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Folder compare with very long path and file names (255+ chars)

Posted on 2004-10-24
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
Not sure this is the right area for this; if not, let me know...

Anyone have any idea how to copy files from one place to another when the file path name length exceeds what Windows 2000 can handle natively?  The folders in question, if you navigate to the end of the folder structure, once you hit the limit, either Windows throws an error window "Can't access this folder.  Path is too long.", or if the folder itself goes over the path limit it refuses to change folders (with no error or message), or if the files within the folder go over the limit, it won't show the files in that folder (again, without error or message).

I've been using xcopy to copy the files from one server to another, then use WinDiff to ensure they are the same.  However, both of these utilities also have the path name length limit, so they're no good for me.  Any ideas?  Programs, reghacks, patches, etc?
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Question by:HatchIT
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    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    Use 8.3 file and folder names - would require good scripting or manual commands.  I had a similar problem and this helped me.  
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    Author Comment

    by:HatchIT
    Thought of that, but I need to keep the original filenames and security, as the users will be searching for the original file names.

    And for additional information:

    If you can't tell me a program that can do this, but can show me how it can be done (preferrably with VB.NET or VB6), that'd work.

    Also, the files and folders got around the limitation because additional shares had been set up several folders under the original share, meaning that what was originally \\servername\sharename\folder1\folder2\folder3\folder4 now becomes \\servername\newshare, thereby eliminating several levels of folder characters.  However, I need to be able to copy the entire folder all at once.  And no, creating the share directly at the root folder I want to work with doesn't work either.  :-(  It's still too long.
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    Expert Comment

    by:Cyber-Dude
    The EXACT tool for you would be xxcopy. Its free and it does exactly what you are asking; Checkout the /BB options:

    Links:
    xxcopy home page:
    http://www.xxcopy.com/index.htm

    xxcopy Command reference:
    http://www.xxcopy.com/xxcopy01.htm

    Good luck

    Cyber
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    Author Comment

    by:HatchIT
    Nah, won't work.  Had a look through the xxcopy group archive, and as of four months ago, the author said he will not support 256+ char path + file names.  See http://www.xxcopy.com/xxgroup/m08/msg08162.htm for the last message from the author.

    Anyone else?
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    Author Comment

    by:HatchIT
    No-one has any additional ideas?
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    Expert Comment

    by:Cyber-Dude
    Hmmmm....

    I'll provide you with an answer later.

    Cyber
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    Expert Comment

    by:Cyber-Dude
    OK
    Found a great idea for you. Sience the 255 chars is an OS limitation and no copy software under Windows will be able to commit your task. It is best, to my knowledge to use an external kernel that will allow you full access to the data you are trying to copy as well as byond the 255 chars ability. I thought of doing the following:
    1. Download Knoppix (which is a full bootable Linux along with all hardware recognition and forth).
    2. Burn the image on any CD and boot from it to view all the files on any NTFS/FAT32 partition.
    3. In console, 'su' to become root, then mount your drive with 'mount -rw /dev/hdaXX'. Do your copy with 'cp <path><file> <path><file>'.
    4. There you go:

    Links:
    Knoppix download site:
    http://www.knoppix.net/get.php
    CP command line:
    http://www.linuxforum.com/shell/cp/107-8.php

    Cyber
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    Author Comment

    by:HatchIT
    This is going to be on a production server (our main data server for Australasia), so I'm a bit loath to play around with Linux stuff on our server.

    Besides, we've finally found a solution.  HP OpenView Storage Mirroring has an almost 40,000 char limit on pathnames and runs as a service.  :-)  It's also what our colleagues in North America are already using, so I'll be getting my copy soon.  I've already tested it out here and it does everything we need it to (and then some!).

    Thanks anyway.
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    Expert Comment

    by:Cyber-Dude
    Good luck

    Cyber
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    Author Comment

    by:HatchIT
    Ok, thanks, been wondering how to clean this up...
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    Expert Comment

    by:Cyber-Dude
    Have somthing might help you - that is if you are willing to try that. I have encountered a case (tried it my-self and it works) which might provide you with generic direction; Checkout the following link:

    http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/Q_21215217.html

    Good luck

    Cyber
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