was a faulty drive that was responsible for the issue. How long did you use your drive before you starting getting this error 50 problem? Okay, you got your drive replaced by the company, fine...but what about your data stored in the damaged drive? were you able to retrieve it?

  • shafiq786110 Level 1 Level 1

    Hi Somanna

    It was actually a new drive with a bad sector, so luckily there wasnt too much data on there

    Nontheless i recovered the data by plugging the drive into an ububtu distribution and copying all the data off to my server. It took a very long time to transfer 50GB of data, usually on the USB3 drive that i had, it would take no longer than 20 mins, this took 4 hrs :/

    But a linux distribution should help with the data recovery. Ubuntu is especially good at that

    I didnt even have to install ubuntu, i just ran it off a USB on a windows PC i have

  • somanna Level 1 Level 1
    Mac OS X

    Looks good! Could peppermint of linux help in retrieving the data? I have one CD of linux peppermint with me.

  • shafiq786110 Level 1 Level 1

    I think so

    Im a computer tech and i never use anything but unbuntu when it comes to retrieving data from damaged sector drives. Peppermint should work but previous experience says ubuntu is the best at it

  • somanna Level 1 Level 1
    Mac OS X

    Can we get a feee download of ubuntu? Can this ubuntu help me to retrieve files from my external drive which is in Mac extended journal format?

  • shafiq786110 Level 1 Level 1

    Yep Ubuntu is free. Their website is really helpful with guides for creating the discs from downloading the ISo or also creating a bootable USB.  Sorry for the delay in replying!!!!

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