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10.6: Burning the Preferences folder System 10.6
Snow Leopard only hintI used to backup my home folder to a CD-RW or a DVD-RW by dragging it to the new CD icon in OS X 10.4 without a hitch. However, after the upgrade to OS X 10.6 the burning always failed with the message 'could not open the data fork of <unable to get file path> (-43).' resulting in an unusable disc.

The offending file turned out to be ~/Library/Preferences/ It appears that the Finder modifies this file while burning the disc. The solution was simple: lock the file (check the lock check-box in the Get Info window obtained by right-clicking the file and selecting Get Info) before burning.

There might be some side effects to locking this file (such as being unable to modify the sidebar) so you could unlock the after burning the disc.

This is clearly an OS X 10.6 issue: I have reproduced the problem by doing a clean install on an external drive and booting from that fresh install and burning the freshly created user home folder located on that drive.

[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one.]
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10.6: Burning the Preferences folder | 6 comments | Create New Account
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10.6: Burning the Preferences folder
Authored by: Fairly on Jul 12, '10 07:58:54AM

Why not just copy the folder to another location and back up from there?

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10.6: Burning the Preferences folder
Authored by: maddys_daddy on Jul 12, '10 08:12:26AM

Of course that would certainly work, but can be much more time consuming than the OP's method. Depending on the size of your preferences folder (which can be quite large after years of upgrade and installs with lots of apps), copying could take a minute or two, while hitting Cmd-I on the offending file (which can be marked/quickly found by several means, including color-labeling it, giving it a special Spotlight comment, etc) takes a mere seconds.
But then, that's one of the things that makes our beloved Mac's so great--there are so many different ways to accomplish identical tasks, ways to suit each user's style.

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10.6: Burning the Preferences folder
Authored by: Anonymous on Jul 13, '10 10:06:33AM

Bah. Make an archive and stuff it on a USB stick.

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10.6: Burning the Preferences folder
Authored by: thvv on Jul 12, '10 08:07:39AM

I have seen similar problems in 10.5. Burning a disc will fail if any file that was present when you started the burn is deleted before the burn tries to write it. Beginning with 10.5, a disc burn would also fail if there was any file that you didn't have access to.. for example I have some files owned by root in ~/Library/Preferences/ByHost .

For backup purposes, it would be more convenient if the "burn disc" dialog had a checkbox that said "do not give up on inaccessible files."

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10.6: Burning the Preferences folder
Authored by: ghrossman on Jul 12, '10 12:05:58PM

It seems like another and perhaps easier way to burn "/Users/a" would be to log out and log in as "b," where "b" is a user who has read rights to "/Users/a"

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10.6: Burning the Preferences folder
Authored by: crarko on Jul 12, '10 02:37:07PM

Unless the permissions have been whacked, the only user who would qualify as 'b' there would be root.

Otherwise users (including an admin user) should have no access to the private library of another account.

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