Can't copy 4 GB file from external HD to MBP HD


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 17, 2007
I was downloading a 6 gig ISO (dvd image) to an external HD that was formatted as FAT32, sadly I forgot that it would be a problem (4 gb file size limit for FAT32).

Anyway, I want to move the file from my external drive (at least what I have of the file so far) to my MacBook Pro hard drive, so I tried dragging/dropping it onto my desktop, and this is what I see:

Any ideas whats going on, or what I can/should do? I have checked permissions.



macrumors member
Oct 10, 2006
The picture looks like it was trying to drop it on the PNG file? Try a blank part of screen


macrumors newbie
Jul 24, 2007
you can try doing it manually via the terminal

First, make absolutely certain you've room, and that the drive youre copying to support files of that size. I'm not trying to be mean. I forget sometimes, too.

With the terminal comes great problem-solving power and great problem-causing ability. I can't be held responsible for the particulars of your system.

Launch the terminal then:

cd /Volumes/ <Enter>
cd <name of your external> <Enter>
cp <path/to/the/file.extesion> ~/Desktop <Enter>
those commands mean:
  1. move to the directory that holds all your various drives and media
  2. move into the external drive
  3. copy the file on the external drive to your Desktop

this will take a while for a 6 GB transfer. if you hear the external platters start spinning, consider it a good sign (TM).


macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jul 17, 2007

Thanks for the advice! I've used linux quite a bit (all the CS labs at school are linux) so I think I should be able to manage that :)

Also, I have to ask, is your first name kevin?

If so, we might have the same name :)

when I saw your user name i literally had to do a tripple take, my email address @ school is "kemitche" so it really threw me off, I was wondering if something was wrong...