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OVERLY-LONG FILE NAMES, as impediment to file copying

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

I tend to use long file names, so as to identify needed files readily.

If the file saves to my C drive in Windows XP Professional,
I don't pay particular attention to the length of the file name
that I've used.

But in trying to COPY large files (e.g., a folder holding tens
of thousands of sub-folders, with 2GB of saved data), most
copying programs that I've encountered -- on 250 GB Maxtor
external hard drives, on 40 GB HP external hard drives,
on 2 GB Lexar flash drives -- not only will NOT COPY
a file with an overly-long file name, but they also TERMINATE
THE ENTIRE COPYING PROCESS INSTANTLY, merely on
hitting a single too-long file name.

Going into huge saved data files MANUALLY and MANUALLY
reducing the length of each long file name is impossible.

That's why we have COMPUTERS AND PROGRAMS:
to automate important but tedious tasks and processes.

I am hoping that someone somewhere has
AN AUTOMATIC FILENAME-LENGTH TRUNCATION PROGRAM,
or subroutine -- that could be run through my entire C drive
prior to attempting to copy large files, or, even better,
that could be run ON-THE-FLY in conjunction with any
file-copying process, and that could truncate overly-long
file names on-the-fly, as they are encountered, to permit the
standard file-copying routines or algorithms to proceed
without stopping, and even without losing those particular files
with overlong names.

IS THERE SUCH A FILENAME-LENGTH TRUNCATION PROGRAM?

If so, how can I get an operational version, both for XP Professional
and for XP Media Center?

I'd have thought that this sub-routine would have been the most
obvious thing in the world for MICROSOFT itself to have
incorporated into Windows.

But if it's available in Windows XP Professional or in XP Media Center,
I'm not aware of it.
9 answers Last reply
More about overly long file names impediment file copying
  1. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

    I appreciate your problem, and it is _very_ annoying when WinXP aborts
    a copy (or move) operation when it encounters a problem copying a file.
    I haven't looked to see if there's a non-XP file copy utility that
    might be better behaved.

    In any case, I don't think you want a filename truncator. Truncation
    usually leads to problems. For example, if you have
    reallylongfilenamenumber1.jpg and reallylongfilenamenumber2.jpg and you
    truncate the last 19 characters, you end up with two files named
    really.jpg -- an obvious problem.

    What you probably need is a batch renaming facility -- one of which is
    built-in to Windows XP. Check these out: http://tinyurl.com/adysu
    (scroll down to Rename Multiple Files) and http://tinyurl.com/dr4y5

    If the native WinXP file rename function doesn't work for you, a Google
    search for +batch +rename had about 757,000 hits.

    EverymanEndUser wrote:
    > M. Leclerc,
    >
    > I appreciate your attempt to help.
    >
    > I am aware that most external storage devices -- not just flash drives,
    > but also larger external hard drives (including the HP 40 GB drives
    > and the Maxtor 250 GB drives that I mentioned) -- use FAT32
    > systems, whereas my C drive with Windows XP Professional
    > is NTFS.
    >
    > The copying process ONLY becomes a problem when the copying
    > program or sub-routine encounters an overly-long file name.
    >
    > Then not only is the particular file with the overly-long file name
    > not copied -- THE ENTIRE COPYING PROCEDURE INSTANTLY
    > TERMINATES.
    >
    > I'm AWARE of the fact that overly-long file names cause
    > this problem.
    >
    > My difficulty is that, as I explained in my original posted question,
    > IT IS NOW IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME MANUALLY TO GO THROUGH
    > MY ENTIRE 80 GB C-drive, and MANUALLY TRUNCATE EACH
    > AND EVERY OVERLY-LONG FILE NAME.
    >
    > I need a program or sub-routine that can TRUNCATE THESE FILE NAMES
    > AUTOMATICALLY -- and, preferably, ON-THE-FLY.
    >
    > I wasn't asking WHAT the PROBLEM was.
    >
    > Nor was I seeking multiple scoldings for using overly-long
    > file names.
    >
    > I was looking for a PROGRAM THAT WOULD TRUNCATE THESE FILE
    > NAMES AUTOMATICALLY, and preferably on-the-fly, so that
    > copying procedures would be unimpaired.
    >
    > I'm like an inexperienced skiing enthusiast who, having paid insufficient
    > attention to avalanche warning signs, finds himself buried, and unable
    > to dig himself out manually.
    >
    > I need some automatic procedure -- for the overly-long files names,
    > a program or sub-routine -- to dig me out of this predicament.
    >
    > I wasn't seeking a diagnosis.
    >
    > I was seeking a SOLUTION.
    >
    > Namely, I was looking for a PROGRAM or sub-routine,
    > that will run on both XP Professional and XP Media Center,
    > THAT WILL TRUNCATE OVERLY-LONG FILE NAMES
    > AUTOMATICALLY.
    >
    >
    > EverymanEndUser
    >
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > "Yves Leclerc" wrote:
    >
    > > I think I can reply to this, but main for the USB flash drives. You problem
    > > is that most flash drives are formatted as "FAT" (aka: FAT16) which does not
    > > do long file names. Thsi is why that you may see a different name:
    > >
    > > This is a long file name for a document.txt ---> THISIS~1.TXT
    > >
    > >
    > > "EverymanEndUser" <EverymanEndUser@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in
    > > message news:0EA255C9-F774-4BE7-ACDA-154D2C4DBBA6@microsoft.com...
    > > >I tend to use long file names, so as to identify needed files readily.
    > > >
    > > > If the file saves to my C drive in Windows XP Professional,
    > > > I don't pay particular attention to the length of the file name
    > > > that I've used.
    > > >
    > > > But in trying to COPY large files (e.g., a folder holding tens
    > > > of thousands of sub-folders, with 2GB of saved data), most
    > > > copying programs that I've encountered -- on 250 GB Maxtor
    > > > external hard drives, on 40 GB HP external hard drives,
    > > > on 2 GB Lexar flash drives -- not only will NOT COPY
    > > > a file with an overly-long file name, but they also TERMINATE
    > > > THE ENTIRE COPYING PROCESS INSTANTLY, merely on
    > > > hitting a single too-long file name.
    > > >
    > > > Going into huge saved data files MANUALLY and MANUALLY
    > > > reducing the length of each long file name is impossible.
    > > >
    > > > That's why we have COMPUTERS AND PROGRAMS:
    > > > to automate important but tedious tasks and processes.
    > > >
    > > > I am hoping that someone somewhere has
    > > > AN AUTOMATIC FILENAME-LENGTH TRUNCATION PROGRAM,
    > > > or subroutine -- that could be run through my entire C drive
    > > > prior to attempting to copy large files, or, even better,
    > > > that could be run ON-THE-FLY in conjunction with any
    > > > file-copying process, and that could truncate overly-long
    > > > file names on-the-fly, as they are encountered, to permit the
    > > > standard file-copying routines or algorithms to proceed
    > > > without stopping, and even without losing those particular files
    > > > with overlong names.
    > > >
    > > > IS THERE SUCH A FILENAME-LENGTH TRUNCATION PROGRAM?
    > > >
    > > > If so, how can I get an operational version, both for XP Professional
    > > > and for XP Media Center?
    > > >
    > > > I'd have thought that this sub-routine would have been the most
    > > > obvious thing in the world for MICROSOFT itself to have
    > > > incorporated into Windows.
    > > >
    > > > But if it's available in Windows XP Professional or in XP Media Center,
    > > > I'm not aware of it.
    > >
    > >
    > >
  2. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

    Thank you for your splendid suggestions!

    Yes, I'll first try the options at http://tinyurl.com,
    and -- were these to fail -- then try batch renaming
    alternatives listed by Google.

    Yes, filename truncation does pose obvious problems.

    But I'd rather face those, once all of my scores of GBs
    of files have been copied, than see my myriad attempts
    to copy large files each TERMINATE INSTANTLY,
    merely upon the first encounter of a single overly long
    file name.

    But if batch renaming can be achieved in some straightforward
    practical way, that indeed would be a better solution.

    I was desperate!

    And I can't believe that I'm the only one among tens of millions
    of Windows XP users who has been too casual about the length
    of his file names.

    Again, I'm enormously grateful for your excellent suggestions.

    EverymanEndUser


    "Lem" wrote:

    > I appreciate your problem, and it is _very_ annoying when WinXP aborts
    > a copy (or move) operation when it encounters a problem copying a file.
    > I haven't looked to see if there's a non-XP file copy utility that
    > might be better behaved.
    >
    > In any case, I don't think you want a filename truncator. Truncation
    > usually leads to problems. For example, if you have
    > reallylongfilenamenumber1.jpg and reallylongfilenamenumber2.jpg and you
    > truncate the last 19 characters, you end up with two files named
    > really.jpg -- an obvious problem.
    >
    > What you probably need is a batch renaming facility -- one of which is
    > built-in to Windows XP. Check these out: http://tinyurl.com/adysu
    > (scroll down to Rename Multiple Files) and http://tinyurl.com/dr4y5
    >
    > If the native WinXP file rename function doesn't work for you, a Google
    > search for +batch +rename had about 757,000 hits.
    >
    > EverymanEndUser wrote:
    > > M. Leclerc,
    > >
    > > I appreciate your attempt to help.
    > >
    > > I am aware that most external storage devices -- not just flash drives,
    > > but also larger external hard drives (including the HP 40 GB drives
    > > and the Maxtor 250 GB drives that I mentioned) -- use FAT32
    > > systems, whereas my C drive with Windows XP Professional
    > > is NTFS.
    > >
    > > The copying process ONLY becomes a problem when the copying
    > > program or sub-routine encounters an overly-long file name.
    > >
    > > Then not only is the particular file with the overly-long file name
    > > not copied -- THE ENTIRE COPYING PROCEDURE INSTANTLY
    > > TERMINATES.
    > >
    > > I'm AWARE of the fact that overly-long file names cause
    > > this problem.
    > >
    > > My difficulty is that, as I explained in my original posted question,
    > > IT IS NOW IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME MANUALLY TO GO THROUGH
    > > MY ENTIRE 80 GB C-drive, and MANUALLY TRUNCATE EACH
    > > AND EVERY OVERLY-LONG FILE NAME.
    > >
    > > I need a program or sub-routine that can TRUNCATE THESE FILE NAMES
    > > AUTOMATICALLY -- and, preferably, ON-THE-FLY.
    > >
    > > I wasn't asking WHAT the PROBLEM was.
    > >
    > > Nor was I seeking multiple scoldings for using overly-long
    > > file names.
    > >
    > > I was looking for a PROGRAM THAT WOULD TRUNCATE THESE FILE
    > > NAMES AUTOMATICALLY, and preferably on-the-fly, so that
    > > copying procedures would be unimpaired.
    > >
    > > I'm like an inexperienced skiing enthusiast who, having paid insufficient
    > > attention to avalanche warning signs, finds himself buried, and unable
    > > to dig himself out manually.
    > >
    > > I need some automatic procedure -- for the overly-long files names,
    > > a program or sub-routine -- to dig me out of this predicament.
    > >
    > > I wasn't seeking a diagnosis.
    > >
    > > I was seeking a SOLUTION.
    > >
    > > Namely, I was looking for a PROGRAM or sub-routine,
    > > that will run on both XP Professional and XP Media Center,
    > > THAT WILL TRUNCATE OVERLY-LONG FILE NAMES
    > > AUTOMATICALLY.
    > >
    > >
    > > EverymanEndUser
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > "Yves Leclerc" wrote:
    > >
    > > > I think I can reply to this, but main for the USB flash drives. You problem
    > > > is that most flash drives are formatted as "FAT" (aka: FAT16) which does not
    > > > do long file names. Thsi is why that you may see a different name:
    > > >
    > > > This is a long file name for a document.txt ---> THISIS~1.TXT
    > > >
    > > >
    > > > "EverymanEndUser" <EverymanEndUser@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in
    > > > message news:0EA255C9-F774-4BE7-ACDA-154D2C4DBBA6@microsoft.com...
    > > > >I tend to use long file names, so as to identify needed files readily.
    > > > >
    > > > > If the file saves to my C drive in Windows XP Professional,
    > > > > I don't pay particular attention to the length of the file name
    > > > > that I've used.
    > > > >
    > > > > But in trying to COPY large files (e.g., a folder holding tens
    > > > > of thousands of sub-folders, with 2GB of saved data), most
    > > > > copying programs that I've encountered -- on 250 GB Maxtor
    > > > > external hard drives, on 40 GB HP external hard drives,
    > > > > on 2 GB Lexar flash drives -- not only will NOT COPY
    > > > > a file with an overly-long file name, but they also TERMINATE
    > > > > THE ENTIRE COPYING PROCESS INSTANTLY, merely on
    > > > > hitting a single too-long file name.
    > > > >
    > > > > Going into huge saved data files MANUALLY and MANUALLY
    > > > > reducing the length of each long file name is impossible.
    > > > >
    > > > > That's why we have COMPUTERS AND PROGRAMS:
    > > > > to automate important but tedious tasks and processes.
    > > > >
    > > > > I am hoping that someone somewhere has
    > > > > AN AUTOMATIC FILENAME-LENGTH TRUNCATION PROGRAM,
    > > > > or subroutine -- that could be run through my entire C drive
    > > > > prior to attempting to copy large files, or, even better,
    > > > > that could be run ON-THE-FLY in conjunction with any
    > > > > file-copying process, and that could truncate overly-long
    > > > > file names on-the-fly, as they are encountered, to permit the
    > > > > standard file-copying routines or algorithms to proceed
    > > > > without stopping, and even without losing those particular files
    > > > > with overlong names.
    > > > >
    > > > > IS THERE SUCH A FILENAME-LENGTH TRUNCATION PROGRAM?
    > > > >
    > > > > If so, how can I get an operational version, both for XP Professional
    > > > > and for XP Media Center?
    > > > >
    > > > > I'd have thought that this sub-routine would have been the most
    > > > > obvious thing in the world for MICROSOFT itself to have
    > > > > incorporated into Windows.
    > > > >
    > > > > But if it's available in Windows XP Professional or in XP Media Center,
    > > > > I'm not aware of it.
    > > >
    > > >
    > > >
    >
    >
  3. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

    I think I can reply to this, but main for the USB flash drives. You problem
    is that most flash drives are formatted as "FAT" (aka: FAT16) which does not
    do long file names. Thsi is why that you may see a different name:

    This is a long file name for a document.txt ---> THISIS~1.TXT


    "EverymanEndUser" <EverymanEndUser@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in
    message news:0EA255C9-F774-4BE7-ACDA-154D2C4DBBA6@microsoft.com...
    >I tend to use long file names, so as to identify needed files readily.
    >
    > If the file saves to my C drive in Windows XP Professional,
    > I don't pay particular attention to the length of the file name
    > that I've used.
    >
    > But in trying to COPY large files (e.g., a folder holding tens
    > of thousands of sub-folders, with 2GB of saved data), most
    > copying programs that I've encountered -- on 250 GB Maxtor
    > external hard drives, on 40 GB HP external hard drives,
    > on 2 GB Lexar flash drives -- not only will NOT COPY
    > a file with an overly-long file name, but they also TERMINATE
    > THE ENTIRE COPYING PROCESS INSTANTLY, merely on
    > hitting a single too-long file name.
    >
    > Going into huge saved data files MANUALLY and MANUALLY
    > reducing the length of each long file name is impossible.
    >
    > That's why we have COMPUTERS AND PROGRAMS:
    > to automate important but tedious tasks and processes.
    >
    > I am hoping that someone somewhere has
    > AN AUTOMATIC FILENAME-LENGTH TRUNCATION PROGRAM,
    > or subroutine -- that could be run through my entire C drive
    > prior to attempting to copy large files, or, even better,
    > that could be run ON-THE-FLY in conjunction with any
    > file-copying process, and that could truncate overly-long
    > file names on-the-fly, as they are encountered, to permit the
    > standard file-copying routines or algorithms to proceed
    > without stopping, and even without losing those particular files
    > with overlong names.
    >
    > IS THERE SUCH A FILENAME-LENGTH TRUNCATION PROGRAM?
    >
    > If so, how can I get an operational version, both for XP Professional
    > and for XP Media Center?
    >
    > I'd have thought that this sub-routine would have been the most
    > obvious thing in the world for MICROSOFT itself to have
    > incorporated into Windows.
    >
    > But if it's available in Windows XP Professional or in XP Media Center,
    > I'm not aware of it.
  4. Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

    M. Leclerc,

    I appreciate your attempt to help.

    I am aware that most external storage devices -- not just flash drives,
    but also larger external hard drives (including the HP 40 GB drives
    and the Maxtor 250 GB drives that I mentioned) -- use FAT32
    systems, whereas my C drive with Windows XP Professional
    is NTFS.

    The copying process ONLY becomes a problem when the copying
    program or sub-routine encounters an overly-long file name.

    Then not only is the particular file with the overly-long file name
    not copied -- THE ENTIRE COPYING PROCEDURE INSTANTLY
    TERMINATES.

    I'm AWARE of the fact that overly-long file names cause
    this problem.

    My difficulty is that, as I explained in my original posted question,
    IT IS NOW IMPOSSIBLE FOR ME MANUALLY TO GO THROUGH
    MY ENTIRE 80 GB C-drive, and MANUALLY TRUNCATE EACH
    AND EVERY OVERLY-LONG FILE NAME.

    I need a program or sub-routine that can TRUNCATE THESE FILE NAMES
    AUTOMATICALLY -- and, preferably, ON-THE-FLY.

    I wasn't asking WHAT the PROBLEM was.

    Nor was I seeking multiple scoldings for using overly-long
    file names.

    I was looking for a PROGRAM THAT WOULD TRUNCATE THESE FILE
    NAMES AUTOMATICALLY, and preferably on-the-fly, so that
    copying procedures would be unimpaired.

    I'm like an inexperienced skiing enthusiast who, having paid insufficient
    attention to avalanche warning signs, finds himself buried, and unable
    to dig himself out manually.

    I need some automatic procedure -- for the overly-long files names,
    a program or sub-routine -- to dig me out of this predicament.

    I wasn't seeking a diagnosis.

    I was seeking a SOLUTION.

    Namely, I was looking for a PROGRAM or sub-routine,
    that will run on both XP Professional and XP Media Center,
    THAT WILL TRUNCATE OVERLY-LONG FILE NAMES
    AUTOMATICALLY.


    EverymanEndUser




    "Yves Leclerc" wrote:

    > I think I can reply to this, but main for the USB flash drives. You problem
    > is that most flash drives are formatted as "FAT" (aka: FAT16) which does not
    > do long file names. Thsi is why that you may see a different name:
    >
    > This is a long file name for a document.txt ---> THISIS~1.TXT
    >
    >
    > "EverymanEndUser" <EverymanEndUser@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in
    > message news:0EA255C9-F774-4BE7-ACDA-154D2C4DBBA6@microsoft.com...
    > >I tend to use long file names, so as to identify needed files readily.
    > >
    > > If the file saves to my C drive in Windows XP Professional,
    > > I don't pay particular attention to the length of the file name
    > > that I've used.
    > >
    > > But in trying to COPY large files (e.g., a folder holding tens
    > > of thousands of sub-folders, with 2GB of saved data), most
    > > copying programs that I've encountered -- on 250 GB Maxtor
    > > external hard drives, on 40 GB HP external hard drives,
    > > on 2 GB Lexar flash drives -- not only will NOT COPY
    > > a file with an overly-long file name, but they also TERMINATE
    > > THE ENTIRE COPYING PROCESS INSTANTLY, merely on
    > > hitting a single too-long file name.
    > >
    > > Going into huge saved data files MANUALLY and MANUALLY
    > > reducing the length of each long file name is impossible.
    > >
    > > That's why we have COMPUTERS AND PROGRAMS:
    > > to automate important but tedious tasks and processes.
    > >
    > > I am hoping that someone somewhere has
    > > AN AUTOMATIC FILENAME-LENGTH TRUNCATION PROGRAM,
    > > or subroutine -- that could be run through my entire C drive
    > > prior to attempting to copy large files, or, even better,
    > > that could be run ON-THE-FLY in conjunction with any
    > > file-copying process, and that could truncate overly-long
    > > file names on-the-fly, as they are encountered, to permit the
    > > standard file-copying routines or algorithms to proceed
    > > without stopping, and even without losing those particular files
    > > with overlong names.
    > >
    > > IS THERE SUCH A FILENAME-LENGTH TRUNCATION PROGRAM?
    > >
    > > If so, how can I get an operational version, both for XP Professional
    > > and for XP Media Center?
    > >
    > > I'd have thought that this sub-routine would have been the most
    > > obvious thing in the world for MICROSOFT itself to have
    > > incorporated into Windows.
    > >
    > > But if it's available in Windows XP Professional or in XP Media Center,
    > > I'm not aware of it.
    >
    >
    >
  5. Hi, I have just come across the same problem.

    I have copied my files (thousands of them) from my old computer to a memory stick. Now I am trying to copy those files onto my new computer.

    The files start copying, then it stops copying, with the message "filename too long, etc.,étc.", then aborts the copy process altogether

    This is very frustrating.

    I should imagine there might be other filenames which are too long, but the copy process stops before it lets me copy any other files, so the problem I have is that I cannot change the filenames because I don't know which ones I need to change.

    Are there any settings within Windows which allow the copy process to continue without aborting?

    Thanks in advance.
  6. A couple of things you can try.

    1.
    Create a zipped archive of the files (or RAR), copying the entire zipped folder over to the new drive and unzipping it.

    2.
    There's a program that handles long file names for windows operating systems, you could give it a try. It's called ZTreeWin. It's not free but there is a free 30 day evaluation period for new users. There's also plenty of help at their site:
    http://www.ztree.com/html/ztreewin.htm
  7. P.S. The last post in this thread before yours was 4 1/2 years old. You will get better responses if you start your own thread.
  8. You can use this tool. It may help you.

    http://longpathtool.com/
  9. Download and install 7=zip free from cnet.

    Connect external drive

    right click folder you want to copy and select 7-zip and then add to achieve and then in the window that comes up just select the external drive from the browse button and then select store from compression level and then add and replace files from update mode and then hit OK and folder will be copied onto external drive.

    To open folder right click and select 7-zip and if you just want to view folders select open archive otherwise you can extract to drive.

    This program is great - free and you can also get a portable version from cnet as well. It has a good help file and I would say most other zip files would do the same?

    Anonymous said:
    Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.help_and_support (More info?)

    I tend to use long file names, so as to identify needed files readily.

    If the file saves to my C drive in Windows XP Professional,
    I don't pay particular attention to the length of the file name
    that I've used.

    But in trying to COPY large files (e.g., a folder holding tens
    of thousands of sub-folders, with 2GB of saved data), most
    copying programs that I've encountered -- on 250 GB Maxtor
    external hard drives, on 40 GB HP external hard drives,
    on 2 GB Lexar flash drives -- not only will NOT COPY
    a file with an overly-long file name, but they also TERMINATE
    THE ENTIRE COPYING PROCESS INSTANTLY, merely on
    hitting a single too-long file name.

    Going into huge saved data files MANUALLY and MANUALLY
    reducing the length of each long file name is impossible.

    That's why we have COMPUTERS AND PROGRAMS:
    to automate important but tedious tasks and processes.

    I am hoping that someone somewhere has
    AN AUTOMATIC FILENAME-LENGTH TRUNCATION PROGRAM,
    or subroutine -- that could be run through my entire C drive
    prior to attempting to copy large files, or, even better,
    that could be run ON-THE-FLY in conjunction with any
    file-copying process, and that could truncate overly-long
    file names on-the-fly, as they are encountered, to permit the
    standard file-copying routines or algorithms to proceed
    without stopping, and even without losing those particular files
    with overlong names.

    IS THERE SUCH A FILENAME-LENGTH TRUNCATION PROGRAM?

    If so, how can I get an operational version, both for XP Professional
    and for XP Media Center?

    I'd have thought that this sub-routine would have been the most
    obvious thing in the world for MICROSOFT itself to have
    incorporated into Windows.

    But if it's available in Windows XP Professional or in XP Media Center,
    I'm not aware of it.
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