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Copying files with long filenames

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by robomatic, Jul 27, 2006.

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  1. robomatic

    robomatic Thread Starter

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    I'm often backing up files with downloaded articles, often the articles came with folders or subfolders with long names.

    When doing a backup, or folder copy, from internal drive to FAT32 factory formatted external drive, occasionally the computer will 'choke' due to some tiny file with a long name.

    I've experimented and apparently somewhere between 113 and 115 viewable characters the computer decides the name is too long.

    This upsets the entire file transfer, the computer doesn't simply go on, it stops. Then it is hard to tell how much of the folder has been backed up. I have to either kill the offending file, or re-name it, then decide between doing the copy-transfer all over again (risking that the computer will find another little file to choke on), or try to see how much of it copied and only deal with the rest.

    Is there an efficient way to go about this? Would NTFS file structure eliminate the problem (My friends tell me it won't)?

    Is there a way to do a long copy so that the computer can copy everything that can be copied and create an error log for the troublesome files?

    Thanks!
     
  2. ozrom1e

    ozrom1e

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    I've experimented and apparently somewhere between 113 and 115 viewable characters the computer decides the name is too long.

    Why are you using filenames that are so long?

    Could you post a few of the filenames?
     
  3. robomatic

    robomatic Thread Starter

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    Well, one of them that I tried was the alphabet repeated over and over. I could copy a file with that name of 113 count but if extended it would not copy and gave an error message and much more importantly, stopped the transfer/copy process.
     
  4. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    Something seems amiss. I can copy the following file fine: abcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefgabcdefg.txt
     
  5. robomatic

    robomatic Thread Starter

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    Thanks, John. I copied your filename, created a small text file, and was able to copy it (as a single action) on both the drives I was dealing with. Now, I'm going to try putting them into the folder I had problems with and see if it chokes when I try to copy and entire section. Can't imagine why it should but then I don't know why there was a problem in the first place.

    And then again, Windows issues an error saying something like: "Filename too long or incorrect character" and there is a "Continue" button. But if you hit the continue button, it won't continue the copy, therefore I'm in limbo, not knowing how much of a great deal of material actually copied across, because it isn't strictly linear.

    more to come!
     
  6. robomatic

    robomatic Thread Starter

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    Okay, I created the ultralong files with the name John created, one text one mp3. I was able to copy them onto a FAT 32 external hard drive. I was able to move them to trash. Then I created a new volder and copied them into it. Then I tried to copy the new folder over to my other FAT 32 external HD. It gave me an error message that the filename was invalid or too long (I was wrong about the "Continue" button that I mentioned above. You're given a button that says "OK" and the action terminates). It copied another file within the new folder with a shorter file name. Now it has become impossible to manipulate the files with the ultra long names. I can't move them to trash or even select on the name in order to shorten it. An error beep sounds.

    So there is definitely somthing fishy goin' on and I don't think it's limited to my setup.
     
  7. mike5532g

    mike5532g

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    Ycopy might work for you. "In short it is a utility that helps you copy files from one disk to another. When it encounters a file it can't copy it makes a note of it and then moves on to the next file."
     
  8. anniyanxp

    anniyanxp

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    I've experienced this problem myself---All I do is create an ISO file of all my stuff with longnames and burn it to disc(y) Good Luck
     
  9. robomatic

    robomatic Thread Starter

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    Thank you, all. anniyanxp- I've especially had problems burning files to disk. the software makes me shorten or truncate a lot of names before it will copy. On the other hand, copying to rewritable disks does not force this upon me.

    I'm wondering if this is an unaddressed problem with Windows? It's hard to believe.

    Anyway, thanks for the help, ever' one of you.
     
  10. JohnWill

    JohnWill Retired Moderator

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    For CD's, there is a limit on file name size, it's something less than 256 characters as I recall. I'm not sure what's going on on your USB disk. I just created a file with that name again, and copied it to a FLASH USB drive. Note that you might have an issue copying a file like that to the root, make sure you are doing it in a folder.
     
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