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delete folder, subfolders, files in cmd command - get error name.txt too long

Posted on 2011-09-19
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
i have a folder that was robocopy /mir and it created lots of sub folders and files

i am trying to delete it with cmd commands

del c:\clients\users /s /f /q

it looks like it is rolling along and then stops with:
clientname.txt is too long

how can i get this to delete?

thanks
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Question by:webdott
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Expert Comment

by:Lester_Clayton
ID: 36565148
Unfortunately the path and filename is too long to process, there are two things you can try to do:

Option 1: Share Deep.

find a directory that's quite deep down that you can still access, share the folder, then map a drive to the same share, and see if you can delete the remainder through DOS or Windows Explorer.  This is not guranteed to work unfortunately, but it's worth a shot.

Option 2: Rename Rename Rename

Rename folders above which will reduce the path length.  For example, if your folder structure is like this:

D:\This is a\stupidly long\folder name and\I should be\castrated\as a result\blahblah\gibber\file.txt

Then rename each folder so that the whole path is shorter:

D:\A\B\C\D\E\F\G\H\file.txt

You will then be able to rmdir the folder.
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Expert Comment

by:Hendrik Wiese
ID: 36565156
Use the following to remove the Folder with all Sub Folders and Files:

The following will delete the entire users folder with everything in it.
rmdir /s /q "C:\clients\users"
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Expert Comment

by:Steve Knight
ID: 36565574
Good point on the share to make path shorter.... another way is to use command.com

I don't know off hand if this is present still on 2008 but if not do it from a mapped drive on an XP workstation, or from a 2003 server.

Start cmd.exe (as administrator if on the 2008 box).
type command.com
Now paths are in short 8.3 name format.
c:
cd \clients\users
rd /q /s c:\clients\users

You can use
dir /x

to see the short names of the dirs to CD into to make the paths shorter.
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Expert Comment

by:subhashchy
ID: 36566328
i think Command.com is not present in 2008.

how about just Selecting the root folder and SHift Del ? if the idea is just to del the folders, just a thought.
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Expert Comment

by:Steve Knight
ID: 36566521
I think the problem here is that the files have been created end up breaking limits on the length of full path / filename.  Mapping a drive part what down the tree of the directory, or renaming like has been suggested effectively reduces the path, as does using 8.3 names for long ones.
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Accepted Solution

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Bill Prew earned 500 total points
ID: 36566569
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Author Closing Comment

by:webdott
ID: 36576247
thanks - that is a nice tool!
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Author Comment

by:webdott
ID: 36576249
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Expert Comment

by:Bill Prew
ID: 36577386
Great, glad that proved to be useful.

~bp
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