OS X and new USB Flash Drive

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
I just picked up a new birthday present (yeah!): a 128 MB USB flash drive. It's small, it's purple, it's great...er, that might not be the case...you see I keep getting "Error code -50"



I haven't figured out why. One time I was copying a folder that conatined 54 MB of folders/files. It would get to the 33 MB mark and quit with this error. So first I thought it might be size related. So then I tried to copy over a demo (few files, one file was 65 MB). It got to 64 MB (1 MB shy!) of the copy before it gave me the error.



Just now I tried copying (one at a time) 4 folders that contained 11-30 items each. I got 3 of the folders copied over and when I tried the 4th one, I got this error (in total, all 4 folders add up to about 40 MB).



What am I running into? Is there some number of item limit on these types of drives? I haven't formatted the drive (not even sure I can do that) as it seemed to work "right out of the box".



Do I have a defective unit, or am I trying to do something that goes beyond the means of the device? Anyone have a clue?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 15
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    sounds like the disk it's writing to might be bad.



    have you tried running any kind of disk checks to look for bad sectors?
  • Reply 2 of 15
    I just tried the flash drive on my Win2000 laptop (the reason I got this is for easy quick transfer of files between PC/Mac machines) and it worked fine. I copied 100 MB worth of stuff to the drive no problem. Hmmm, I'm going to try this again in OS X and then try in OS 9 to see if it makes a difference. The only thing I've found out so far is that the "-50" is a hard-drive related error (which I pretty much assumed anyway, so that info it doesn't help much)
  • Reply 3 of 15
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    is the USB card reader listed as OSX compatible?



    i've seen some card reader that are not, even though they sort of work anyway.
  • Reply 4 of 15
    It's not actually a card reader, it's a solid state flash drive (i.e. use in place of a zip, floppy, etc.).



    Either way though, you have a good question. I'll try looking on the Apple site to see if it is supported.



    Does Apple have a "one stop" location for looking up compatibility/drivers?



    Thanks for your help!
  • Reply 5 of 15
    One more thing: since I'll probably have to return this, I would appreciate any feedback from people on what brand(s) you are successfully using in OS X.
  • Reply 6 of 15
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    ahh, so it's like a thumb drive type deal.



    in that case a few suggestions.



    first, see if there are any drivers from the manf. on their website for OSX.



    second, i've found that OSX has problems copying files to USB devices for some reason if the device is PC formatted. it copies, but really slowly.



    one thing you might want to try is open up the disk utility you have on your machine. (apps, utilities, drive setup, disk utility)



    from there, plug your drive in. it should show up on the left hand side. select the drive, then reformat it.



    format is for PC from OSX.



    see if it works then.



    -alcimedes
  • Reply 7 of 15
    Well I personally have one of these units..



    <a href="http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=299205&pfp=BROWSE"; target="_blank">http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=299205&pfp=BROWSE</a>;



    Its a 256MB Flash Drive. So far it works perfectly in OS X.2.3 & Win2K. No drivers needed at all. Fomatted as it came, FAT32.



    The only minor annoyance is that it has a green led inside it, that blinks slowly while the device is mounted, and blinks fast when accessed.
  • Reply 8 of 15
    [quote]Originally posted by biaachmonkie:

    <strong>Well I personally have one of these units..



    <a href="http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=299205&pfp=BROWSE"; target="_blank">http://www.compusa.com/products/product_info.asp?product_code=299205&pfp=BROWSE</a>;



    Its a 256MB Flash Drive. So far it works perfectly in OS X.2.3 & Win2K. No drivers needed at all. Fomatted as it came, FAT32.



    The only minor annoyance is that it has a green led inside it, that blinks slowly while the device is mounted, and blinks fast when accessed.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    THAT's the one I'm having problems with!!! Difference is I have the 128 MB version.
  • Reply 9 of 15
    [quote]Originally posted by fuzz_ball:

    <strong>



    THAT's the one I'm having problems with!!! Difference is I have the 128 MB version.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Well, then i'd try to reformat it, and if its still acting up, get an exchange.
  • Reply 10 of 15
    octaneoctane Posts: 157member
    I've got a 64MB USB PenDrive Plus SD flash drive and it works flawlessly with Windows and OS X, though I use it almost exclusively with Windows (not by choice!) First time I plugged it into an OS X machine it came up without any problems. I installed an application from it and unplugged without any problems what so ever.



    I would do as others have suggested and try formating it. You may also copy one file at a time to it and see if there is a point on the flash drive where it stops working (a certain capacity). And I would try with several different files. There shouldn't be any limitation on the type of file you can copy to it.
  • Reply 11 of 15
    Update: I tried re-formatting it, no dice. So I exchanged it for a totally different brand flash drive. Same damn problems



    So here is what I know: The flash drives (both) work on Win2000 and OS 9 without a problem; but on OS X, they have given me problems when trying to copy two different folders (one with about 40 MB of files, the other 54 MB of files). I CAN copy stuff to this drive, but I can't predict what it will let me copy from one time to the next. It is however consistent (i.e. those two folders I mention fail everytime the same way).



    In short, it seems I have an OS X issue. Question is, what's wrong??? Obviously my first flash drive should have worked as it worked for one of the posters to this thread...
  • Reply 12 of 15
    anandanand Posts: 285member
    I have a 128 drive (Kanguru) that will do similar things. It only happens with a Fat 32 format and files with long names with odd characters. Try renaming some things before adding them.
  • Reply 13 of 15
    [quote]Originally posted by anand:

    <strong>I have a 128 drive (Kanguru) that will do similar things. It only happens with a Fat 32 format and files with long names with odd characters. Try renaming some things before adding them.</strong><hr></blockquote>



    Thank you! When you mentioned "odd characters" I decided to whip out some good 'ole grep and I found the problem: one of the folders had a "/" in the name. Allowed on OS X, big no-no in Windows. As soon as I renamed the one offending folder, it worked like a charm!



    Thanks for the tip!
  • Reply 14 of 15
    zozo Posts: 3,115member
    [quote]Originally posted by alcimedes:

    <strong>

    second, i've found that OSX has problems copying files to USB devices for some reason if the device is PC formatted. it copies, but really slowly.

    -alcimedes</strong><hr></blockquote>



    I noticed that too... but only when connected to a low power USB port. For example, connected to the back my Cinema Display and to the Keyboard usb, its slow as hell. Connected to a free port on my iBook and it copies full speed.



    see if that might be the prob.
  • Reply 15 of 15
    I've got a 128MB Memorex USB Flash Drive and it works fine on OSX. Although, if I do not drag the drive to the trash before unplugging it, I get a nasty dialog box telling me my data may not be saved.
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