Copy and Pasting Files keeps giving Insufficient Privileges Error

Discussion in 'macOS' started by knemonic, Apr 13, 2009.

  1. knemonic macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2009
    Hello everyone,

    Hope someone might be able to help. I am attempting to copy files from a USB attached to my iMac external hard drive to my new NAS drive system, which is connected through my Airport Extreme by gigabit ethernet.

    I know the NAS is using a file system that I do not recognize (its a WD ShareSpace, 4TB/3TB Raid 5 NAS), which could be causing the problem. Basically I am attempting to transfer all the files stored on the USB external to the NAS. When I copy all the files and paste them to the NAS through Finder, I get an error saying it could not be completed cause I have Insufficient Privileges to do so. There are thousands of files to go through, but I have pinpointed two folders that are causing the problem, which themselves have thousand of files.

    The USB drive info has "Ignore ownership on this volume" checked. These two folders may have some backups of Websites, which probably include a ton of files, like scripts, cgi, php and others that have permissions set specifically from the website. What is odd is I was able to copy and paste them to this USB a while back, so it should work when transferring to another drive. I think these files may be causing the problem cause I had another folder that had a website backup, and when I removed the entire website folder, I was able to transfer what was left.

    Unfortunately I need to backup all of this, so I was hoping someone might be able to inform me of the glitch or how to rectify it.

    I did a permissions repair on my main hard drive, which has OS X on it, but this drive has nothing to do with the transfer since the files are going to outside the computer. I cannot do a permissions repair on the the external USB drive.

    Any help is greatly appreciated!
  2. xgman macrumors 601


    Aug 6, 2007
    can you copy your files onto a temp computer, reformat your flashdrive in mac and try again?
  3. knemonic thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 14, 2009
    I appreciate the idea, but I think you might have read my problem wrong. I am not transferring from a flash drive. I am attempting to transfer files from one external USB hard drive to a Gigabit Ethernet connected NAS.

    These files are not stored on my mac at all. This is an issue with file permissions, not the integrity of the drive itself.

    I hear once in awhile about people having issues with file permissions, and it seems like it might be something simple, I just need someone who knows more about the guts of OS X to throw me a bone.

    Thanks for the suggestion!
  4. zemm macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2010
    I know this thread is a year old, but I came across this issue today. I'm pretty sure I have found the solution: It is to do with the "._" files that Mac uses to store extended attributes when using a network or FAT partition. If you try and copy them with the Finder (as in part of a folder) you may get the permissions error.

    To check you'll need to use the Terminal, cd to the folder you want to check (you can type in "cd " then drag the folder into the Terminal window) then execute "find . -name '._*'" (Don't include the double quotes in the command, do include the single quotes)

    To then delete those files one would then execute "find . -name '._*' -exec rm {} \;".

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