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Error Message: Cannot copy "xxxxxxxxxx:" The resulting file

by TivoBoxBoy / April 13, 2009 6:36 AM PDT

I tried to copy a folder from my C: drive to my external hard drive and got the following error message.

Error Message: Cannot copy "xxxxxxxxxx:" The resulting file name is too long. Specify a different file name.

This happened when I copied the folder from the C: drive to a folder on the external hard drive.

So.. I copied the folder to the drive E:\ not inside a folder and it worked. Then I copied the folder to the place where it was originally copied to... E:\Folder1\Folder2 and it worked.

External Hard drive = Western Digital Passport, 320GB, format NTFS
Windows XP operating system on desktop.

Does the error message mean that the file is too long, this seems like a wierd error and wonder if there really is another problem.

Why does it work if I copy the folder to the E:\ and THEN the folder inside?

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It's The Actual Copied "Path" Name..
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / April 13, 2009 6:44 AM PDT

For example, if the copied file is located in a folder named: "Antidisestablishmentarianism1000021" and the subfolder is also called "Antidisestablishmentarianism1000021", and inside it lies a folder named: "Extremly Long Words That I Try My Best Not To Spell" and inside that is a file named "Antidisestablishmentarianism1000021.doc", then file path name could possibly be: C:\Antidisestablishmentarianism1000021\Antidisestablishmentarianism1000021\Extremly Long Words That I Try My Best Not To Spell\Antidisestablishmentarianism1000021.doc.

So...the way to fix the problem is to reduce the size of the file and folder names all the way down the path.

Hope this helps.


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Is the limit
by TivoBoxBoy / April 13, 2009 6:47 AM PDT
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Each New Name Compounds The Problem
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / April 13, 2009 7:11 AM PDT
In reply to: Is the limit

And yes, it's not just one file with a name of 256 characters...It's when you copy the file within a folder, within a folder, to a different location and the entire file path must be used.. It doesn't just read the final file name. It reads all file and folder names in between.

Hope this helps.


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This would make automatic backups an issue
by TivoBoxBoy / April 14, 2009 9:59 PM PDT

I can see how this would cause a problem with a job that automatically backs up your folders to an external hard drive.

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Yes It Does, Unless...
by Grif Thomas Forum moderator / April 15, 2009 9:59 AM PDT

The backup software has a method which works around the issue..


You use a "mirror" program which copies a mirrored image from the original HD to the second HD.. In that case, file names aren't an issue.

For normal copying of files from one location to another, I've frequently seen a large file name block the entire process.

Hope this helps.


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