How not to overwrite everything when copying files

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by viperacr, Oct 13, 2009.

  1. viperacr macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2009
    When I copy and paste a directory in my macbook pro to my timecapsule it keeps overwriting all files and deletes files that are not being overwritten. When it asks me whether i want to overwrite files it does not copy anything when i answer no. How do I copy just newer files and not delete files that are already on my timecapsule but are not on my mac. A PC does not have this problem
  2. viperacr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2009
    Can someone please tell me what do with this problem

  3. velocityg4 macrumors 68040


    Dec 19, 2004
    This is just how Mac OS X copies directories. You need to actually open the folder you are copying from, select all contents then drag them over clicking yes to overwrite. This way only files of the same names will be copied over. You will need to repeat these steps for sub-folders.

    This is just the way Mac's copy folders. They assume full directory replacement. I do agree they should add options for file vs folder replacement.

    Though I also dislike how Windows does not just replace the folder so sometimes as I have to delete it first. Which is really aggravating to remember when replacing my huge music, picture or video directory backups after cleaning out duplicates or organizing.
  4. viperacr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 9, 2009
    You have to be kidding me. There has to be a better way of copying files and directories without full directory replacement . Its ridiculous

  5. 1voud macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2009
    That's indeed the way Mac OS X handles the "replace" action.
    It's not Apple's fault that Microsoft does it different. Your reaction is the same a Mac user would have when wanting to replace things on a windows machine.

    It's your habit that's the issue, not the OS.
  6. eddieddu macrumors newbie

    Nov 1, 2008
    Go to terminal and use the cp command to copy files in a way all the other - nonMac - people on this planet do :)
  7. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    But it is Apple's fault that an uninformed user can experience major data loss, where as an uninformed Windows user will just have clutter.

    I agree with the OP, and it sucks that unless you want to go into terminal, that there's no way to do it. I'm pretty sure this is covered by FTFF...
  8. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Maybe I'm missing something but the OP is copying a folder and its contents but he wants some of the the contents of the target to remain? That doesn't sound logical to me, he's copying a folder so that is replacing the target. Its not a file centric operation in that its copying only the files to the a directory (of the same name) but rather that folder so the folder will be a mirror image of the source.

    If the OP only wanted to copy files, he could have selected all of the files in the source folder, and copied them over to the target folder, there by leaving other files in the target folder intact

    That makes perfect sense to me, again, I could be missing something.
  9. kai920 macrumors member

    Jul 21, 2009
    Merging folders was something I did a bit of research on a little while ago. Maybe try something like this?

    PS. Found my original post on Anandtech... check here for some suggestions:
  10. Sirolway macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2009
    I use ChronoSync to merge folders
    There's also plenty of other tools out there that will do it.

    Perhaps not ideal if you're used to the way Windows works, but there's bound to be a few differences between OS's you're not wild about.
  11. macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2009
    I use the 'ditto' command in terminal to make backups of my current design work to a backup drive -- It copies and replaces files with the same name but different last edited date, and copies in new files, without removing any of the existing files or hierarchy.

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