While moving some large files around the other day I came across a rather funny code that got me confused for quite a while. Every time I tried to copy the file it would throw up an error box saying the file can’t be copied, an “unexpected error has occurred, code 0”. The solution was decisively simple and very easy to overcome. Its due to the FAT32 partitioning system I was copying to. This post is going to explain how you can get around it.
FAT32 has a file size limit. You can read more about it on wikipedia. Due to the way the allocation is set, it wont allow files bigger than 4GB. This wasn’t a problem years ago when files didn’t get this big, but with home movies and large files in general this limit can be reached. With normal day to day operations with your Mac you won’t encounter this problem. However it may come across if you are using a FAT drive or USB stick.
There are two ways to get around this problem. The first is to format your destination drive to a different format, for example you can convert it to HFS which can be used by your Mac. You may run into problems if you want to use Windows. Alternatively you can use a plugin such as NTFS-3G to write to NTFS drives, this allows you to write to it on Windows and Mac and have large file sizes. For a table on formats I recommend this one. Formatting drives can be done in Disk Utility in Applications > Utilities. Formatting can be a bit of a pain. The best way is to split the file up using an application.
One method on reducing files sizes is to archive it. Most of the time this wont do much in terms of file size and you still may end up with a large file. The best way then, is to split up the file into smaller chunks. The best method is to use an app called Split&Concat. This app takes a file and splits it up into small chunks of your choosing. You can then put it on a memory stick moving it a different location and then put it back together again. There is similar apps for Windows and I assume Linux.
Hopefully you understand the problem that is faced by moving large files. There is different ways to store data, each of these have different limitations and can only be read by certain types of operating system. One file allocation system may be too much to ask. As a result the best way to transfer large files with this limitation is to split them up, or find a different way of moving them.