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I was trying to backup many files (~10,000) from a hard drive on an OS-less notebook to an external 500 GB HDD, so I booted up the Fedora 22 Live XFCE spin using a USB, started the copy and after 5 minutes or so, the whole system froze, I was able to move the cursor and all, but I wasn't able to cancel the copy, open a console, start another tty (though I was able to change TTY by CTRL+ALT+FX, but no login prompt showed, only a blank screen with a blinking cursor), as if the USB from which I booted was "locked". This happens EVERY time, with EVERY different USB port, and I was able to reproduce it on many many different computers and brands (10+). The only way I am able to copy any amount of files is by using rsync, but why does this happen? How can I work around it?

Edit:

Just to clarify things a little bit, the Live USB media is a 4 GB USB 2.0 pen drive with a 500 MB home partition and a 1 GB persisten storage area. The external backup media is a USB 2.0 HDD. Both have access indicator LEDs that blink when I/O is occurring, neither seem to blink while the computer freezes, as if both were disconnected altogether.

  • Instead of trying to copy files, consider copying the partition, using a tool like GParted. – eyoung100 Nov 1 '15 at 21:50
  • I appreciate the input, but sometimes the partition size is way bigger than the data I want to copy, e.g. this disk has a single 500 GB partition, my backup media only has 200 GB available and the size of the data I want to actually backup is around 50 GB (42 GB, actually). – arielnmz Nov 1 '15 at 22:38
  • So how small can you shrink the 500GB partition, using GParted? You're going to have an issue here because the persistent filesystem on any LiveCD is 4GB. All your files are copied to RAM, then the contents of the RAM are moved to the persistent area and then copied. Each time the persistent area fills the computer will "freeze." 2 Options. Remove what you dont need in the 500gb partition, and shrink it to create freespace, then move the 200gb partition into the freespace after shrinking it, or 2 Wait.... – eyoung100 Nov 1 '15 at 23:14
  • Another thing, the live media is a 4 GB USB 2.0 stick with 500 MB home and 1 GB persistent storage, and the backup media is an external HDD. But that doesn't explain why thunar's copy, or cp, or any other except rsync "freeze" the system. – arielnmz Nov 1 '15 at 23:57
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    Each time the persistent area fills the computer will "freeze."... Reread my comment... Your persistence is filling up and your RAM is full – eyoung100 Nov 2 '15 at 0:05

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