256 char problems in file system

I’ve been having issues on our NAS servers. I inherited this problem. My company is very data storage hungry and one of our primary shares is having issues with 256 characters. My users have no concept of folder nesting and even after attempting to train and set their limitations; I’m finding folders nested up to 14+ deep with characters exceeding 256. When this happens, if I try to access or copy the data out I receive Windows errors that the filename or extension is to long and I can’t touch it. Is there a way around this? Is there any way in windows to stop a user from attempting to create a folder or file name that then violates the 256 char limit?
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SembeeConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Been there and been through the pain.
There is no way of stopping it from happening. Windows will allow the folder and file name to be created. I find the worst offenders are people saving web pages and they accept the default name.

Your only hope is to shorten the path. I have done this by using DFS to build the file structure. This allows the "real" path to be shorter.

Otherwise it comes down to user training.

tleavitAuthor Commented:
That’s funny to because we were planning on moving this share to a DFS share but couldn’t move the data. We are receiving a lot of grief on shortening the names because people reference the data in multiple different applications like our accounting software, CAD, etc...

What a pain. but I think your comments hit the problem.

I have been through this issue with a number of clients, and at some point you have to say "enough" and the paths have to be changed. It usually comes down to poor planning of the structure, and the desire to have everything in one place. By using DFS you can make separate data appear in a single place, with compromising the 256 limit. For example, I will often setup the DFS with the share name of "data" then put everything underneath it. The more characters that I can save the better.

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