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Path too long error message when exceeding MAX_PATH
Article ID: 177665 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q177665
Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 clients can expand a server directory structure beyond MAX_PATH (256 characters) by accessing a server share and creating directories and files through the network.
As a result, a server running Windows NT 4.0 returns the following error message if the server administrator tries to access these files or directories locally on the server through Windows NT Explorer:
If you attempt to create a new folder, you may receive the following error message:
Can't access this folder.
Path is too long.
A server running Windows NT 3.51 shows unexpected results in File Manager such as a general protection fault (GP fault), WINFILE crash, or display of nonexistent directories.
Unable to create the folder '<name>'.
The filename or extension is too long.
Several tools and programs may also show problems when working with this directory structure that exceeds MAX_PATH.
Win32 programs are limited to a 256-character string size limit because of the MAX_PATH variable. Software programs can work around this problem by passing Win32 a path that is MAX_PATH or less. The real underlying path can then be accessed independently of the real length of the path. In this way, a program can access files or directories beyond MAX_PATH on the server.
To resolve problems when the directory structure exceeds MAX_PATH, use either of the following methods:
The problem described above could not be reproduced with NTBACKUP and files and directories that were beyond the MAX_PATH limit could be backed up and restored successfully.
Article ID: 177665 - Last Review: October 31, 2006 - Revision: 1.3