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  1. #1
    MacBook backup to external, skip corrupted files?

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    MacBook backup to external, skip corrupted files?
    My harddrive is corrupt, and many files are corrupt. However, many are not, and I'd like to back up everything I can to an external. The external is also full of import files for work, so I can't wipe it or anything. I want to do this promptly in case the internal is on it's last leg.

    If I try to copy files manually, every time it hits a corrupted file, I get error 36 and it stops copying the rest of the files. I don't know how to use scripts, and someone said Carbon Copy Cloner would do it, but I'm afraid of overwriting stuff that's on the other harddrive that might accidentally have the same name, or just in general. It won't let me specify to a folder.

    How can I copy these files, skipping the corrupt ones, before the harddrive craps completely?

  2. #2
    MacBook backup to external, skip corrupted files?

    Member Since
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    Bump, I really need to figure this out before I take the computer in to Apple Care to have the harddrive replaced, hoping I'm still under warranty.

  3. #3
    MacBook backup to external, skip corrupted files?
    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Don't think you can as cloning copies everything, corrupt files, and all period.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  4. #4
    MacBook backup to external, skip corrupted files?
    EvenStranger's Avatar
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    I'd use the command line to copy the files. It'll bypass the corrupt files and keep going until it's done.

    A trick to terminal is to drag and drop your source and destination folders into the terminal window instead of trying to type in the entire path. The command would look something like

    sudo cp -Rf sourcefile/* destination

    Step by step, the command does the following:
    sudo - peform this command as though I was the root user
    cp - copy
    -Rf - copy recursively, i.e., get the top layer folder and all subfolders; force the copy to continue if an error is encountered
    sourcefile - the folder where your data is stored.
    /* - anything under sourcefile
    destination - the folder where the copy is going.


    So if you wanted to copy your entire home directory to your external, create a destination folder on your external drive (call it Backup or something), and, if your hard drive was "MacHD" and your home directory was named "Mydrive," the command would be:
    sudo cp -Rf /MacHD/Users/Mydrive/* /externaldrive/Backup/

  5. #5
    MacBook backup to external, skip corrupted files?

    Member Since
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    I appreciate your assistance, but this is absolute French to me. I'd love to try it, but I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.

  6. #6
    MacBook backup to external, skip corrupted files?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr_goodbomb View Post
    I appreciate your assistance, but this is absolute French to me. I'd love to try it, but I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about.
    Yes, if it is French to you, I agree with your decision to stay away from it.
    You can really mess things up using terminal when you don't know what you are doing.

    What I would do is copy your essentials such as documents, photos, music, applications etc to an external HD.
    Otherwise, I would use time machine, but I would exclude the folders that you suspect have corrupt files.
    Then using disk utility, repair permissions and disk if necessary.

    If everything checks out you are good to go.

    If not, then you can perform a clean install, and if you used time machine, use migration assistant to restore what you want, and if you used the other method, drag the items back.

  7. #7
    MacBook backup to external, skip corrupted files?

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    Everything has corrupted files. Everywhere.

    Any folder with more than 10 or 20 files in it (I have lots of images saved) has corrupt files.

    I'm not going to bother trying to save this harddrive. It's screwed. I can hear it clicking and catching. I'm just trying to save what I can prior to having it replaced tomorrow. But because it freaks out every time it tries to back up a corrupted file...

  8. #8
    MacBook backup to external, skip corrupted files?

    Member Since
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    Back to my old 2.2GHz C2D MB after selling my MBP and wondering what my next Mac will be :)
    In that case I would just be dragging and dropping to an external HD, starting with the most important stuff.

  9. #9
    MacBook backup to external, skip corrupted files?

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    Yes, you seem to be missing the point. Every time I drag and drop, it chokes on a corrupted file and stops transferring. I delete the corrupt file, and start over. It chokes on another. So, either I do this indefinitely for thousands of files, or I drag and drop a few files at a time, and when doing so with thousands of files in dozens of folders, it gets pretty old.

  10. #10
    MacBook backup to external, skip corrupted files?

    Member Since
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    Back to my old 2.2GHz C2D MB after selling my MBP and wondering what my next Mac will be :)
    Just out of curiosity, what is the external formatted to that you are trying to drag to?
    I suspect that you will not be able to resolve this without an HFS+ formatted drive.
    Considering how cheap a new external is especially if you weigh against the time and inconvenience of losing your data.
    If it is FAT32 (MS-DOS), you may want to look at this.
    Solution to Finder “Error code -36″ in 10.6 when copying folders | MacYourself

  11. #11
    MacBook backup to external, skip corrupted files?
    bobtomay's Avatar
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    And if that link from 6string doesn't work for you, although that could well be your problem. Do you know if those files are really corrupted? As in you can't open them on your Mac or you're only having a problem copying them to the external drive?


    If that is not your issue, will say that I'm no terminal guy either. But, you either keep doing it the way you are, or you read EvenStranger's post enough times until you understand and comprehend. It really is not that hard. We only make it hard.

    Using drag and drop method mentioned - here is baby steps laid out for you.

    Open a Finder Window and put it on one side of your screen.

    Open terminal and put it on the other side of your screen.

    In terminal - all on one line:
    type sudo
    press space bar
    type cp
    press space bar
    type -Rf
    press space bar
    drag the folder you want to copy into the terminal window and drop it
    you will notice this added a space at the end all on it's own, so press Delete one time to back up
    type /*
    press space bar
    drag the folder where you want to put all the copied stuff into terminal and drop it
    now look at it - does it match the line above except for having your folders listed there? - yes?
    press enter

    Don't do it, until you read the above post, so that you know what you're doing.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  12. #12
    MacBook backup to external, skip corrupted files?

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    The harddrive is NTFS+. It's the harddrive I use for all my Final Cut editing.

  13. #13
    MacBook backup to external, skip corrupted files?

    Member Since
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    Back to my old 2.2GHz C2D MB after selling my MBP and wondering what my next Mac will be :)
    NTFS could be the same problem that FAT32 would be.

    I would look at bobtomay's post, as this may be of assistance to you.

  14. #14
    MacBook backup to external, skip corrupted files?

    Member Since
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    This thread was quite helpful for me. After readind the manual for cp, (enter "man cp" in Terminal) I found another useful argument to add to cp, "-v" for verbose mode.

    I you enter
    cp -Rfv [source]/* [destination]/

    then cp will let you know what it's doing,

    A list of errors for files that didn't transfer can be found in the system log in the console app in Terminal

  15. #15
    MacBook backup to external, skip corrupted files?

    Member Since
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    Thumbs up
    Thank you very much!!! This worked out perfect, I was having the same problem and Im not a programer, but baby steps worked great!

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