Identifying file names too long to back up.

Am using Vista on my Laptop and the complex file names are necessary because of research I am doing.

When running regular backup to an external drive I get an error message that some file names are too long for the files to be copied, but no list of the offending files is given.  I am advised to shorten them, but not how to identify them.

Is there a quick way of finding these files so that I can edit the names?

Question Info

Last updated February 13, 2020 Views 6,883 Applies to:

Hi John,


I just went to that link with no problem using IE9 RC - but if you go there it sends you elsewhere to get the download, so maybe you'll have more success with the download page:  It's the one near the top (or you can try the alternate).


If the specific filenames aren't that long (assuming 260 is the number we're needing to worry about and we're not completely certain about that), then it is probably the length of the path.  The path includes everything, like C:\Users\<username>\Appdata\local\microsoft\temp\iooiee90939ntgngjoiga909ri4jt09049japgaopjgp\...\filename.doc  and if that ENTIRE thing is too long (260 or whatever) then it may not copy or paste.  Chances are these files were created by programs or automatically and not by you.


My guess is that these are IE temp files (they tend to be very long) and if you first delete the IE temp files (Tools / Options / History / Delete / check only the Temp Files and the save favorites boxes at the top, uncheck everything else for this test) then you may discover you don't actually have the problem any more.


Is the external hard drive formatted as NTFS or FAT32 or FAT16?  If not NTFS, I recommend you use the convert command to change it to NTFS.  Not only is that a better choice, but it may also solve this problem (though that's more of a guess than based on specific research - while it makes a difference with file size and file information, I saw nothing specifically saying path length made a difference).


I hope this helps.


Good luck!

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