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  1. #1
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    Error message says "path too long" but it isn't!

    Hi,
    I was called in by a friend of my parents to help with his crazy problem, and I have no clue!

    He can not *rename* ANYTHING, because he always gets "Destination path too long".
    He also can not *move* anything, same error message.

    Needless to say, this is not the real problem. We are talking about a depth of 2 or 3 folders,
    like C:\hanoh\New folder\Ceramica

    I am unable to rename 'New folder' to a normal name. And I even tried renaming to "A", that is pretty short, isn't it?

    But he CAN *copy* files or folders, no error msg.

    What could possible be the cause of that? Any ideas?

    Thank you VERY much for any help!
    Shimon

  2. #2
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    The pathnames might be longer than you think.

    If the files are somewhere in the Users area, the real path could be something like C:\Users\<username>\ . . .

  3. #3
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Welcome to the Lounge!

    I suggest running sfc /scannow from an elevated Command Prompt for starters.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  4. #4
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    Could there be some kind of real-time folder mirroring going on? I'm thinking about something like DropBox. If that were going on, the problem could be with the mirror destination rather than the folders you are working with.

    Of course this implies that the error message isn't helping enough, and that's true. Ideally the message ought to provide you with the actual destination path string. Without it you are working blind (the UI is assuming that the error message is tied directly to the user's actions and that confusion about context or meaning isn't possible).

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartinM View Post
    The pathnames might be longer than you think.

    If the files are somewhere in the Users area, the real path could be something like C:\Users\<username>\ . . .
    Thank you MartinM. I navigated with Explorer directly from Computer -> C: -> hanoh etc, so as to avoid
    hidden directory paths.

    Quote Originally Posted by bbearren
    I suggest running sfc /scannow from an elevated Command Prompt for starters.
    Thanks bbearren, I will try that.

    Quote Originally Posted by BHarder
    Could there be some kind of real-time folder mirroring going on?
    Thank you BHarder, but as far as I could tell there was nothing like that. I also asked him about cloud backup and sync
    and he had no idea what I was talking about

    Quote Originally Posted by BHarder
    Of course this implies that the error message isn't helping enough
    Umm.. yup!

    He does in fact have other folders which are at insane depths (he has no idea how they got that way),
    and I am wondering if it is possible that the whole file system somehow gets "confused" because of them?
    I am in the process of cleaning up the depth problem, but the inability to work properly at "shallow" depths is really
    giving me a hard time.

  6. #6
    4 Star Lounger
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    OK, how about this. Windows supports a couple of link file types. Could a link to or from the shallow to the deep folders be the problem? Windows could be trying to resolve the link to an absolute path and getting into trouble.

  7. #7
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    If you can copy, but cannot move or rename, it could be that you only have "read" access to those files or directories. You would probably need to have "Full control", "Modify", or at the least "Write" access. Right click on a file you are unable to rename, select Properties and then Security, and see what it says.

  8. #8
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    I ran into this problem when a batch file ran amok on me and created a chain of 50 or more nested folders. I resolved the problem by going halfway down the long branch and moving that folder to the root. That was enough to get breathing room to do some deletions. If not enough, cut each of the longest branches in half again, each time moving the far half of the chain to the root. Now the pathnames should be 1/4 as long as before, and should be causing no problems. You can then clean up the mess using the usual deletions.

  9. #9
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    A year or so ago I also had this problem. I did several things at once and am not sure which of them stopped it:

    1. A new virus checker was run. There are several good ones as freeware.
    2. I restored to a point before the problem began. This left the deep file stack but seemed to be the solution.
    3. On advice, I removed every programs I had tried and no longer used. I did a basic clean-up of the system. Some of them I didn't recall ever putting on.

    Hope this helps. wish I could be more definitive.

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