I've been copying my personal files from my internal hard drive to an external one, working in a live Linux environment. (I've used several distros, including Zorin, Linux Mint, Lubuntu and Ubuntu -- all of them were on a flash stick.) I have 12 GB of RAM. When copying large files or large groups of files, the whole operation at some point inevitably crashes hard, leaving my computer unresponsive. No input from the keyboard or mouse has any effect, and I have to press and hold the power button to shutdown and reboot. That of course leaves the last file screwed up, and in one case made the entire external drive inaccessible. I got nothing but an error message when I tried to mount it. I had to move the drive to a Windows machine, where many errors were detected on bootup and an automatic scan corrected them.
This first happened when I was copying a folder of hundreds or possibly thousands of smaller files -- on the order of kilobytes or tens of megabytes. It occurred to me that maybe I can't exceed system RAM, so anything close to 12 GB should be broken into multiple smaller copies. I did that, copying much smaller groups of files at a time, and still got some crashes. Lately I've been copying large files (recorded TV shows -- typically 1 to 4 GB), and because of my earlier experience I'm doing these one at a time, by dragging from folder to folder. It's easy but tedious and very slow, and still sometimes that causes a crash.
I'd much rather copy the whole folder, for time and effort. So my question is:
Why can't I do that?? Is there something I'm overlooking... something inherent in using a live Linux distro which is causing this?
Oh, I forgot I have a picture or two of error messages, but now I have no time to attach. If anyone wants to see it I'll post later...