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Finder error -36 copying library

561 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Mar 5, 2013 10:31 AM by njwight RSS
njwight Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Mar 5, 2013 8:25 AM

I am trying to copy a 300GB Aperture library from one external drive to another. (It doesn't fit on my internal) I get the following message: "The Finder can’t complete the operation because some data in “x.aplibrary” can’t be read or written. (Error code -36)"  I have run disk utilties-both drives are fine.

Is this due to the large size? WOuld I be better opening the library in Aperture and "exporting" to the second drive to make the copy?



(IAlso posted in Mountain Lion community...)




  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,510 points)
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    Mar 5, 2013 9:01 AM (in response to njwight)

    Are both your drives formatted MacOS X Extended? That error messages is very typical for trying to copy from or to an external drive that has the wrong formatting. What format do you see when you select one of your external drives in the Finder and use the Finder menu command "File > Get Info":

    Screen Shot 2013-03-05 at 15.15.49.png


    If the destination volume has a different format, reformat it (with Disk Utlity) as MacOS X Extended Journaled. An Aperture Library needs to be stored on a MacOS X Extended volume.




  • léonie Level 8 Level 8 (46,510 points)
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    Mar 5, 2013 9:21 AM (in response to njwight)
    Last time it was well into the copy when it failed.


    Sometimes the library contains one single image with a corrupted, illegal filename (containing non-printable characters, like "linefeed"). If you open the partially copied library with "ctrl-click > Show package contents", you can check what the last successfully copied file is and try to figure out, what the file is called, that should be copied next. Is there something funny with the filename? Then try to rename that image in Aperture  (or export and reimport it with a new filename).

  • Ernie Stamper Level 8 Level 8 (37,455 points)
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    Mar 5, 2013 9:49 AM (in response to njwight)

    The size itself is not a problem.  I have done this with libraries exceeding one terrabyte.

  • Frank Caggiano Level 7 Level 7 (22,820 points)
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    Mar 5, 2013 10:12 AM (in response to njwight)

    If you are comfortable with the terminal you might have better luck doing this from there. The Finder seems to have problems with Aperture libraries sometimes that the terminal doesn't.


    And as Ernie says this isn;t directly related to library size. The library as you know is composed of many sub-folders and files. Its not one monolithic thing. You could try breaking up the copy into smaller chucks. It would work fine as long as you get all the individual bits back in the correct relationship.


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