The other day, I ran into a situation where I couldn’t clone my server hard drive to a firewire storage device using SuperDuper or another backup program. The cloning process would abort shortly after I started the process and presented me with a message similar to the following:
Error | SDCopy: Error “Operation not permitted” encountered while setting HFS meta data for /Volumes/c/Users/myname/Library/Application Support/SyncServices/Local/DataReferences/23d/XXXX-XXXX-XXXXXXXXXDAC data of type: 8\n: Operation not permitted
Undaunted, I ran the Verify Permissions function in Disk Utility, only to be greeted with an “underlying task reported failure” error.
Searching the message boards, I found a previous case on the developer’s (Shirt Pocket) web site that led me to the solution.
It turns out that three files in the Application Support directory of my personal Library folder contained soft or hard links that were either broken or damaged. While their deletion enabled SuperDuper to clone the hard drive, I still had to go through the extra step of mounting the cloned drive manually and repairing permissions using Disk Utility.