Intel-based Macs (and possibly PowerPC-based Macs, too): Incorrect file copy status (#2)

Intel-based Macs (and possibly PowerPC-based Macs, too): Incorrect file copy status (#2)

We previously reported on a troubling issue where file transfers that appear to be completed actually result in only a portion of the specified files being copied.

We've now received more information from the reader who originally reported the issue, indicating that the problem is not restricted to Mac OS X 10.4.5 but affects Mac OS X 10.4.4 for Intel as well (and possibly other versions of Mac OS X).

"I spoke to an Apple second tier technician, who said he was unaware of any reports of this issue, but asked if I would test using only a fresh install of 10.4.4 instead of 10.4.5.

"This morning I erased the drive again, and this time, only installed the OS from the DVD, 10.4.4, with no additional updates.

"I then followed the same procedure as before, using the same drive and the same set of files. I logged onto the eMac, selected only the Firewire drive in question, created a new folder on the local HD called ?Firewire Backup?, selected all the files on the FW drive and dragged them into the new local folder.

"The copy process ran for about 5 hours. After showing that 153.xx GB of 153.xx GB was complete, the window again disappeared without any reported errors, indicating that all files had successfully copied over.

"I then did a side by side comparison of the two directories. I first checked the number of root folders, then opened one subdirectory for each visible folder in each location. Unfortunately, the numbers differed at that point. Checking how they differed, I found that several of the folders now had warnings on them in the local folder, and when a Get Info was done on the folders, they were shown as 'No Access,' and so had not opened. Although these were not their original permissions, I reset the permissions to read and write, opened the subdirectories and compared again. Still, there appeared to be additional missing files unaccounted for by the incorrect permissions.

"I continued to check until I found the first set of missing files. They were files, not folders, one subdirectory down from root. They had no special permissions I could see. Three files had simply not copied over, and no errors had been reported during the copy process. When I manually dragged them to the local folder, they copied without complaint.

"At that point, I realized that any further subdirectories could not be trusted to have had their contents copied over.

"So it seems this issue is not related to the 10.4.5 update."

If you've experienced a similar issue, please drop us a line at late-breakers@macfixit.com.

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