Preparing To Copy - can this be turned off?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by TextCrab, Apr 9, 2010.

  1. TextCrab macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2010
    On my Mac, especially when copying a lot of files, the "preparing to copy" function before any copying actually takes place is too dang long. Is there any way to disable the "preparing to copy" part so that when I copy anything, it simply starts copying right away?

    I don't need to the OS to guess how long the copy will take or to detect if I have enough free space. I just want to the copy to go as soon as I tell it to.
  2. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    How much are you copying? And how often is this happening that it would be problem? Either that or you have a slow drive that you are copying from.

    You could use the terminal to copy stuff if you want.
  3. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    Those are not two separate functions. It's doing that because of the size of the item(s) you are copying. A small item will be copied instantaneously, as you want. But, it's a computer, not a miracle box. It takes a long time to cook a turkey in the microwave oven also.
  4. wellandbusiness macrumors newbie

    Mar 29, 2010
    Peterborough (UK)
    Even if you could turn this feature off - it wouldn't achieve anything.

    The preparing to copy stage of the copy process is your computer working out exactly where the files are physically located on your hard drive disks and where they will fit efficiently in the new location.

    This has nothing to do with where you see the files i.e. User/Documents, but where they are really sitting on your physical disks.

  5. TextCrab thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 9, 2010
    I see nobody has an answer to this, but I'll let you know why I asked.

    Back when I asked this, I was copying 20,000+ files to a FAT32 partition on an external USB drive. (Yes, USB2). It took 39 hours for "preparing to copy" to finish, and then 48 minutes to do the actual copy.

    That's why I was looking for a way to make the copy method more like Windows 98, where it doesn't get ready to copy - it just copies.
    The "preparing to copy" takes way to much time.
  6. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Two people answered your question. Here's a third: You can't turn it off.
  7. astrosonic macrumors newbie

    May 1, 2008
    You may use alternative feature I use all the time for similar to yours cases: open terminal and enter "cp -R <source> <target>" - it will start copying your files immediately. All you have to make sure is about a space available on your target device before making that.
  8. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    With your obviously limited knowledge, what makes you so sure that Windows doesn't copy in much the same way, except not tell you about it? I've copied large items on Windows and sat there watching it copy for a long time. Just because there's a different animation does not mean that the process is faster. But, I've never tried an "apples to windows" comparison.
  9. loderunner macrumors newbie

    Aug 28, 2009
    question answered for me.

    had the same issue; Finder stuck prohibitively long (and definitely not resulting in any visibly copied files).
    (NB: accessing files from a Drobo through the network and DroboShare)

    but the suggestion to use cp in the terminal is much better in this respect: it soon starts copying actual files--that are visible on the disk.
    I would be surprised if that would yield a worse performing HD??

    this is especially appreciated if it turns out you need to take the laptop (or HD) while the process is not completed yet.
  10. wshyang macrumors newbie

    Nov 24, 2012
    Goodness, I am having the exact same problem on my '10 ML MBP and what the hell exactly is this?

    Some "stand round in a circle" mutual masturbatory salute to the technical excellences of the late Steve Jobs?

    Finder is absolutely *horrible* and all you guys can suggest is "suck it up, that's the way it is", and even worse still make up non-existent pseudo-technical rationale on why things are so.
  11. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    Lots of people have issues with Finder. If there was a solution to the OP's problem, someone would have offered it. The suggestions above to "suck it up" as you say are indeed all I have to offer if the user is staying with a Mac. That's because there isn't an alternative with the Mac OS. So, one other suggestion: if you hate Finder that much, buy a Dell and use Windows.
  12. sammich, Dec 28, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2012

    sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    First: Steve was never a technical person.

    Second: I didn't know that The Great, The One and Only Steve Jobs May His Name Live FOREVER *takes a minute of silence*


    wrote the Finder in it's current form.
  13. ratsandwich macrumors newbie

    Sep 11, 2012
    This is the typical macass response. flaming and retard responses with a dash of smartass. every time there's a question theres a bitch hovering there waiting to tell someone how they're wrong or "why would you-" or some ********. even in its just "no" it has to be smartassy.

    muCommander. theres an answer. file transfer apps abound because the built in one is **** and thats an answer.

    pathfinder diskorder xfile and on and on...

    Oh how could you improve on perfect the fanboi says.

    ill use whatever works and if it doesn't work well then its **** no matter how nice the other features are. and... **** you. that is all. :apple:
  14. Intelligent macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2013

    I really can't make out what you are saying, but did you know that you bumped a thread thats years old? I know I'm bumping it further now but whatever, could you explain this in proper English?
  15. woofwoofola macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2015
    ratsandwich provided the most helpful answer that I've seen, but I will try to also provide some insight from my perspective.

    Firstly, ratsandwich was saying that we should use a different finder application (e.g. xfile etc) or a command line alternative (I was using cp in Terminal before, but I'm going to try xfile now).

    Secondly, here is what I think is happening. Some people, like me, can't stand the notion of file indexing because the computer uses CPU cycles at its own discretion. I really don't like that, so I turn off indexing with mdutil (a built-in command in Terminal). And here is the consequence of that: when I attempt to copy one small file that already exists to my network drive, it prepares to copy for perhaps 5 minutes before it finally prompts me that it already exists and asks if I want to replace it.

    Contrary to other answers I've seen in this forum or others, I don't believe it is checking for space or doing anything necessary -- I presume it must be building an index with/for unnecessary information. Now, to do/check things, yes a simple index is needed, but that should not take long, unless it is implemented badly, or it should be deferred until when it is strictly needed. If it was doing something necessary for the protocol then alternative finder applications would have the same problem, but they clearly don't.

    Some of the glib and asanine responses from people who haven't experienced the problem are because they put up with indexing, so that if they do experience an indexing delay it is minimal compared to what I experience.

    So I hope this theory of mine about my uncommon configuration (indexing off) explains why this problem hasn't been fixed. Nobody at Apple has bothered to reproduce it to get to the root cause and make the fix. Or provide an option to avoid the problem. It should be easy to do. In the meantime, I will use xfile.
  16. robo456 macrumors 6502


    Mar 3, 2008
    New Jersey
    Maybe it's because it's getting to the end of the work day, but I submit:

    Helmet: Good. Let's get moving.
    Sandurz: Yes, sir. Driver, prepare to move out.
    Helmet: What are you preparing. You're always preparing. Just go!
    Sandurz: Just go.
    Spaceball: Yes, sir.
    Sandurz: Sir, shouldn't you sit down.
    (They take off. The immediate motion causes Helmet to fall back into his seat.)

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