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I have a few videos up to 4 GB in size on an SD card. I am able to watch them and I think this proves they are intact.

But whenever I try to copy file larger than perhaps 1.5 GB, the operations dies after about 2 minutes saying it cannot read the source even though it was making good progress. I've had the same issue copying over USB from my camera directly.

Is there some blind timeout on copying a single file here? How can I tweak or bypass it?

In other words, how can I copy a large file that may need a few minutes from an SD card or USB to the hard drive?

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I suggest you check your sd-card for errors. There could be a problem with it even tough you can watch the movie. – Tom Feb 20 '12 at 9:32

Use robocopy for large or large amount of files. It is a really good copy program. The parameter /r is for number of retries and the parameter /w is for the wait-time between the retries in seconds.

robocopy s:\myvideo.mp4 c:\videos\myvideo.mp4 /r:5 /w:5

Robocopy should be preinstalled on your Windows 7

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Generally, no, there aren't timeouts that stop a file transfer if it has been doing just fine. If the transfer was stopped due to an error, there was most likely an actual error.

If you can watch the movie, that just means your movie player is a bit more robust than your file copy application. Which makes sense, as one just wants to translate the file into pretty pictures and the other should make sure the copy is identical to the original.

So you either need to be more resilient while copying (like Tom suggested) because the media is faulty, or you have to reconstruct the file from the portions you can read (with tools like this or this possibly).

Another related tool I should is TeraCopy, might come in handy for this as well.

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