File Name length

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Frank Williams, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. Interesting XP and WIN 7 have different limits

    Had problems trying to copy some data files to a Tablet

    XP Max file length is 255


    Win 7 is 260
    Frank Williams, Dec 4, 2013
    #1
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  2. Frank Williams

    JohnO Guest

    On Thursday, 5 December 2013 11:54:45 UTC+13, Frank Williams wrote:
    > Interesting XP and WIN 7 have different limits
    >
    > Had problems trying to copy some data files to a Tablet
    >
    > XP Max file length is 255
    >
    > Win 7 is 260


    How peculiar.

    Note that this limit is the whole pathname, not just the file name.
    JohnO, Dec 5, 2013
    #2
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  3. Frank Williams

    Your Name Guest

    In article <>, Frank Williams
    <> wrote:
    >
    > Interesting XP and WIN 7 have different limits
    >
    > Had problems trying to copy some data files to a Tablet
    >
    > XP Max file length is 255
    >
    > Win 7 is 260



    Allowable filename lengths have been getting longer with almost every
    operating system release. In the old days you were only allowed eight
    characters, plus the three character filename extension which told
    Windows / DOS what type of file it was.

    Going from XP to Win7 should not be a problem. Going the other way
    might be. Going from Windows to a tablet may also be a problem, unless
    it's a Windows tablet.

    The same happens on Macs too. If I try to take a long filename from a
    newer version of Mac OS and use it on an old version (with a 32
    character limit), then the application trying to open the file may
    display a "file not found" error until I shorten the name.
    Your Name, Dec 5, 2013
    #3
  4. In article <051220131308127198%>, Your Name <> wrote:
    >In article <>, Frank Williams
    ><> wrote:
    >> Interesting XP and WIN 7 have different limits
    >> Had problems trying to copy some data files to a Tablet
    >> XP Max file length is 255
    >>
    >> Win 7 is 260

    >Allowable filename lengths have been getting longer with almost every
    >operating system release.


    Almost every being right. IIRC, Prodos had a 256 character limit way back
    in the 80s ? Ran on the apple //gs I think ?


    > In the old days you were only allowed eight
    >characters, plus the three character filename extension


    Nope (see above :) ).


    >Windows / DOS what type of file it was.


    Yeessss. Not a good idea then ... and still not a good idea. A real OS would
    look at the *file* to decide what it is. :)
    Bruce Sinclair, Dec 5, 2013
    #4
  5. Frank Williams

    Titus G Guest

    Your Name wrote:
    > In article <>, Frank
    > Williams <> wrote:


    >> Interesting XP and WIN 7 have different limits


    >> Had problems trying to copy some data files to a Tablet


    >> XP Max file length is 255


    >> Win 7 is 260


    > Allowable filename lengths have been getting longer with almost every
    > operating system release. In the old days you were only allowed eight
    > characters, SNIP


    All internal bit manipulations are binary.
    All blocks of data are grouped in multiples of 2. (eg 8 bit, 16 bit, 32 bit
    machines.)
    A character is one byte or 8 bits.
    0 to 255 is 2 to the power of 8 so can be represented by one byte.
    So a maximum file length of 255 characters would represent a block of 256
    bytes.

    So to my outdated knowledge, 260 also appears to be peculiar.
    Hopefully someone here can explain the significance of 260.
    Please.
    Titus G, Dec 5, 2013
    #5
  6. Frank Williams

    Your Name Guest

    In article <l7om49$ar$>, Bruce Sinclair
    <> wrote:
    > In article <051220131308127198%>, Your Name
    > <> wrote:
    > >In article <>, Frank Williams
    > ><> wrote:
    > >> Interesting XP and WIN 7 have different limits
    > >> Had problems trying to copy some data files to a Tablet
    > >> XP Max file length is 255
    > >>
    > >> Win 7 is 260

    > >Allowable filename lengths have been getting longer with almost every
    > >operating system release.

    >
    > Almost every being right. IIRC, Prodos had a 256 character limit way back
    > in the 80s ? Ran on the apple //gs I think ?
    >
    >
    > > In the old days you were only allowed eight
    > >characters, plus the three character filename extension

    >
    > Nope (see above :) ).


    He was talking about Windows, so I went back to the PC-DOS days.

    We already knew that Windoze / PC-DOS was garbage and there were and
    are much better operating systems around.




    > >Windows / DOS what type of file it was.

    >
    > Yeessss. Not a good idea then ... and still not a good idea. A real OS would
    > look at the *file* to decide what it is. :)


    Technically that's what Mac OS did, before Apple stupidly decided to
    switch to a Unix variant. Mac OS X now uses the filename extensions
    just like Windoze (and just like Windoze there's an option to hide the
    extensions fomr the user). :-(
    Your Name, Dec 5, 2013
    #6
  7. Frank Williams

    Your Name Guest

    In article <l7ot2g$v5r$>, Titus G
    <> wrote:

    > Your Name wrote:
    > > In article <>, Frank
    > > Williams <> wrote:

    >
    > >> Interesting XP and WIN 7 have different limits

    >
    > >> Had problems trying to copy some data files to a Tablet

    >
    > >> XP Max file length is 255

    >
    > >> Win 7 is 260

    >
    > > Allowable filename lengths have been getting longer with almost every
    > > operating system release. In the old days you were only allowed eight
    > > characters, SNIP

    >
    > All internal bit manipulations are binary.
    > All blocks of data are grouped in multiples of 2. (eg 8 bit, 16 bit, 32 bit
    > machines.)
    > A character is one byte or 8 bits.


    No longer true with today's extended sets like Unicode. Characters are
    now multi-byte encoded.



    > 0 to 255 is 2 to the power of 8 so can be represented by one byte.
    > So a maximum file length of 255 characters would represent a block of 256
    > bytes.
    >
    > So to my outdated knowledge, 260 also appears to be peculiar.
    > Hopefully someone here can explain the significance of 260.
    > Please.


    Easy ...

    260 is obviously more than 255, so Microsoft are able to truthfully say
    in advertising that Windows 7 is an "improvement" on Windows XP ...
    despite the fact that's Windows 7 is a dog's breakfast in every other
    way. ;-)
    Your Name, Dec 5, 2013
    #7
  8. Frank Williams

    Ralph Fox Guest

    On Thu, 05 Dec 2013 11:54:45 +1300, Frank Williams wrote:

    >
    >
    > Interesting XP and WIN 7 have different limits
    >
    > Had problems trying to copy some data files to a Tablet
    >
    > XP Max file length is 255
    >
    >
    > Win 7 is 260



    Same limit in both

    255 for the file name alone,
    for example: "Journey to the West.epub"

    260 for the full path.
    for example: "C:\Tablet\Reader\Journey to the West.epub"

    ....and...

    32767 for the full path, in those Unicode applications which are
    programmed to use the right Windows API calls,
    for example: "\\?\C:\Tablet\Reader\Journey to the West.epub"


    REF: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa365247.aspx#maxpath


    --
    Kind regards
    Ralph
    Ralph Fox, Dec 6, 2013
    #8
  9. Frank Williams

    Gordon Guest

    On 2013-12-06, Ralph Fox <> wrote:
    > On Thu, 05 Dec 2013 11:54:45 +1300, Frank Williams wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>
    >> Interesting XP and WIN 7 have different limits
    >>
    >> Had problems trying to copy some data files to a Tablet
    >>
    >> XP Max file length is 255
    >>
    >>
    >> Win 7 is 260

    >
    >
    > Same limit in both
    >
    > 255 for the file name alone,
    > for example: "Journey to the West.epub"
    >
    > 260 for the full path.
    > for example: "C:\Tablet\Reader\Journey to the West.epub"
    >
    > ...and...
    >
    > 32767 for the full path, in those Unicode applications which are
    > programmed to use the right Windows API calls,
    > for example: "\\?\C:\Tablet\Reader\Journey to the West.epub"


    32K-1 Heck one could write a story story in that length.
    >
    >
    > REF: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa365247.aspx#maxpath
    >

    From Microsoft, what is was or is.
    Gordon, Dec 7, 2013
    #9
  10. Frank Williams

    Ralph Fox Guest

    On 7 Dec 2013 05:23:39 GMT, Gordon wrote:

    > On 2013-12-06, Ralph Fox <> wrote:
    > > On Thu, 05 Dec 2013 11:54:45 +1300, Frank Williams wrote:
    > >
    > >>
    > >>
    > >> Interesting XP and WIN 7 have different limits
    > >>
    > >> Had problems trying to copy some data files to a Tablet
    > >>
    > >> XP Max file length is 255
    > >>
    > >>
    > >> Win 7 is 260

    > >
    > >
    > > Same limit in both
    > >
    > > 255 for the file name alone,
    > > for example: "Journey to the West.epub"
    > >
    > > 260 for the full path.
    > > for example: "C:\Tablet\Reader\Journey to the West.epub"
    > >
    > > ...and...
    > >
    > > 32767 for the full path, in those Unicode applications which are
    > > programmed to use the right Windows API calls,
    > > for example: "\\?\C:\Tablet\Reader\Journey to the West.epub"

    >
    > 32K-1 Heck one could write a story story in that length.



    I suspect MS may not have all its ducks in a row for this.
    Windows BSODs on me when, in Explorer, I expand each of the
    folders in a path of length 640.


    > > REF: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa365247.aspx#maxpath
    > >

    > From Microsoft, what is was or is.



    --
    Kind regards
    Ralph
    Ralph Fox, Dec 7, 2013
    #10
  11. Frank Williams

    Your Name Guest

    In article <>, Ralph Fox
    <> wrote:
    > On 7 Dec 2013 05:23:39 GMT, Gordon wrote:
    > > On 2013-12-06, Ralph Fox <> wrote:
    > > > On Thu, 05 Dec 2013 11:54:45 +1300, Frank Williams wrote:
    > > >>
    > > >> Interesting XP and WIN 7 have different limits
    > > >>
    > > >> Had problems trying to copy some data files to a Tablet
    > > >>
    > > >> XP Max file length is 255
    > > >>
    > > >> Win 7 is 260
    > > >
    > > > Same limit in both
    > > >
    > > > 255 for the file name alone,
    > > > for example: "Journey to the West.epub"
    > > >
    > > > 260 for the full path.
    > > > for example: "C:\Tablet\Reader\Journey to the West.epub"
    > > >
    > > > ...and...
    > > >
    > > > 32767 for the full path, in those Unicode applications which are
    > > > programmed to use the right Windows API calls,
    > > > for example: "\\?\C:\Tablet\Reader\Journey to the West.epub"

    > >
    > > 32K-1 Heck one could write a story story in that length.

    >
    > I suspect MS may not have all its ducks in a row for this.
    > Windows BSODs on me when, in Explorer, I expand each of the
    > folders in a path of length 640.


    Some people actually have "written" choose-your-path style adventure
    stories using folder hierarchies. :)
    Your Name, Dec 7, 2013
    #11
  12. On Fri, 06 Dec 2013 22:55:06 +1300, Ralph Fox <> wrote:

    >On Thu, 05 Dec 2013 11:54:45 +1300, Frank Williams wrote:
    >
    >>
    >>
    >> Interesting XP and WIN 7 have different limits
    >>
    >> Had problems trying to copy some data files to a Tablet
    >>
    >> XP Max file length is 255
    >>
    >>
    >> Win 7 is 260

    >
    >
    >Same limit in both
    >
    > 255 for the file name alone,
    > for example: "Journey to the West.epub"
    >
    > 260 for the full path.
    > for example: "C:\Tablet\Reader\Journey to the West.epub"
    >
    >...and...
    >
    > 32767 for the full path, in those Unicode applications which are
    > programmed to use the right Windows API calls,
    > for example: "\\?\C:\Tablet\Reader\Journey to the West.epub"
    >
    >
    >REF: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa365247.aspx#maxpath



    I was trying to copy Android files to a Tablet and got a file warning
    that the file is corrupt or to long using XP, also tried to a Hard
    Drive and a USB stick.

    But funny thing that it worked OK using WIN 7

    My searches on the net indicated that there was a difference in name
    length..

    As they say the proof in the pudding is in the eating..
    Frank Williams, Dec 7, 2013
    #12
  13. Frank Williams

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Somewhere on teh intarwebs Your Name wrote:
    > In article <>, Ralph Fox
    > <> wrote:
    >> On 7 Dec 2013 05:23:39 GMT, Gordon wrote:
    >>> On 2013-12-06, Ralph Fox <> wrote:
    >>>> On Thu, 05 Dec 2013 11:54:45 +1300, Frank Williams wrote:
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Interesting XP and WIN 7 have different limits
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Had problems trying to copy some data files to a Tablet
    >>>>>
    >>>>> XP Max file length is 255
    >>>>>
    >>>>> Win 7 is 260
    >>>>
    >>>> Same limit in both
    >>>>
    >>>> 255 for the file name alone,
    >>>> for example: "Journey to the West.epub"
    >>>>
    >>>> 260 for the full path.
    >>>> for example: "C:\Tablet\Reader\Journey to the West.epub"
    >>>>
    >>>> ...and...
    >>>>
    >>>> 32767 for the full path, in those Unicode applications which are
    >>>> programmed to use the right Windows API calls,
    >>>> for example: "\\?\C:\Tablet\Reader\Journey to the
    >>>> West.epub"
    >>>
    >>> 32K-1 Heck one could write a story story in that length.

    >>
    >> I suspect MS may not have all its ducks in a row for this.
    >> Windows BSODs on me when, in Explorer, I expand each of the
    >> folders in a path of length 640.

    >
    > Some people actually have "written" choose-your-path style adventure
    > stories using folder hierarchies. :)


    Is that like having a fixed size pagefile and hiding your porn collection
    within it? ;-)
    --
    /Shaun.

    "Humans will have advanced a long, long, way when religious belief has a
    cozy little classification in the DSM."
    David Melville (in r.a.s.f1).
    [Sent from my OrbitalT ocular implant interface]
    ~misfit~, Dec 7, 2013
    #13
  14. In article <051220131706063505%>, Your Name <> wrote:
    >In article <l7om49$ar$>, Bruce Sinclair
    ><> wrote:
    >> In article <051220131308127198%>, Your Name
    >> <> wrote:
    >> >In article <>, Frank Williams
    >> ><> wrote:
    >> >> Interesting XP and WIN 7 have different limits
    >> >> Had problems trying to copy some data files to a Tablet
    >> >> XP Max file length is 255
    >> >>
    >> >> Win 7 is 260
    >> >Allowable filename lengths have been getting longer with almost every
    >> >operating system release.

    >>
    >> Almost every being right. IIRC, Prodos had a 256 character limit way back
    >> in the 80s ? Ran on the apple //gs I think ?
    >>
    >>
    >> > In the old days you were only allowed eight
    >> >characters, plus the three character filename extension

    >>
    >> Nope (see above :) ).

    >
    >He was talking about Windows, so I went back to the PC-DOS days.


    Oh ... an unwritten assumption. I see. OK.


    >We already knew that Windoze / PC-DOS was garbage and there were and
    >are much better operating systems around.



    >> >Windows / DOS what type of file it was.

    >> Yeessss. Not a good idea then ... and still not a good idea. A real OS would
    >> look at the *file* to decide what it is. :)

    >
    >Technically that's what Mac OS did, before Apple stupidly decided to
    >switch to a Unix variant. Mac OS X now uses the filename extensions
    >just like Windoze (and just like Windoze there's an option to hide the
    >extensions fomr the user). :-(


    A unix variant would look at the file (I think ... linuxes do). It probably
    still does if you haven't assigned extensions to be opened by particular
    programs. :) :)
    Bruce Sinclair, Dec 8, 2013
    #14
  15. Frank Williams

    Richard Guest

    On 8/12/2013 11:04 a.m., Frank Williams wrote:
    > On Fri, 06 Dec 2013 22:55:06 +1300, Ralph Fox <> wrote:
    >
    >> On Thu, 05 Dec 2013 11:54:45 +1300, Frank Williams wrote:
    >>
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> Interesting XP and WIN 7 have different limits
    >>>
    >>> Had problems trying to copy some data files to a Tablet
    >>>
    >>> XP Max file length is 255
    >>>
    >>>
    >>> Win 7 is 260

    >>
    >>
    >> Same limit in both
    >>
    >> 255 for the file name alone,
    >> for example: "Journey to the West.epub"
    >>
    >> 260 for the full path.
    >> for example: "C:\Tablet\Reader\Journey to the West.epub"
    >>
    >> ...and...
    >>
    >> 32767 for the full path, in those Unicode applications which are
    >> programmed to use the right Windows API calls,
    >> for example: "\\?\C:\Tablet\Reader\Journey to the West.epub"
    >>
    >>
    >> REF: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa365247.aspx#maxpath

    >
    >
    > I was trying to copy Android files to a Tablet and got a file warning
    > that the file is corrupt or to long using XP, also tried to a Hard
    > Drive and a USB stick.
    >
    > But funny thing that it worked OK using WIN 7
    >
    > My searches on the net indicated that there was a difference in name
    > length..
    >
    > As they say the proof in the pudding is in the eating..


    Windows 7 is smart enough to use the old 8.3 path names when traversing
    a structure with folder names longer than that inorder to get around the
    limit to a degree.

    When sorting out my music collection I have often resorted to renaming
    parent directorys to single letters inorder to shorten it enough to get
    things in the right place and then renaming them all back to as they
    were before. Stuff still is able to open the files and read and write
    them from within those folders so I dont really know why windows
    explorer bothers to enforce something that in reality doesnt matter to
    any application at all.
    Richard, Dec 11, 2013
    #15
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