Copy Sync default folder

Is there any reason copying the default (Sync) folder and all its contents to a portable hard drive would wreak havoc, make the phd unreadable? Less than 100 Gig in the Sync folder, and plenty of room on the hard drive.

What is “phd”?
In general Syncthing can sync with all drives. Keep in mind that external drives sometimes lose connection so I recommend to use them only for backup (one-way) and not for sync (two-way)

Sorry, “phd”= “portable hard drive.” And yes, all I meant to do was copy (as for backup) to that drive, not sync it. But I seem to have damaged two such hard drives in the attempt. Is there any reason copying the top, synced folder would cause problems?

Define the problem. You haven’t given an error message a screenshot or anything, so I am not sure what you need help with.

No error message was created, the copy simply failed and now the hard drive is unreadable.

The default top folder, within which I have all the folders I sync, is called “Sync”

I clicked it and then chose “copy” from the drop down, and then to my portable hard drive “paste”

The copy began and I left it running (72 Gigabytes). When I came back the copy had not been made and the portable hard drive was unreadable.

My question is, could that have anything to do with using the top file (i.e., the one called “Sync”) to make the copy? Should I have instead created a separate folder called say “Sync backup” on the hard drive and then pasted my synced subfolders into it? I suppose you have a hard time understanding my question, because it is nonsensical to you. But all I know is that I now have two formerly good portable hard drives that are no longer readable, after having tried to backup the Sync folder this way.

It’s not related to Syncthing or the folder being called “Sync”, that’s for sure.

Windows or linux?

E.g. on Windows do you mean the drive letter is gone?

No, it does not matter which folder you copy.

To me this looks more like a faulty USB port. You can try another port or try drive on another computer. Make sure the drive is visible in OS system settings and hardware manager.