Lion: Finder copying bug?

So far, I have to admit I’m really rather enjoying using Mac OS X ‘Lion’, and even the backwards scrolling has started to feel natural…. I did however stumble across what would appear to be a Finder bug today – when trying to copy files from an SDHC card, the copying appeared to take place (e.g. there was a progress bar and temporary new file icon), but once the process had completed, no file was actually copied. This phenomenon was repeatable using either drag and drop or copy and paste commands, and also when trying to copy from an external USB drive.

Presumably Apple are working to fix this, but in the mean time there are a couple of workarounds. If you only want to copy one file, simply launch the Terminal application and execute the ‘cp’ command indicating the location of the file you want to copy and the destination target, e.g.

cp /Volumes/sdhc_card/my_clips/ /Users/myusername/Desktop

Since I was archiving the contents of an entire 32Gb card, the one-file-at-a-time method wasn’t exactly practical, so I resorted to plan B – create a disk image of the card using Disk Utility which worked flawlessly.

Hopefully some of you might find that useful 🙂

Don’t forget to check out my Lion-inspired T-shirts!



12 thoughts on “Lion: Finder copying bug?”

  1. Sorry to hear you are having problems. I tested the built in SDHC card reader on my MBP last night using a card from my GoPro HD and didn’t have any problems copying from/to videos.

    1. Thanks for commenting guys, and I’m glad your Lions are playing nice 🙂

      It’s a strange one indeed, and I’ve found it doesn’t just affect movie files either – I couldn’t copy a simple Illustrator file from a mounted network volume to a local drive using the Finder, however if I opened the remote file in Illustrator, I could then save it to the local destination no problem. First time I’ve ever seen that in nearly 20 years of using Macs!

  2. I’m getting the same issue. It seems quite random. So far I’ve experienced the bug on image files and video files. Haven’t really persevered with a solution but the disk image technique may be the way to go for now. I hope they create a fix for this soon as it will really start to bug me soon.

    Have there been many other reports of this nature or we just the unlucky few?



  3. Have exactly the same issue here but it’s not limited to external devices. I cannot even copy files from my home folder to desktop.

  4. Experienced the same problem when copying from one location on my harddrive to another via the finder. Looked it up on the Apple Support Forums, it’s a known bug – a weird one nonetheless. One quick fix that seems a lot simpler than using the terminal to copy files is to restart the Finder. cmd+alt+ esc brings up the force-quit menu and let’s you restart the Finder. Worked like a charm for me.

  5. I am experiencing the same issue. When I try to copy from my Downloads folder to another one it appears to copy but no file is moved. I have to use a third party bit of software to do it. Very odd.

  6. Just wanted to throw my hat in the ring with those who are experiencing this frustrating issue. I’ve had the bug pop up when using external devices as well as folders right on my internal drive. Restarting finder has also worked as a fix for me.

  7. Thanks for your post. Just found out about it through Google, as I’m having the same issue. I haven’t really been able to determine whether the problem is software- or hardware-related, but after reading a few reports it seems to be related to Lion and definitely a software problem. Have you found a durable solution to the problem? Thanks!

    1. Hi – to be honest, I’ve not had this problem for a long time now. The first thing I’d suggest you do is ensure that your copy of Lion is up to date… hopefully that’ll sort you out 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s