Can't see files with greater than 255 chars in path

Have server that has files on it that have file paths that have greater than 255 characters.
The files are hidden (show hidden files is set to yes)
If I am logged into the server (Win 2K8 R2 w/SP1) and go into the directory, the files are not displayed at all.
Other hidden files with less than 255 chars are displayed correctly.

This is a client that does video production.

If I got to one of the video production editing machines (Win 7 64 SP1 w/Video Editing Software installed) and navigate to the share, I can see the files.

If I copy one of the hidden files off the server using the video production machine, then try to copy it back on to the server, it says that it is already there and would I like to overwrite it (thus the files are physically on the server).

The hidden files are stored on a 24TB Array (GPT Disk), they are also stored on a Win2k3 server which exhibits the exact same behavior.

My thought is that the video production software installed some registry entry that allows it to see files (allows windows explorer to display files) with greater than 255 characters.

So how can I get win 2k8 server to natively (without adding other software to the mix) display the files.  Any ideas?
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tech911Asked:
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rindiCommented:
Share the folder where those files are in and then attach to that share. The software probably doesn't look below that folder either so that way it sees the files. In the long run reduce the folder length and filename sizes so they comply with the standards.
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MajorBigDealCommented:

Using a file share to shorten the apparent path is good advice.  If you have some long folder names, another way to do it is to rename the long folder to something shorter.  If the file names are very long, after you rename the folder to get the total path length down, you can then rename the files to something shorter, and then rename the folders back to what they were (if you want to keep the same folder names).
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marek1712Commented:
Well, there's a 256 -char limit for a path in the NTFS.
There's some info from MS about the issue and how to solve it: LINK. Only for Unicode API apps.
Other method, aside from changing shares, is to use different file system for data (like NFS).
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TXRhinoCommented:
marek1712 is correct... character limit in NTFS. Tell the user to shorten the file names then use the description in the properties to make notes as to what the files are. The description will then be visible in Windows explorer when viewing the files. If they don't want to or can't, do that I would suggest getting a video storage device like a Mac Leopard server set up for video editing...
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
Experts: please note that the 255 path character limit is NOT an NTFS restriction but an Windows Explorer Restriction which is restricted to MAX_PATH length (260 characters)
(this is a very common misconception)

NT kernel limits full paths to 32,767 UTF-16 code points
NTFS only restricts individual items in the path to 255 characters

Workarounds to reduce the path length plus name length to less than 260 characters:

use from a command line use SUBST to assign a drive letter to a subset of the path you require
Share a Subset of the path you require and then map the path (if required)



powershell script to enumerate drives and show files >max_path.. errors on unmounted drives though.

gdr -p FileSystem|%{gci -r -fo $_.root}|%{$m=0}{$f=$_.fullname;if($f.length -gt $m){$n=$f;$m=$f.length}};$n

Open in new window

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tech911Author Commented:
More info -

We have discovered that some of our directories and files have the system attribute assigned to them, when we changed the view options to show system files, we could now see these files... which is good.

These are not system files however, thus I would like to remove the system attribute from these directories/files.

Does anyone know of a tool that will allow me to select multiple files, then change the attributes of those files in bulk.  There are quite a few of these and doing them one at a time would take forever.

Thanks
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marek1712Commented:
Just uncheck System attribute for the folder containing these files and allow it to propagate changes to child items.
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
from a command prompt attrib -s * /s
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tech911Author Commented:
Check out the attached image and you will see there is no system checkbox (why... I don't know).

ve3ofa - Will that command perform the attrib removal on any files in that directory that have the system attrib set?

Please clarify.
DirectImage1.jpg
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David Johnson, CD, MVPOwnerCommented:
yes it will
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tech911Author Commented:
That did it.
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Windows Server 2008

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