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I run Microsoft windows on a few of my machines. I don't know if many people know about this issue in the OS but you can't have very long filenames, from what I know Linux can have longer names, I have never run into this issue on my Linux machines.

Anyway I run into issues whenever copying folders & files to backup drives. I manually backup of my data, finding and changing names of files, this is very very tedious.

Is there a software tool to shorten folders or filenames that are found to be to long on Windows?

I have drive image duplication software which does the job but in a way that I don't like, plus moving files can become a hassle at times if the names are too long to copy.

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3 Answers 3

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Often you can zip the files into an archive to get around the length limitation when moving deep / long name file structures from one machine to another.

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It is about 1 gig so zipping would be very slow, though it is an option. –  Daniel May 30 '09 at 5:49
@daniel Zip has a 'store' option that doesn't do compression, which would make it faster. Also, tar has been ported to windows (variously). –  sysadmin1138 May 30 '09 at 5:52
+1 for tar. . –  nedm May 30 '09 at 6:46

As mentioned previously, putting together a zip file is an option.

Another option may be to create a script that uses only the windows short names for the destination. This has the disadvantage of permanently renaming all of your files unless you come up with a way to keep track the old and new file names. I was just playing with some VBScript at work today that'd do just this.

A more costly solution may be to create a mirror setup with a second hard drive.

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See http://www.ratsauce.co.uk/notablog/longfilenames.asp

If you use a full path, i.e. starting with the drive letter, and prefix the filename with \\?\ you can get around the 260 character length limit.


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