I was just copying some files from a camera to the computer using File Explorer, when all of a sudden, I received a "Catastrophic failure" message.

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I was shaken, not just by the content of the message itself, but by its brevity. I've come to expect detailed error messages in Windows with lots of technical jargon and composed carefully chosen words, and this is unlike anything I've ever seen before. It almost seems like something a virus would cause.

I clicked OK, and continued copying the pictures over. I was able to copy them all over, so I'm not sure what this was about. I looked online but couldn't find anything certain. Is this just Windows misbehaving? Does anyone know what would prompt this?

  • When you say, “copying some files from a camera to the computer” do you mean the camera was connected (presumably) via some kind of USB cable? Jul 2 '18 at 0:39
  • @JakeGould Yes. Jul 2 '18 at 0:42
  • Given that you were able to continue copying (and I assume you verified that everything was copied and copied successfully), it can't mean what the words would imply. Sounds like a nothingburger.
    – fixer1234
    Jul 2 '18 at 0:43
  • @fixer1234 True, but that's not what I would expect from this message. I've never seen "catastrophic" in any Windows error dialog before, and I half expected the hard disk to crash or something when it popped up. Is this really a genuine Windows error? Jul 2 '18 at 0:44
  • The error may have been logged in Event Viewer and may have more details.
    – Moab
    Jul 2 '18 at 13:21

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