External HD problem

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Jan E. Schotsman, Jan 1, 2014.

  1. Hello,

    I got a Toshiba 500GB portable exterrnal disk from someone. It keeps
    preventing me from changing names of files with the message "Try using
    another name, with fewer characters or no punctuation marks" even after
    multiple reformats as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) with Disk Utility.

    The fact that it's a USB 3.0 disk and I am still on Leopard shouldn't
    make any difference, should it?

    How do I get this thingy to work?

    Jan E.
    Jan E. Schotsman, Jan 1, 2014
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  2. That error usually occurs if you try to rename a file to be an already
    existing file in the same directory.

    If you go to the Terminal in that directory and enter the "ls" command
    to see if the file is already there. Try creating the file with the
    touch command. If that fails and you're root, there's probably a
    problem with the drive. As root, you should be able to create a file,
    there's very little that will stop you. I think there's an extended
    filesystem attribute that will prevent even root from changing a file.

    The USB type shouldn't be any difference. You mention you've
    reformatted with Disk Utility multiple times on Leopard. What happens
    if you move the drive to another system, like a 10.8 system? Does the
    problem exist?
    Michael Vilain, Jan 1, 2014
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  3. That would result in a different message "name already taken".
    Thanks for your reaction.
    I just tested on Mavericks and everything works as expected!
    So it's just Mac OS 10.5.8 that doesn't quite understand USB 3.0 disks.
    You can save files to them from applications with any name, but the
    Finder has many problems. You cannot rename or duplicate, and trashing
    files doens't behave as expected either.
    I can live with this situation, bacause I have a second internal hard
    disk with Max OS 10.9 on it (for testing my software) but if you read
    this and you are still on Leopard only then my advice is to avoid USB
    3.0 except for read-only purposes.

    Jan E.
    Jan E. Schotsman, Jan 2, 2014
  4. Correction: saving files from applications is problematic too.
    Jan E. Schotsman, Jan 2, 2014
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