I'm having trouble copying some files from my mac to an external hard drive: I keep getting the nondescript "error code -41".

I noticed some of the files with an additional "@" permission bit had the "com.apple.quarantine" flag set. I used the "xattr" command from this article

What should I do about com.apple.quarantine?

to take care of the quarantine flag and sort that out (these files were copied over from another mac on my network, so I guess OS X flagged them as quarantine).

That took care of the problem for those files but I still have some that I can't manually copy over to the external drive. The only other thing I've noticed is that some of these files have a an extra permission bit: "drwxr-xr-x+" which I haven't been successful in googling. Aside from that I don't see anything else. Also, Disk Utility says everything's fine.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.


The + means there are POSIX ACLs; try the xattr command. xattr doesn't appear to show ACLs. ls -le does. Also check chflags output. (OSX puts too many different things in too many different places; you can get ls to show ACLs and EAs but not chflags.)

  • Use ls -lO to show file flags. ls -le@O will show ACLs, xattrs, and flags. – Gordon Davisson Mar 17 '11 at 16:27
  • sigh I swear I went back and forth over the manpage multiple times after discovering -e (I already knew about -@) looking for that option. – geekosaur Mar 17 '11 at 16:55
  • Running 'ls -lO' didn't show any 'uchg' flags set for the files in question or anything like that, e.g., 'drwxr-xr-x+ 24 tatami staff - 816 Dec 28 2009 BroadphaseCollision' is what shows up for one such directory. Doesn't look like any other flags are set, but still getting 'error -41'. – diego Mar 17 '11 at 18:48

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