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Error using import: "Source is unavailable" or "The destination is full or read-only"

The complete error is shown like this when trying to import photos using Picasa:
An error has occurred while attempting to import. Either the source is unavailable or the destination is full read only

This page lists some possible solutions or workarounds...

Option one: don't use the import functionality

The easiest workaround is just not to use the import functionality... by importing the pictures using Windows Explorer - see "Method B" here:

Things you can try to fix the problem

  • Be sure the folder you are trying to import to does not already exist on the destination drive. Take a CAREFUL look at the "Import from" and "Import To" settings. If both locations are the same, change the "Import To" to another location. 
  • Be sure you're not trying to import into the source.
  • If something is wrong with one of the photos you are trying to import (a corrupt image, for example), you can see the error message. Manually remove the image. 
  • Is your source drive getting full? You may need a larger drive. 
  • See if this import troubleshooter page helps:
  • See if the camera settings are set to use its second memory card as a "back-up." Picasa may not be able to import into a second memory card.
  • Reinstall Picasa. Make sure you're using the latest version.
  • Rebuild your Picasa database. See "Method B" here:
  • In Picasa, click Tools > Options > General tab. "Save Imported Pictures in" - browse to a folder on your computer where you want pictures to import into. Click OK.
  • In Windows Explorer, right-click on that folder and click "Properties" - Make sure that it's not set to "Read Only."
  • Diskspace on the C drive may be getting full. When importing, Picasa saves a temp copy at the following location:
    • C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\My Documents\My Pictures\Picasa3Temp 
    • See if clearing the temp folder helps. 
  • Picasa on Vista has some issue with seeing RAW files when the camera is connected in PTP mode (or "Normal" mode for Canons). Try changing the USB Connection Type setting to "Mass Storage"...  also make sure you have "RAW" selected under Tools > Options > File Types. .
  • Files over 10,000 pixels on one dimension will have problems importing. Manually import those. 
  • Turn off your scanner. Turn the scanner on. 
  • Use the import function in Windows photo gallery. 
  • Restart your computer. 
  • Connect to computer via USB (PTP mode) and open windows explorer. Navigate to Computer\Nexus 4\Internal storage\DCIM\.thumbnails. Delete everything in this folder.
  • Are you plugging in the whole camera and using the camera drivers during the import? If so, check to see if there are updated drivers for the camera. 
  • If you have a memory card reader, use that instead plugging in the camera. 
  • If you're using a USB memory card reader, try plugging it into to different USB port. 
  • Uncheck "Exclude Duplicates" in the import screen.
  • Make sure the scanner is still using a supported format like JPG. Picasa doesn't support B&W JPG so make sure you are scanning in Color or at least Greyscale.
  • Use your scanner software and scan the photos into a subfolder inside the My Pictures folder. Picasa automatically sees anything written into a watched folder, if Picasa's Folder Manager is set up to watch the My Pictures folder and all it's subfolders. Read more about the Folder Manager in Picasa:

Specific things to check when having iPhone import problems

Import doesn't work if you have a screenshot on your iPhone which is recorded in PNG format.
  • Bring up iPhoto on your MAC. Do you see blank thumbnails in iPhoto? If so, delete these photos in iPhoto and then try importing the iPhone 4S photos. 
  • Videos taken with iPhone 4S can cause the import process to stop. Manually save the videos to your computer, then delete them from the phone.