Apple OSX 10.6 Can’t Copy Home Folders to External Hard Drive for Backup

So maybe, like me, you’ve realized that Apple computers at best aren’t any better than the competition and you just want to backup your files to an external hard drive and get something that’s both cheaper and better (which isn’t hard to do). You create a separate admin account, and log into it so you can copy the folder that you want, but the Crapple keeps telling you that it can’t copy the files (error code 0), and asking you to authenticate, but then never presents you with an authentication window. Crapple support tells you to use Time Machine, but then you realize that you can’t fully restore to anything but another Crapple with Time Machine, so it’s not a real backup. Even Apple Support has told me that “it’s not a real backup.” Which is funny because when you buy your computer, etc. they sell it as the best, easiest to use backup feature EVER! Hardly the first time they’ve been full of shit. Anyway, here’s what to do. The underlying problem here is that FAT doesn’t support file sizes larger than 4GB, so this won’t work if you are in that boat, but smaller stuff can be copied using this method. SOme have had luck using Microsoft’s native file system, NTFS, which is only sort of supported in OSX 10.6, meaning it can read NTFS drives, but many still recommend against read/write NTFS wit this OS version. In the end, the real solution is not to use computers made by companies that have no interest in making it easy to have free, universally accessible backups.

0. Hookup your external FAT hard drive. (Yeah, this is an old Filesystem that could easily be replaced by a better open FS like EXT4, but then Crapple, Sony, Nintendo and Microshaft would have to fully support EXT4). So you’re probably using FAT.

1. Create another admin user to log in as (If you haven’t already)

2. Navigate to the Users folder and open it.

3. Find the folder with the user name you want to backup.

4. Right Click on it and choose Get Info, or Command + i (aka Apple + i)

5. Use the disclosure triangle next to Sharing & Permissions to show Permissions

6. Click the lock and authenticate to unlock it

7. Click the Plus symbol and Add the Administrator Group, and give it read and write permissions. (Security minded folks, probably not most Apple users, may just add the admin you’re using to copy the files with.)

8. Close the lock.

9. Copy your home folder to your external hard drive.

Warnings: Your proprietary Crapple Applications live in the Applications folder. So you won’t have them by backing up your home folder, just your files that live there. Since alot of your documents can’t be read by anything but Crapple Applications on a Crapple computer you probably can’t run them on anything else anyway. So, you may want to take your Pages documents, for example, and save them in another more universal format like RTF or even as a Word Document or PDF. Security minded folks will notice that giving permissions to anyone else creates a potential security problem. You may want to remove the access given above after you copy your files. It depends on your situation.