Dave, how is your external drive formatted? Mac OS X Extended, or still the default MS-DOS (FAT)? If your external drive is not formatted Mac OS X Extended (Journaled), I'd move the library to a different drive and reformat the drive with Disk Utility.
What exactly are your Aperture version and iPhoto version?
Have you tried to trouble shoot your Aperture library? I'd try to use the "Library First Aid Tools" and repair permission and repair the library, or rebuild it, if necessary:
Oddly, if there are similar names; img_001 and img_001(1), searching for "img_001" won't show the first exactly matching file at all, but will show the second
This looks, like the filenames of your files may contain invisible characters. I'd try to copy the filenames in the Finder and paste it into a text editor, that can be set to show invisible characters.
Thanks for the response. All my volumes are formatted Mac OS Extended (Journaled). I've messed with permissions, including setting to ignore, which is what I've always used. I've moved the library around to multiple external volumes with no luck. And the problem originally started on an internal volume. Aperture version 3.4.3 and iPhoto 9.4.2. I've tried all 3 first aid options, repair permissions, repair database, and rebuild, probably 5 times each. I like your last theory, and I've dug into that a bit. I've copied the file name and seemingly pastes perfectly normally. I can copy the filename, paste into search, and it won't find it. And yet it will find the filenames with the same character strings as noted above.
you can check the filenames in the Terminal: the "ls -B" command will list the filenames and show invisible characters:
- Open a terminal window
- Type into the window (but do not yet enter "return" or "enter")
- add a "space" character, then drag one odf the suspect image files into the Terminal window, right behind the "space" character. Then hit "enter" or return.
What do you see?
If indeed the filenames should be corrupted by invisible characters, you could try to fix this in Aperture by batch changing the version names (Metadata > Batch change) and selecting to apply the changes to the original files.
Results as follows:
Mac-Mini:~ Dave$ ls -B /Volumes/My\ Passport\ for\ Mac/Photos/IMG_0030.JPG
/Volumes/My Passport for Mac/Photos/IMG_0030.JPG
Mac-Mini:~ Dave$ ls -B /Volumes/My\ Passport\ for\ Mac/Photos/IMG_0030\ \(1\).JPG
/Volumes/My Passport for Mac/Photos/IMG_0030 (1).JPG
The first command shows one of the problem files. Second command shows a similar file that has no issues. Nothing apparent problems to me from this test.
I also copied the problem file along with the non-problem file with the similar filename (1) to my desktop. When I begin any search string, the problem file disappears. If I completely rename it including extension, it disappears. If I make a copy and change it's name, neither show up. It seems as though there is some attribute of this file, all copies, and a bunch of others in my photo database, that is causing some kind of issue. I've taken a look at both file's info and there appears to be no differences, including permissions. Appears to be more of a file system/finder problem. I may try a different community.