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Richard, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 44687
Experience:  Apple Computers Specialist
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I set my computer to copy the whole iPhoto Library last

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I set my computer to copy the whole iPhoto Library last night on too an external hard drive. It nearly finished by morning then gave the message "The Finder can't complete the operation because some data in "iPhoto Library" can't. Be read or written" (error code 36). How can I solve this problem? The computers storage is full! We have a desktop Mac operating on OS X 10.9.5. Thanks.
Thank you for your question, my name is ***** ***** I look forward to assisting you.
Please note, a rating is only needed when we are finished.
You will need to use Dot Clean to resolve this
Launch the Terminal (found in /Applications/Utilities/ or with Spotlight)
At the command prompt, type:
dot_clean /Path/To/Directory/With/Problem
When dot_clean is finished, attempt the file copy again and it should succeed with no error code
For example, if copying ~/Documents/FileBackups/ is the problematic directory, use:
dot_clean ~/Documents/FileBackups/
That should be all that is necessary to resolve the issue, just be sure to attempt the file/directory transfer immediately after the command is run.
Let me know the results please
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OK sounds like a good plan, but Im not sure how to start. What do you mean by "launch the terminal"?To clean up the iPhoto library would I write exactly the following?
dot_clean ~/Documents/iPhotoLibrary/
You need to launch the program Terminal, (found in /Applications/Utilities/)
You will see the program there.
And that will be the correct command line you wrote back
Let me know the results please
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I am happy to talk on email as I have signed up for the 7 day free trial so it s free for me.
Sorry, I do not understand what your last message means....
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
When I found the website yesterday, it asked me to accept payment for my 1 question. Then it asked if I wanted to do a 7 day free trial with unlimited questions. I predicted I would have more questions about the Mac so decided this would be a good idea. So I am pleased i did this as I can now ask you to help me again.
ok.. good to hear!
How did you go though with the instructions I gave?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Well as I said, i don't know what you mean by "Launch terminal" - what do I do?Also when I am at the right place to type the dot command do I write exactly the following?:
dot_clean ~/Documents/iPhotoLibrary/
ok, I replied to this when you asked, I will repeat the message
You need to launch the program Terminal, (found in /Applications/Utilities/)
You will see the program there.
And that will be the correct command line you wrote back
Let me know the results please
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OK I tried it but it failed. said the following:
Failed trying to change dir to /Users/affers/Documents/iPhotoLibrary/
Bad pathname: No such rule or directoryWhat exactly do I need to type?
That is not then the path to your photos.
It all depends on where you have been saving them.
If your not sure, choose a photo in iPhoto, right click and choose "show in finder"
It will then show you the path.
Let me know the results please
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I think the pathway is affers/Pictures/iPhotoLibrary/ as these are the 3 file names I have to click on in Finder to get to iPhoto Library.But I tried opening iPhoto, selecting a photo and right clicking but the only menu I get is the usual little box with icons to Rotate, Hide, Trash, Cut, Copy and Show Event. So I don't see where it would say "Show in Finder". Other ideas?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
dot_clean~/Users/affers/Pictures/iPhotoLibrary/This is what I tried in dot clean but again its failed
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
are you still there?
ok, you copied the photos to the computer and choose a location at one stage, can you open Finder, and browse through the folders and try to locate them please.
Or do a search for one of the photos.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Im really sorry but I don't know how to do that! I don't "choose" a location in Finder to save the photos because they are alway uploaded directly into iPhoto straight from the camera.So I typed in the name of photo into the search bar in Finder and the file is now listed. I don't know how to tell the pathway name yet though. It says:
Search This Mac "Pictures"
Then the photo name.jpg on next lineI just tried in Terminal again but it failed again:
In the Finder choose "View > Show Path Bar" and it will then show the path in the bar that appears.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Aha! I can see th pathway at the bottom of the Finder box now! But I am confused as it says:
affers/Pictures/untitledfolder/IMGP0794.jpgI can see now that this photo is not in iPhotoLibrary. I don't really understand as I can see it in iPhoto on my screen! But I assume it must be because I have at some point unwittingly made an untitled folder in iPhoto which then has a different pathway.So I have tried to find another photo which is newly uploaded into iPhoto and definitely not in another folder. So I have tried to search in Finder for a photo but the IMG_2084 number of the photo doesnt come up with anything in Finder. I renamed this photo as "Snow" and searched again in Finder but it still is coming up with anything. Why not?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok I found the pathway for iPhotoLibrary!
It says MacIntosh HD/Users/affers/Pictures/iPhotoLibraryI just typed this into dot_clean but still says its not known.Im also a bit unsure because in Finder, where I see iPhoto Library there is no little arrow to the right to click on the see the photos contained within it. Why can't I see all the photo file names listed there?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
But there is an info box to right showing details of iPhot Library when its highlighted so I know its got 223.53 GB!! Thats why I need to remove it to a hard drive. This computer is hardly working!
ok, I am not really sure of the last part of your message an what was meanr but that is the path to use in the command within Terminal.
Can you use that path in the command please
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
dot_clean~/MacIntoshHD/Users/affers/Pictures/iPhotoLibrary/I typed this but it says "no such file or directory"
Should there be any spaces or capital letters or different punctuation in this command line?
You need to use the path
This is the path you indicated before that it gave you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
But that was only for one photo. I need to find the entire iPhoto Library as that was what I tried to copy earlier.When I select iPhoto Library in Finder and View the pathway bar, it shows the pathway as
Macintosh HD/Users/affers/Pictures/iPhoto LibrarySo why won't this work in terminal?
I am going to opt out of this question, another expert may have new ideas to work with you on this.
You do not need to do anything, you will be notified when another expert takes over your case.
Thank you and all the best.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
dot_clean ~/affers/Pictures/untitledfolderI just tried typing this into Terminal to see what happened too and it failed as well.
The only other option I see for use to progress is I can see you are a first time user to the site. What we do here is either a question and answer type of conversation or remote support where I would actually connect to the computer and have a look and attempt to fix the problem for you.
Remote support can save a lot of time if you are not comfortable performing repairs yourself. Sometimes even with instructions you can make a mistake and make things worse.
I will send an offer through for remote support and should you accept I will connect and see what is going on and fix the issue. Otherwise we can continue to talk like this but I will need to ask a number of other questions and try and walk you through some steps.
Both options are 100% guaranteed by the way. Remote is just quicker and avoids the risk of you making a mistake and doing something wrong.
If you want remote click get extra help. If not simply reply to me.
Richard and other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I ran out of time to work on this today. But perhaps we can try to sort this out tomorrow morning at about 9am?Thank you
Thank you
Can you go to
Click on Download for Free
Download and install the program and give me the ID and Password ***** please so I can connect
Do not close the program but leave it open else I will not be able to connect
Thank you
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I would love to sort out the computer problems now if you are there?
I have downloaded Team Viewer
username 258 614 604password 21a6kd
yes, I am connecting now
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello Richard. After hours of trying to copy iPhoto to Seagate hard drive, the same error message appeared saying "The Finder can't complete the operation because some data in iPhoto Library can't be read or written" (Error code - 36). Cleaning up the issues in Dropbox don t seem to have helped iPhoto. I believe there are issues within iPhpto to deal with not in Dropbox. What can be done next please?
Ok, your again referring to Dropbox, and as I keep saying, we did not do anything with dropbox, so I am not sure why you keep referring to this....
Can you download iPhoto Library Manager from here please
then try to duplicate the library via this program.
Let me know how you go please.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Hello again.
Before I try to download this Fatcat software, I need to know why we are trying to download the Library to it please. Our computer storage is now completely full and I am not even sure I'll be able to download this software. Are you just wanting to see if the iPhoto Library can be copied? Then will we delete the Fatcat version afterward and aim to get the copy on to our hard drive?
It is a program, you cannot download anything to it, it is IN this program you will be trying to copy your library to the other hard drive.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Ok I will try to download the software then now
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
OK it is downloaded. What now?
open it and try to duplicate the library via this program as per the instructions I gave
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
The only way I know how to copy the iPhoto LIbrary is from the Finder box and dragging it over the the hard drive icon. How do I do it from within Fatcat?
The way I just said, Open it and duplicate the library WITHIN the program
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Click on File
Then Duplicate Library
Then Save As to the hard drive.Is that what you mean?
(You didn't give these instructions by the way. This is NOT obvious to me!)
yes, this is correct
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Its copying now so will wait now. will take a long time.if this copies successfully, am i right thinking it is safe to delete it from the computer from Finder? Then Empty Trash?
Is there anything else I should do to make sure that its completely removed from the storage?Is it also possible to move across iTunes Library in the same way? If do this can we then still access iTunes (without our own library I know) on the computer?Thanks
Yes that is correct, check its on the other hard drive, then you can delete from Finder and the Trash.
You can move iTunes, but I do not understand what you mean with
"If do this can we then still access iTunes (without our own library I know) on the computer?"
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
When the iPhoto Library is moved, will iPhoto still be on the Mac? i.e.:
next time we upload photos from the camera will they still go into iPhoto on the Mac? Then if we store another 1000 photos on the mac in the next few months, do I just copy this newly created Library onto the heard drive again in future?And if we move our iTunes Library, then next time we ant to buy/listen to music on iTunes, can we still use iTunes on the Mac?
yes, as your only moving the library files.
Then you can repeat the process in the future.
You can use iTunes on the mac but you wont have your songs in it anymore.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
ok.The iPhoto Library is still copying but only done 720 MB of 223.5GB!!!
thanks, ***** ***** some time
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
~Hello again Richard.
The copying has failed again due to a new error. I have taken a screen shot of the error message and the viewed error log. Can I send these to you somehow?
yes, upload it using these instructions please
- Click the following link:
- Upload the file to that website
- Once it is uploaded, the resulting page will display a "File ID" number.
- Please, give me that "File ID Number"
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I have tried so many ways to upload these screen shots but every time I try I get message after clicking on upload file saying "We are sorry, but the requested file doesn't exist or has expired and is no longer available." But the file does exist because I can see it in Desktop on Finder!I am getting so frustrated!So the last error message I got after trying to Duplicate the Library on Fatcat said:The file at/ Volume/Seagate Backup Plus Drive/iPhoto Library.photolibrary/Masters/
2015/05/06/20150506-143751/P1020412.jpg could not be copied because an error occurred (-128).Then when I viewed the log it said in part of the log that
Library duplication complete
but then on next line said
Completed with error -128: The file at/ Volume/Seagate Backup Plus Drive/iPhoto Library.photolibrary/Masters/
2015/05/06/20150506-143751/P1020412.jpg could not be copied because an error occurred (-128).What does this mean?
It means those two files are corrupted.
Can you remove them from within iPhoto please then try again.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So how do you know there are 2 files?
And how do I find them in iPhoto?
normally two messages is two files, but it has the same name so its just
And its that you need to find in iPhoto and delete from it.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I understand but how do I find one specific file in iPhoto? I have iPhoto open here and there is a search box on bottom left of the screen. I have typed that file name in there but when I click on the magnifying glass nothing happens. I press enter and nothing happens.
So how do I find the file...
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
i also tried finding it via Finder by typing P1020412.jpg in the search bar. It comes up with nothing. Just a blank screen in Finder
qare you searching all files within Finder?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Yes i believe so.
All my Files is highlighted on left and I have typed in P1020412.jpg in search box and pressed enter/clicked magnifying glass. It comes up with nothing. Just a blank screen! Where is it?
Just type in P1020
Does it then show?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
7 other file numbers show up ending in different numbers but not the one ending in 412
ok, the only option left is to take it into the Apple Store and have them remove the hard drive from the computer.
They will then put it into another computer and try to get the files off it this way.
It is massive corruption that cannot repaired, so it may very well be an actual harddisk problem with the hard disk itself, but this will only be confirmed once they install it on another computer and try it this way.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
Is it really possible that just 1 little file in iPhoto can cause massive corruption? I find that so hard to understand.Do you mean just corruption within iPhoto? Is this something that will affect more than just me wanting to copy the iPhoto Library? There must be something more that can be done. Could you try doing a remote session to see what else you can do first?
No, its possible thats one of many but you need to remove that one to get to the other.
but thats a result of the issue, not the issue itself.
I cannot put it into another computer remotely, it has to be done physically in a shop/