• The operation can’t be completed because an unexpected error occurred (error code -50).

    If you get this error, it’s not because your file names are too long, or you have funny characters in the file names that don’t play well with the intended destination server.  This issue comes from Apple’s OS X file extended attributes for each mac file there are at least 1 hidden file.  These are resource forks and if they are courrupt or have specific permissions set it can cause problems.  If you are looking at the affected files on a PC you will notice a bunch of hidden files with a prefix of “._ “.  NTFS Streams is the best option to have enabled for your mac if you are sharing files with other file system servers or computers.  This will also keep the system clean of unnecessary files.

    To fix this problem you must first enable the root user account.  To do this Open Directory Services found usually in Applications > Utilities, in OS X 10.6 you have to open System Preferences > Accounts > Login Options > under “Network Account Server” Click on “Join”, then you will see the option for “Open Directory Utility”.  When you are finally there you must “unlock” to make changes then at the top menu bar click “Edit” > Enable Root User Account.  I highly recommend making a complex password; this is very important for security purposes.  For a complex password I recommend using http://www.randompassword.com.  After creating this you must open up the Terminal Command Line Utility found under Applications > Utilities then do the following commands.

    1)       su root
    2)      [use the root password you just created]
    3)      cd /etc
    4)      touch nsmb.conf
    5)      emacs nsmb.conf
    6)      [Copy and Paste the following]
    7)      Control+X > Control+S > Control+X > Control+C
    8)      Exit Terminal and Reboot the Computer.

    When you’ve completed this and the computer starts back up it will refresh the networks settings and find this file and force NTSF streams when connecting to other servers.

    – Harry Caskey

    Posted by Harry Caskey @ 10:40

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2 Comments to Trouble Copying or Moving Files from a Mac.

  • Terry says:


    If you can assist,I would appreciate it.I’m running Mountain Lion on a Mac Pro

    1. I get an error -50 trying to empty the trash.
    2. The trash is on an external drive (Mac OS Extended (Journaled)
    3. The disk utility reports the disk as fine, Though it doesn’t give me the option to “Verify permissions”
    4. I also get a -36 error in trying to copy the data on the disk to another drive.
    5. All of this happened after a download failed and I deleted the directory which is in the trash as zero bytes and am unable to get it out of the trash
    6. The disk is effectively locked as I can’t create, delete or move any item, under Get Info, I have read and write permissions,



    • Harry Caskey says:

      Are you running the Extended (Journaled) partition on the same drive as well? I would recommend reformatting this external device to be the same file system as your System OS.

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