Question Copying files where the file name is too long

Aug 18, 2019
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Hi everyone, I would greatly appreciate any advice. I bought an extra 3tb hard drive and wanted to copy it from another 3tb drive. I copied about 2.5tb worth of data, but then it says some files can’t be copied since the file names are too long. I used NFTS. I used the normal windows explorer copy and paste method.

My strategy is to download TeraCopy and use it to copy and paste everything. My hope is it will let me skip the files already copied. At least this way I could identify the files that weren’t copied because the file names were too long? I guess my main problem now is that I don’t know which particular files didn’t copy over since the Windows explorer copy and paste method gives no details.

Thank you very much in advance for any thoughts or tips on how I should proceed!!
 

oblivioncth

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Sep 5, 2012
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Hi everyone, I would greatly appreciate any advice. I bought an extra 3tb hard drive and wanted to copy it from another 3tb drive. I copied about 2.5tb worth of data, but then it says some files can’t be copied since the file names are too long. I used NFTS. I used the normal windows explorer copy and paste method.

My strategy is to download TeraCopy and use it to copy and paste everything. My hope is it will let me skip the files already copied. At least this way I could identify the files that weren’t copied because the file names were too long? I guess my main problem now is that I don’t know which particular files didn’t copy over since the Windows explorer copy and paste method gives no details.

Thank you very much in advance for any thoughts or tips on how I should proceed!!

  1. Start the registry editor (regedit.exe)
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem
  3. Double click LongPathsEnabled
  4. Set to 1 and click OK
  5. Reboot
Make sure you have this enabled. Depending on when you installed Windows 10/bought your machine (most likely if it was before the anniversary update), this value may be disabled. I found it to be on automatically on one of my machines but was off (0) on another.

It doesn't work with all apps but should at the very least remove the limit in explorer.

As for identifying the files, you can simply initiate the copy again before making the above change, select "Skip" (for all) when it specifies that files already exist, and then it should show the errors for the files that are too long as you come to them. If there are many, many files with this issue, a tool such as the one you mentioned may be a better approach.
 
Last edited:
Aug 18, 2019
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I tried the registry editing idea which worked well. I couldn’t copy totally perfectly between the drives. The problem was teracopy kept crashing and windows explorer froze too since I was copying like 2tb of data. But I copied just about everything.

I had read about imaging and cloning? I was a little confused. If you use those methods can use add or remove any files on the destination drive? Or is it like a perfect clone/image and it can only be read (or else deleted in its entirety? Thanks in advance again
 
Others may have different definitions, but to me:

CLONING - duplicate partition/drive EXACTLY as is, often with the goal of moving OS+Apps to a new drive, such as when changing boot drive from HD to SSD. A cloning of an entire drive will include any recovery/hidden partitions, optionally making new drive bootable.

IMAGING - also makes an exact duplicate of partition/drive, but with the purpose of disaster recovery. The output of this process may write to one or several large files, and only the app you are using is able to pack/unpack these.

File names too long... Windows files have their 16 bits equivalent, unless W10 rid of this. For example file WINDOWS, its 16bit equivalent is WINDOW~1, so if you have difficult referencing WINDOWS, just use its 16 bit NAME to do the renaming.

I too use TeraCopy, forget whether it has the ARCHIVE BIT option. I tend to TeraCopy in manageable chunks just because of potential hiccups as yours.
 
Last edited:
Aug 18, 2019
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Thanks, I tried doing smaller copying sizes per your suggestion. I think it is close enough now. Can’t expect perfection with copying so much data. Thank you again everyone for the assistance, greatly appreciated!!!
 

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