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Directory Question

Posted on 2002-04-24
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Last Modified: 2010-04-13
Hello Experts:

I can remember back to the Windows 95 days when you were limited to the number of directories that could be created at each level.

Does this rule apply to Windows 2000?  and if so, what is the limit per level?
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Question by:zdpl0a
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by:tarun209
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probaly no limits
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by:EricWestbo
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Windows does not have a restriction on how many folders/directories you create at each level, nor how many levels deep you go... however, WinNT has had situations arise where a file could not be opened because the path name was too long (too many sub-folders).  I think the max was 255 characters, but not sure.
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pjknibbs earned 50 total points
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It depends on the file system, not the operating system. FAT16 volumes created by ANY OS (up to and including Windows XP) have a limit of 512 entries in the root directory--no other folder has this limit. (Note that since long filenames utilise extra entries in the directory table on a FAT volume you might fit fewer than 512 items in the root).

FAT32 volumes and NTFS volumes have no restrictions on their root folders, however--you can put as many files in the root as will fit on the disk if you please!
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by:laoisjoe
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I've written batch files to create folders automatically, and I can definitely tell you that the max. number of folders that can reside at one level is 65536 in Windows 2000. A disk full message will appear after that if you try to create new folders or copy new files into that area.

Regards
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by:zdpl0a
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laoisjoe

is there written documentation on this?
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by:matt023
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laoisjoe, was the disk full after your batch file created 65536 folders?
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by:jmiller47
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laoisjoe, welcome to EE! Please be respectful of other experts and please do not propose an answer until you are absolutely sure that this will fix the users problem. I have personally already posted step by step instructions as to the creation of a mirror. Whilst you have proposed an answer you have also locked the question so that no other experts may comment. Please post comments and if the user sees that it will fix their problems then they can accept it as an answer.
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by:pjknibbs
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Not only did he lock the question, he locked it with the WRONG ANSWER. I just ran this simple batch file in the TEMP directory on my Windows XP machine:

for %%i in (1 1 66000) DO mkdir %%i

and it quite happily went away and created 66000 subfolders. Of course, this is on a machine using the NTFS file system, so your mileage may vary if you're using FAT32--but that just goes back to the point I made earlier that folder limits are a file system issue, not an operating system issue.

In fact, a thought has just occurred to me--if the partition on which laoisjoe ran his test was formatted using the FAT16 file system (although why this would be so I wouldn't like to guess) then he would be limited to slightly less than 64K files in total on the drive, due to cluster size limitations. This might be the limit he ran into, not a hard-coded directory limit.
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by:jmiller47
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zdpl0a, can you please unlock this question and I think either EricWestbo or pjknibbs may be able to answer your question for you.

Thanks
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by:zdpl0a
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sorry for the long delay...been out of town
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by:zdpl0a
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Thanks for all of your help .. i have verified this with an online source.
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