I am trying to copy a large number of files to an NTFS formatted Windows 7 machine from a Mac OS formatted external hard drive. I am mounting the drive by attaching it to my Airport Extreme Router. This gives me access to copy files, however, it chokes on thousands of files that have names with various characters that are not supported in filenames on Windows.

There are too many files to fix it manually. I am looking for an automated way to move the files to the NTFS drive. I am okay with the files being renamed, but I would prefer to not have to play a guessing game of which characters to rename across a folder with thousands of files. Any ideas?

1 Answer 1


You might want to try the application A Better Finder Rename. It has a built-in function to convert Mac file & folder names to legal Windows file & folder names:

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Naturally, somebody will come along later and throw a smattering of regex in a bash script for you to puzzle out, but ABFR does this kind of thing so easily. It can even create a droplet app onto which you can 'drop' files & folders to be processed. It is a handy tool to have in your toolbox if you aren't a strong programmer, or don't have the time, or both.

  • An off the cuff, untested regex would worry me to run against my large set of files, so I'm okay with having a product. Have you used the application you're recommending? Any ideas about how it would perform across thousands of files? Jul 10, 2012 at 14:22
  • 1
    I've used this product for years. The last task I asked of it was to rename >30k files & folders, with character substitution, filename truncation & alpha sort. Worked like a charm. You should always test on a small subset of dummy files, though, to make sure it works the way you want it to.
    – IconDaemon
    Jul 10, 2012 at 15:23
  • Okay, definitely checking it out. If it does the trick you can definitely look for an accepted answer! Jul 10, 2012 at 15:33
  • Did it work for you?
    – IconDaemon
    Jul 18, 2012 at 22:47
  • Accepted, it worked. Have a few files that still did not copy properly, but the vast majority worked fine after running this with that setting. Nice tool. Sep 1, 2012 at 1:03

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