Rogue Folder Overriding File Character Limit And Changing File Names

  1. RyzenMike's Avatar
    Posts : 4
    WIn10
       #1

    Rogue Folder Overriding File Character Limit And Changing File Names


    Win10 20H2 OS Build 19042.867

    I've been saving lecture videos, usually about 5Mb - 100Mb in size from my online course I'm taking. At first everything was normal for months and had no issues. Recently the folder I save the videos to started acting up and thinks the names of the files exceed the character limit and will either give me an error when I try to rename it or just automatically shorten it. For example I was trying to save a video called " Video 4 - Behind the Scenes End-User Training Health IT " (without the quotes) and instead of getting that name it shortened it to " Video 4 - ".

    The strange thing is if I try and save that same video to any other folder using the original name " Video 4 - Behind the Scenes End-User Training Health IT " it has no issues and doesn't shorten the file name. I tried removing the videos from the folder causing issues and creating a new folder, I think it saved the 1st video normally but everything after it started renaming and shortening. I've looked in folder options for some setting that could be causing it, I checked the folder properties for the folder causing the issues, I did a repair install of win10, ran win10 system file checker which found no corruption and I still can't figure out why this issue is happening only with this one folder even after I delete it and make a new one. If it makes it easier to show the problem I can record my screen with Geforce Experience to show exactly what it's doing and how saving to any other folder works fine. Weird thing is if I create another folder inside the problem folder it seems to work fine.

    I can't wrap my ahead around this crazy issue.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Here is a video of the issue.

    Rogue Folder Overriding File Character Limit And Shortening File Names - YouTube
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 1,212
    Windows 10 Pro
       #2

    I suspect you are running into the 260 character maximum path length. This has been the case since the introduction of 32 bit Windows in 1993. In 16 bit Windows it was 128 characters. There is no easy solution to this that does not break application compatibility. Most applications expect that a path cannot exceed 260 characters and will behave very badly if exceeded. That could mean an application crash or unpredictable behavior. In Windows 10 there is an option to remove this limit but that only applies to software that has explicitly stated that it is compatible with this, and most software isn't.

    There has long been the capability available to applications to create a path longer than 260 characters but is not generally recommended. Most software will abide by the limit and so does Windows Explorer.
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  3. RyzenMike's Avatar
    Posts : 4
    WIn10
    Thread Starter
       #3

    LMiller7 said:
    I suspect you are running into the 260 character maximum path length. This has been the case since the introduction of 32 bit Windows in 1993. In 16 bit Windows it was 128 characters. There is no easy solution to this that does not break application compatibility. Most applications expect that a path cannot exceed 260 characters and will behave very badly if exceeded. That could mean an application crash or unpredictable behavior. In Windows 10 there is an option to remove this limit but that only applies to software that has explicitly stated that it is compatible with this, and most software isn't.

    There has long been the capability available to applications to create a path longer than 260 characters but is not generally recommended. Most software will abide by the limit and so does Windows Explorer.
    Yea at first I thought that was the case that I was hitting the character limit. But the odd thing is that if I make a new folder inside the problematic folder and save the videos their, everything works normal. I would have suspected if the character limit was the issue that I would have the same issue inside the new folder, but instead it's the exact opposite.
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  4. Posts : 722
    win10 home
       #4

    Are you able to transfer the contents of the problem folder to a usb,for later use?
    If so,then remove the problem folder,try this method---
    1. Left click on folder.
    2. RIGHT click on folder.
    3. Left click on ---Properties---.
    4. Left click on ---Details---tab.
    5. At the bottom of the window, Left click on ---Remove properties and personal information---.
    6. In the new window,left click on the second radio button---Remove the following properties from this file---.
    7. In the same window,left click on--Select All---
    8. In the same window,left click on---O.K.---.
    9. In ---Details---tab window,left click on---O.K.---
    10. Hopefully should be empty and in the Recycle bin.
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  5. KeithM's Avatar
    Posts : 796
    Microsoft Windows 10 Home
       #5

    RyzenMike said:
    Yea at first I thought that was the case that I was hitting the character limit. But the odd thing is that if I make a new folder inside the problematic folder and save the videos their, everything works normal. I would have suspected if the character limit was the issue that I would have the same issue inside the new folder, but instead it's the exact opposite.
    Never heard of this but I love a good mystery.


    • Is the behavior the same in Safe Mode?
    • Are the filenames shortening all the way to 8.3 filenames?
    • Are they shortening to a consistent length?
    • Are they always breaking on a space? Have you tested continuous alpha-numeric characters?
    • Is Explorer set to show both Hidden ( H attribute ) and "SuperHidden" ( H + S ) files? Specifically wondering about a desktop.ini file. They can work all sorts of magic.
    • Is the folder designated as a Shell folder ( does its Properties dialog display a Location tab )?
    • Any 3rd-party backup/AV/"protection" software installed?
    • Have you searched the registry for any referenced to the folder name? When you deleted & re-creaetd the folder, did you use the same name or change it?
    • Have you moved one file at a time to ensure there's not one file with odd (perhaps non-displaying ) characters in its name?
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  6. RyzenMike's Avatar
    Posts : 4
    WIn10
    Thread Starter
       #6

    joeandmarg0 said:
    Are you able to transfer the contents of the problem folder to a usb,for later use?
    If so,then remove the problem folder,try this method---
    1. Left click on folder.
    2. RIGHT click on folder.
    3. Left click on ---Properties---.
    4. Left click on ---Details---tab.
    5. At the bottom of the window, Left click on ---Remove properties and personal information---.
    6. In the new window,left click on the second radio button---Remove the following properties from this file---.
    7. In the same window,left click on--Select All---
    8. In the same window,left click on---O.K.---.
    9. In ---Details---tab window,left click on---O.K.---
    10. Hopefully should be empty and in the Recycle bin.
    @joeandmarg0

    I did try removing the problem folder and creating a new one thinking that their was just an issue with that folder but that didn't end up working either. The problem followed to the new folder. Later I checked the other folders in the same folder as the problem folder and I found that some of the other folders were having the same issue as well, but not all of them.


    @KiethM


    • Is the behavior the same in Safe Mode?

      Never tried it in safe mode, I know I should of checked to see if maybe another program was causing the issue but since It only pertained to that one directory that wasn't as nested as others I was leaning more towards windows corruption or maybe a windows bug. I have some other directories that are nested a lot deeper and had no issues with those so I didn't think it was a program interfering.

    • Are the filenames shortening all the way to 8.3 filenames?
    • Are they shortening to a consistent length?

      Not sure if the filenames were shortening to 8.3. I would save / download the file from my schools website, when the prompt came up to pick the save location and filename I would put the info in with the filename and it would save it without issues, but when I checked the folder it would shorten it, mostly cutting words in half while leaving spaces in between words and usually only using 1-3 words depending on the length. They seemed to cut off consistently after a "Abnormally Small Amount" of characters, I counted but I don't remember how many I would say somewhere between 6 & 10 characters.

    • Are they always breaking on a space? Have you tested continuous alpha-numeric characters?

      I never tried saving the file directly using continuous alpha-numeric characters but I did try renaming it with them and after about 6-10 characters it would stop taking input like I reached the character limit but with no errors or pop-up box's saying I hit the limit. When I was testing trying to find the culprit, deleting folders and making new ones, I would test them out to see if they were still " Acting like I reached the character limit" by just typing random letters, numbers or both to see how many characters it would take before it stopped taking input and it was always the same.

    • Is Explorer set to show both Hidden ( H attribute ) and "SuperHidden" ( H + S ) files? Specifically wondering about a desktop.ini file. They can work all sorts of magic.

      For the hidden folder it's set to not show them, I didn't even know there was a "super hidden" and since I haven't seen it or enabled it I would assume their still hidden.

    • Is the folder designated as a Shell folder ( does its Properties dialog display a Location tab )?

      Yes, it shows the full folder location.

    • Any 3rd-party backup/AV/"protection" software installed?

      For backup I use OneDrive and Norton Backup, for AV I use Norton and Malwarebytes. I've had issues with OneDrive in the past, not with folder / file names but with files in general. Since this was just happening in one directory I figured it probably wasn't the culprit. I had it off and on and the issue still happened regardless. It's great when it runs right and a nightmare when it doesn't lol.

    • Have you searched the registry for any referenced to the folder name? When you deleted & re-creaetd the folder, did you use the same name or change it?

      No, I never checked the registry. When I deleted and re-created the folder I did try different names, I never actually counted the characters but just roughly estimated the length and the folder didn't have issues with other names. For whatever reason it almost seemed like it didn't like the original name I used and whenever used it would cause issues. It's crazy because I didn't use any special characters, just words and spaces. And it wasn't very long.

    • Have you moved one file at a time to ensure there's not one file with odd (perhaps non-displaying ) characters in its name?

      Yes and no, When naming the folders I only use spaces and words. With files it's pretty much the same except occasionally I'll use a minus symbol ( - ) to separate info like version numbers, x86 or x64 and dates. With these videos I was just copying the titles of the videos from the webpage. Most of the time they only use words, occasionally they throw in a ( : ) and most of the time I don't catch it until I try to save it and I get the error pop-up saying I can't use that character. I did check a lot of the files to compare the displayed name to the name listed in properties but I didn't see any characters that could cause issues.



    Update: As of now I didn't fix the problem or find out what caused it, but I did get it to stop shortening and renaming files in that part of the directory. I did a clean install of windows and the folder issue was still present.I decided to try and shorten some of my folder names just to see what would happen, if the problem would still be their or if for some reason it went away. At most the full path of the files prior to shortening were around 100-160 characters long.

    After shortening folder and file names removing around 10-80 characters per folder / file location the issue no longer happens. The past few days I've been doing my school work downloading and saving the videos / files without them being renamed / shortened. I'm not sure why this worked, I was under the max 250 character limit by at least 50 - 100 characters depending on the file / it's full file path location. This is an example of one of my school folders:

    After Shortening It's only 85 characters:

    G:\OneDrive - EMCC\Mikes\Computer\Knowledge\IT\School\John Hopkins IT\Course 3\Week 3

    Before It's 150 characters:
    G:\OneDrive - EMCC\Mikes\Computer\Computer Knowledge\IT\School\John Hopkins IT\Course 3 - Operations and Patient Safety for Healthcare IT Staff\Week 3

    The last folder in this location Week 3 is the end of the nesting. Everything in the Week 3 Folder is just files and videos, no folders. So depending on the file, say another 20 or 30 characters added to the full path. Still well under the 250 character limit. What do you guys think, honestly if I could I'd like to rename the files and folders back to what they were. I had my courses labeled based on what the course was on so it made it easier to find materials if I needed to. Now it's just labeled as course 1, course 2, etc. It's somewhat of a pain and less organized. I haven't tried naming them back to the originals to see if the problem re-appears but I may try it and see.
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  7. KeithM's Avatar
    Posts : 796
    Microsoft Windows 10 Home
       #7

    RyzenMike said:
    @joeandmarg0
    @KeithM


    • Is Explorer set to show both Hidden ( H attribute ) and "SuperHidden" ( H + S ) files? Specifically wondering about a desktop.ini file. They can work all sorts of magic.

      For the hidden folder it's set to not show them, I didn't even know there was a "super hidden" and since I haven't seen it or enabled it I would assume their still hidden.
    [LIST][*]"SupperHidden" is the second highlighted setting:

    Rogue Folder Overriding File Character Limit And Changing File Names-show-hidden-system.png

    It reveals files that have both the HIdden & Sytem attrbutes set. You can see this by adding the Attributes column to a Details view in Explorer:

    Rogue Folder Overriding File Character Limit And Changing File Names-screenshot-979-.png


    And just so you don't think I made the word up, it's the actual name of the corresponding registry value:

    Rogue Folder Overriding File Character Limit And Changing File Names-superhidden.png

    [*]Is the folder designated as a Shell folder ( does its Properties dialog display a Location tab )?

    Yes, it shows the full folder location.
    If it has an actual Location tab, the it's a "known" folder. Is it your designated Videos folder?


    I don't have any meta-ideas as to what's causing your issue.
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  8. RyzenMike's Avatar
    Posts : 4
    WIn10
    Thread Starter
       #8

    KeithM said:
    [LIST][*]"SupperHidden" is the second highlighted setting:
    I just checked and both are set to hide. The folders I use for school only contain video and notepad files. I have my main folder set to customize them for videos and the sub folders of that folder as well. I'm stumped, I think it might just be a windows bug in a recent update or something.

    Rogue Folder Overriding File Character Limit And Changing File Names-1.png
      My Computer


 

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