Previous 1 2 Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Oct 16, 2012 10:31 PM by macuser00101
hotwheels 22 Level 1 (0 points)

for the umpteenth time i have had Finder crash out while trying to move a folder (55 GB) from my desktop mac pro to my laptop macbook pro.


now i have TWO folders on each desktop of each machine and i don't want to have to /manually/ pick through this data to figure out what is where.


is there a software or method to put humpty dumpty back together again?


apologies if this is the wrong forum but i am trying other places because i have not gotten a good answer on what appears to me to be a big problem in mac OS.


i need a /practical/ fix for it.



  • Austin Kinsella1 Level 6 (11,510 points)

    It is a good idea to include the machine type and OS version in your problem posts.


    What error message do you get when Finder crashes?


    Start by deleting both folders on the target machine.

    The Get Info on each of the folders on the source machine to identify the older, and presumably original, one. Delete the other.


    The egg boy is now reassembled.


    How are the machines connected?

  • hotwheels 22 Level 1 (0 points)

    hey man. thanks.


    i am relatively new to mac and this issue has always caused my brain to explode. the lack of info in the error prompt and the fact that the move/copy prompts are sort of screwy in mac bothers me.


    anyway, i am on 10.7.4 on the mac pro (origination) and 10.8 on the mbp (destination). can't upgrade to ML on the mac pro due to some old firmware or processor or god-knows-what is in there that i spent 2K on.


    anyway, are you saying delete the destination folder entirely and then redo the copy? i am not sure i am following.


    also, is a force move (hold down the option key while moving the folder) a /partial/ move when it crashes out?


    error message is usually something along the lines of file is in use or you don't have permission to move that file - or whatever...




    i can post the actual error next time it happens and it happens reasonably frequently.



  • MrHoffman Level 6 (14,777 points)

    Please post what relevant information gets written to the console log when this all tips over, too.


    Applications > Utilities >

  • Austin Kinsella1 Level 6 (11,510 points)

    If it is 'cos the file is in use, make sure that you quit any applications that might be using those files before doing the move.


    If you don't have permission - you should have if it is your folder. If it is not - that is a different issue!


    As Mr Hoffman says, error messages from the console log could also help solve the problem, should it recur.

  • Austin Kinsella1 Level 6 (11,510 points)

    I notice I didn't answer your question - sorry. Yes, I'm suggesting deleting the destination folder and starting a new copy.

  • hotwheels 22 Level 1 (0 points)

    hi MrH.


    tips over is a good name for it. i have done a totally fresh install of the OS and at 2 years in i am not impressed with the functionality of Finder and i am sort of startled to still be talking about it.


    if i do a /Copy/ and it crashes i can just delete the destination and try again or try in smaller bundles.


    if i do a /Move/ (copy with the Option key held down) - i was under the impression that it did MOVE /some/ data to the destination - which makes it hard to figure out what to do when it crashes - but maybe i am mistaken about this?


    can you help me a bit here with Console? i see the app and i see the data in the app. is there a way for me to send info offline or to otherwise figure out what i should be looking for? presumably if this happens again i just need to immediately go into Console and grab the first five or six lines of code...?



  • hotwheels 22 Level 1 (0 points)

    hey man.


    permissions and file in use and all this bs is unpleasant to deal with IMHO. i have yet to figure out how there is a file in my documents folder that i shouldn't have permission to move and i have frequently found software to be closed but finder to tell me that i can't move something because it is "in use".


    anyway, it happens.


    the problem to figure out is what to do when it does happen and i wish there was a technical article explaining this because for the life of me i cannot figure out how this is not a MISSION CRITICAL user level problem that needs to be explained a little.


    moving a folder to a destination with the Option Key held down - that results in a crash:


    A) partially /copies/ data to the destination but keeps all data in the origination folder intact - or -


    B) partially /moves/ the data to the destination folder and now your data is split into two locations [with the last piece of information that was moved being the file listed in Finder (or whatever and however this happens) /before/ the file listed that caused the crash]...








    How come i never get an answer that makes sense on this one except the advice not to move and instead to COPY only and then go back and DELETE the data that was successfully copied over but for which you have no bread crumb trail to follow unless you were literally taking notes about what you were doing when you were moving data around...


    argh. this is a frustrating issue.

  • hotwheels 22 Level 1 (0 points)

    OK. thanks.


    sorry. i deal with this once i a blue moon when it crops up but it is frustrating to run into


    so you are saying that when i MOVE A FOLDER from my mac pro desktop to my macbook pro desktop while holding down the OPTION KEY to force a MOVE instead of a copy - that when this crashes the data has been PARTIALLY /COPIED/ (and not partially moved) and that it is safe to simply delete the folder on the destination with the partial copy since the data in the original folder is totally intact?


    i wonder if there is some documentation about this behavior since the answer and my handling of the crash is sort or very mission critical...



  • Austin Kinsella1 Level 6 (11,510 points)

    Right. Wrong (me!). It had not occurred to me that you might be actually doing a Move rather than a Copy, as many users just drag items between diks without realising they are copying rather than moving. However, you refer to holding the Option key, which actually forces a copy. It is the Command key which forces a move. (Apple article HT1343)


    Could you clarify which you are actually using? As for what happens during a force move of a folder when there is a failure, I really have no idea. I've tried force moving a folder (a bit smaller than yours!) between disks but haven't been able to force an error. It should be fairly simple for you to test - look in the target folder at the first listed file and see if it is still in the source.


    Personally, I would go for first copy then delete original as a safer option. And I'm not sure if you are allowed to remove your Documents folder ...

  • hotwheels 22 Level 1 (0 points)

    ok. thanks. someone at mac has to clarify this at some point.


    it is not sufficient to simply say - "oh, well, you should have booted into target disk mode" or to alternatively say that i should be using a copy and then manually going back and deleting the folder that i just copied".


    i mean, i guess this is the way you are supposed to do it on mac but it is totally unacceptable not to have a technical article on what happens when there is a CRASH during a move...


    very lame and really unacceptable IMHO.

  • MrHoffman Level 6 (14,777 points)

    Telling us that Finder repeatedly crashes might be cathartic and the primary problem is always a useful detail to know, but it's not something that (in isolation) we can address. 


    We need some details around the Finder crashes, when the crashes arise.


    Given your reported repeated instability here, I'd wonder if there's (for instance) a network problem or a disk I/O problem, a memory error, or another related hardware problem, for instance.  If there's a particular (and possibly flaky) disk involved in all the transfers, or if the network is tossing errors, for instance.


    Do (big) Finder copies going the other way also fail?


    These details - from the console logs and other supporting details - can potentially help sort out what's going wrong with Finder.

  • hotwheels 22 Level 1 (0 points)

    AOK. thank you for the info. this sort of request is very helpful to get me to understand things.


    I will try a large transfer from the MBP to the Mac Pro.


    so, presumably the first thing to start looking at would be to turn off wifi, connect via ethernet and test MBP > MacPro and MacPro > MBP - eliminating the wifi aspect of the transfer, yes?


    i mean, if i had been actually thinking or if i had realized how big the transfer is i could presumably have done this before trying to do the move...


    anyway, i would still love to hear a developer level explanation of what happens when finder craps out in the middle of a move and/or a developer level explanation of when or why not to use a MOVE in finder. seems like there is enough meat in those two for it to be helpful to a lot of people...


    THANKS Mr. H.

  • MrHoffman Level 6 (14,777 points)

    Look at the console logs when this tips over, and see what (if anything) gets logged there.


    Unstable hardware makes for unstable software.  WiFi is one possibility, but there are a number of other choices here.  Flaky hard disks can be a good choice for system or application instability, for instance.  (And flaky hardware is a guess.  The console log might provide some insight here, of course.)


    AFAIK, the source code for Finder is not available, so the programmer-level discussion would have to be from the engineering folks at Apple. 

  • hotwheels 22 Level 1 (0 points)

    thank you.

    thank you.


    will do.

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