Can't transfer videos to external hard-drive, help!

Discussion in 'macOS' started by irismihu, Aug 20, 2015.

  1. irismihu macrumors newbie


    Aug 20, 2015
    Hello everyone,

    I am having to change the hard drive on my 2011 Macbook Pro and I am trying to save all my files before I give it in.

    They said I should do it manually rather than use Time Machine, with the hard drive failing and what not.

    So, I bought a Seagate Back up Plus for Macs Portable Drive, with 1TB of storage, and everything is going great, except I can't upload my videos.
    It had no problem with photobooth videos and videos taken with my mother's camera, but not those with mine. They are a MP4 format and filmed with a Sony camera (I mention this because in the past I have found it impossible to use them with iMovie).
    I don't think they are particularly heavy - something like 49 Mo for a one-minute video.

    I uploaded the iPhoto Library as a whole, and it appeared fine on my husband's computer, but the videos in it don't show. It says it is because it doesn't have the original file.

    I have tried changing the format of the hard drive but it appears to have changed absolutely nothing except erase everything I had already put on there.

    These are videos of my son growing up; I would really, really hate to lose them.

    If anybody can think of a solution, that would be great!

    Thank you!!!
  2. Zedsdead185 macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2006
    Do they still play fine on your mac? (i understand that your mac is obviously in some sort of dis-repair so might not work very well at all) also, are you trying to copy them directly from iPhoto? If so, you might be copying a shortcut of them and not the original file themselves. If you are copying from these programs, then see if you can right click the video file, and select 'show in finder'. If that selection is there, then it should take you to the original file in a finder window. To me it sounds like you've added a video, but it hasn't been copied directly into the iPhoto library and is elsewhere on your mac.
  3. irismihu thread starter macrumors newbie


    Aug 20, 2015
    Hello, thank you for answering!
    1. I am transferring (or trying to) files which were in an 'All videos' file, which I copied on the desktop.
    2. They play more or less fine.
    It's not all videos that won't copy; more like one out of two or three, but then it will stop the whole transferring process, and I have 645 of them, so it will take forever.
    3. They play, but they kind of pause then resume but fast-forward...
    My computer is very, very slow though, so I'm not sure they don't ALL do this.
    Thank you!!!
  4. Zedsdead185 macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2006
    After reading point number 3, that indicates to me that it could be one of 2 things.
    1 - due to your hard drive beginning to fail, it is making it hard to copy them over/play them without errors occurring which is causing the errors and not creating a correct copy.
    2 - or the files have become corrupted. The fact that they are skipping might mean that some of the data for each video is missing, and can't create a complete copy. This could be possible because of the damaged hard drive (you mentioned it was beginning to fail) or it could be due to the way the camera creates video files (you also said it was only videos from your Sony camera)

    I can advise 2 things.
    1 - I know it sounds like a major chore, but try copying each video 1 at a time. That might reduce the copy failing due to hard drive errors if it is the hard drive causing the problem. Also, if some won't copy, then you will still have saved the majority.
    2 - if the above fails, try running each video through a programme called 'handbrake'. It's a free programme that you can get off the web that converts video files. By running each video through this and making handbrake export the result to your external drive, it may correct any errors. Not guaranteed though.

    I'll keep my fingers crossed that one of these works for you! Keep us updated!
  5. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    It sounds like one or more of the files you're trying to transfer are corrupted, and the finder won't copy a "bad" file (because, well... it can't).

    The suggestion to try copying a single file at a time is a good one. It will help you discover which individual files may be corrupted.

    Here's what I'd do in your place:

    Download CarbonCopyCloner. CCC is FREE to download, and it is FREE to use for 30 days, with all functionality.

    Then, I'd use CCC to clone the contents of my internal drive to the external drive.
    Why do this?
    Because CCC has a feature -- if (during the cloning process) it can't copy a file due to corruption, etc., it will not "halt the clone". Instead, it will skip the bad file, make a note of it, and keep going with the clone. It will copy the good stuff and leave the bad stuff behind.
    At the end of the process, you can review CCC's log file to find out which files got "passed over".
    The idea of trying it this way is that it might save you considerable time...

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