Why is my external hard drive frozen for hours after attempting to stop of a copy of 12,000+ files?

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I clicked “stop” when I was copying and pasting all my files from my Mac to my Seagate external hard drive. It has been stuck at copying 12,864 items to ”Backup Plus” with a zero progress bar then greyed out beneath it saying “Stopping…” What is going on? Any solutions?


“What is going on?”

When you are copying tens of thousands of files, if the hard drive is not fast enough — either it’s connection to your Mac or the hard drive itself — the Finder will tend to hang as it tries to stop the process.

“Any solutions?”

Yes. You can either wait for the Finder to truly — and cleanly — stop the process. Or you can power down and unplug the drive. Or just unplug the drive if it’s self-powered. No other way.

That said, when you disconnect the drive — and the message dialog is gone — you should plug it back in and power it up again and then launch Disk Utility and perform some “First Aid” on it. The reason being, simply disconnecting a storage device runs the risk of the file system getting mucked up. Best run “First Aid” on the drive to ensure the file system is solid.

And in a worse case scenario, you might need to power down the Mac and restart it if the Finder is still hung even after the drive is disconnected. Doesn’t happen all the time, but something to keep in mind.

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