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May says Device Disappeared while copying files from external hard drive, what to do?

I've been trying to copy files from a Lacie hard drive to a Sandisk G-Drive on my Macbook Pro 14 (OS Monterey) and every time I tried to copy the drive contents an error would appear partway through. I tried to isolate this by copying folder by folder, file by file until I got the same error. Everything copies fine apart from about six files. When I try to copy these over I get an error saying "The operation can’t be completed because the device disappeared.", and the Lacie hard drive ejects, even though it is plugged in. The files in question are recordings from a Sony FS7 video camera and are.BIM, XML, and . MXF. I tried googling this error but haven't been able to find much info online, please help!

Best Answered by

iBoysoft author Amanda Wong

Amanda Wong

Answered on Thursday, March 9, 2023

It seems that the external hard drive ejects automatically while you are transferring files, then Mac can't detect the drive and pops up the Device Disappeared error message. Solutions such as removing the USB hub, updating macOS, resetting Mac, etc., could work to get rid of this problem on your Mac.

If only those six files could not be successfully transferred using your Mac, then those files are probably damaged. You can try the data recovery software - iBoysoft Data Recovery for Mac to freely scan the drive and preview recoverable files. 

After recovering data or backing up the drive, you can proceed to fix the external hard drive keeps disconnecting on Mac issue. Various reasons could lead to the external hard drive ejecting abnormally and triggering the error message "This operation can't be completed because the device disappeared" while attempting to move files. Then, you can try the following fixes:

  • Plug the drive back in again
  • Restart your Mac
  • Disable the setting "Put hard drives to sleep when possible."
  • Change between a direct connection and a hub
  • Set the maximum disk sleep time as the default
  • Turn off or remove the third-party antivirus software
  • Boot into Safe Mode
  • Use Disk Utility to First Aid the disk.
  • Upgrade macOS
  • Reformat the disk

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