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How to fix “Cannot copy file. The Parameter Is Incorrect” error

Had a head-scratcher today whilst migrating some data from a 500GB External USB HDD to a new 1TB External USB HDD, both attached to a client server.

Some of the data refused to copy across, throwing up a “Cannot copy file. The Parameter Is Incorrect Error” each time. Same error when the copy was attempted in DOS, RoboCopy or XCOPY.

Upon investigation, each of the problematic files were 10GB+ in size – and suddenly the realisation dawned – that the new external HDD was formatted as FAT32 and not NTFS, and thus suffered from FAT32’s 4GB file limit.

A quick format to NTFS on the drive, and I was able to copy those large files across without issue.

Obviously, I have become so used to working with large files nowadays that sometimes I forget things weren’t always this way!

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Richard Tubb

I help IT companies grow their businesses in a scalable and sustainable way. My clients are business owners of small to medium sized IT firms. at Tubblog
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  1. FAT32 may have been OK back in your atari days, but today it just doesn’t cut it. 🙂

  2. How weird is that…had a conversation with a customer this week over the same thing
    Pointed him to this: 
    Reformatted the drive and all sorted!

  3. FAT32 didn’t exist in the Atari days – it was FAT16

  4. Dave Bosley says:

    I use 7-Zip to split any files larger than 4GB into 650MB Chunks. (7-Zip limitis what size you can split them into but, anything under 4GB works.) I then use Robocopy to copy each chunk down and use 7-Zip to reassemble the chunks back into the file. It even works with SQL Backup files. I haven’t tried to automate this yet as I don’t have to do it too often.

  5. GSCopy Pro v6.0 (RoboCopy Alternative) with Open File Agent
    GSCopyPro is a single command-line tool (CLI) that can copy, replicate and move files from one folder to another. This folder can be on the same machine/ server or another server elsewhere. What makes GSCopyPro stand out from other competitors is the fact it works on 32-bit as well as 64-bit systems and has no restrictions. It can easily be scheduled to run as a scheduled task and fully automated. GSCopyPro also comes with an open file agent which can copy files that are locked/ opened by other processes. This feature is supported in all windows versions from widows XP/ 2003 and later.
    Go To:>>

  6. Thanks! Richard, I’ve had a real AHA! Moment just now, after hours and hours of frustration before I read you post here. AHA! Of course I should have known that – because I did – but I just didn’t think of it like that. Thank you, thank you for making your post here! By the way, the free tools sound good, and the 7Zip split is another interesting idea too. Cheers, everyone!

  7. Aidan Formosa says:

    This will do the trick. All you need to do is follow these steps and then you will be able to copy the files.

    1.Close any open programs running on the partition or logical drive to be converted.

    2.Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, click Accessories, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator. Administrator permission required If you’re prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

    3.At the command prompt, type convert drive_letter: /fs:ntfs, where drive_letter is the letter of the drive you want to convert, and then press Enter. For example, convert E: /fs:ntfs would convert drive E to the NTFS format.

    4.Type the name of the volume you want to convert, and then press Enter. You must use the existing name of the volume or the conversion will be canceled. You can view all available volumes in the Computer folder under Hard Disk Drives.

    Open Computer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, and then clicking Computer.

    If the partition you are converting contains system files—which would be the case if you are converting the hard disk that the operating system was installed on—you will need to restart your computer for the conversion to take place. If your disk is almost full, the conversion process might not succeed. If you receive an error, try deleting unnecessary files, or back up files to another location, to free up disk space.

  8. Thank you very much! FAT32 was the default on a SD card I’m using to transfer a bit file sneaker-net style. Formatted it NTFS and my 11GB file is now copying. My Nikon will need to reformat the card when I’m done with this little exercise, but that’s not a problem.

  9. Doh!!! Great reminder. Thanks.

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