Windows Legacy OS forum

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Extremely long file name impossible to rename or delete

by masterpc / January 26, 2005 1:12 PM PST

I am using WIn 2000 SP4 with NTFS on a whitebox. I have several files with extremely long file names that include spaces, and characters like &"'({[)}]! in them. Some of these files have names approaching 200 characters in length. They refuse to be moved, deleted, renamed. Windows won't even let me view their properties. I have tried from file menu, drag and drop even at in a cmd window withold style DOS commands to no avail. They interfere with defrag and antivirus software completing full scan. No virus is det4ected associated with them, using AVG and P-Cillin. Are there any know issues or workarounds aside of a complete system fulsh to cure this?

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 26, 2005 9:12 PM PST

Press Start, Run, COMMAND and enter.

Presto. All 8.3 names.


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Bob's suggestion might not work...
by Edward ODaniel / January 26, 2005 10:36 PM PST

depending on possible registry edits that disable 8.3 creation. If yours is one that has been so edited look for NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation somewhere in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE|SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet and change its value from 1 to 0 to re-enable 8.3 naming.

If the files are located within subdirectories you can often rename the subdirectory with a much shorter name until the total filename including path is under the 256 character limit. Then you can rename the file itself. Last step is to rename the directories you renamed to their original names if necessary.

Alternatively you can sometimes selectively rename the file by using "wildcards"--be carefull that you place the "wildcard" where only the one file will be affected.

Here is a link that offers several suggestions:;en-us;320081

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Trying using 7-Zip
by antithetical78 / April 28, 2009 8:46 AM PDT

It's a free download, a great compression utility, and its file manager deletes and/or renames these files with no problem. This was driving me nuts until I stumbled across this very easy solution.

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Thanks for the tip.
by Kirk Creel / February 16, 2010 8:23 AM PST
In reply to: Trying using 7-Zip

I initially got a message telling me that the file name was too long to send to the recycle bin but holding shift while selecting the delete button bypassed this.

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XYplorer can handle overlong filenames
by giant impact / May 11, 2009 6:15 PM PDT

The latest version of XYplorer (file manager) can handle overlong filenames. You may rename those files directly in the file list just as any other "normal" file.

Look for XYplorer 7.90.0260 or later.

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copy and delete files with long file names using CanCopy
by Hani_ / June 16, 2010 12:27 AM PDT

please try this software to copy and delete the files giving you trouble:

Full disclosure: I helped develop the software when I encountered the same problem. It's not free but I hope it is helpful and saves you time and frustration. Good luck.

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