From: Howard Schultens (
Date: Fri May 27 1994 - 18:22:47 CDT

Original query:


Problem: 'cp -R directory /mo' for a large directory tree (a couple thousand
         files and about 100 MBytes) hangs after about 30 MBytes, that is,
         the process gets swapped out (ps agx shows status IW) and is never
         completed. The target device is a 3 1/2", 128MByte Magneto-Optical
         drive. The drive can be accessed while the cp is swapped out, I
         can do a 'ls' on it, unmount and remount it, etc.

         Copying less than 30 MBytes seems to go with no problem.

System: SparcStation 1, SunOS 4.1.2, no patches.

---------------- (Markus Buchhorn) hit the nail on the head:

>check the directory tree for odd links, like FIFO's and such. IW is input
>wait state, which means it's waiting for data, and that could hang if tries
>to copy a link, FIFO pipe, etc.

The problem was that the copy operation had run into a NAMED PIPE, a file named
"fifo" left over from installing zmodem. After deleting all such files, the
copy went through with no problem.

Nate Itkin <> gave me the way to find where that
file was:

>I suggest tracing the copy like this:
> trace cp -R directory /mo

Should have thought of that m'self (blush).

Other suggestions were to use tar, dump, or cpio to copy to the MO.

Thanks to:

homebase! (Steve Kapalko)
Bob Anstruther <> (Robert D. Worsham) (Kes Masalaitis) (Bill Morrow)
epl@Kodak.COM (Gene Loriot (epl@Caps.Kodak.COM.))
Harish Malneedi <>
cross@spuddy.uucp (Mike Cross)

And sorry it took so long to get this summary out!

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