6 Replies Latest reply: Nov 5, 2015 6:53 PM by aiyamaya RSS

Problems with path depth in CIFS share




We just migrated a physicall file server to a CIFS share in a Celerra NS120. We used robocopy to copy all the data. We are having problems reported by our clients that they can't copy/read files in the share. We are looking that the copy was not successful because of the path depth/filename lenght. After some tests we figured that we couldn't create more folders inside specific paths and filenames were trunked.


In the fileserver we have these paths, but they couldn't be correctly copied to the Celerra. Is there any configuration regarding the path depth, to allow more that what I'm getting right now?



  • 1. Re: Problems with path depth in CIFS share

    This is, for example, on path with problems:




    We can't create any more folders from "Comercial", and filenames are truncated in 12 characters.

  • 2. Re: Problems with path depth in CIFS share

    I think you are running against the Microsoft 260 characters limit of the path length


    Workarounds f.e. are:

    using the Backup API,

    mapping a share deeper instead of using UNC Pathes, or

    use the "\\?\UNC\" prefix


    see: http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa365247.aspx


    from there:

    Maximum Path Length Limitation

    In the Windows API (with some exceptions discussed in the following paragraphs), the maximum length for a path is MAX_PATH, which is defined as 260 characters. A local path is structured in the following order: drive letter, colon, backslash, name components separated by backslashes, and a terminating null character. For example, the maximum path on drive D is "D:\some 256-character path string<NUL>" where "<NUL>" represents the invisible terminating null character for the current system codepage. (The characters < > are used here for visual clarity and cannot be part of a valid path string.)

    Note  File I/O functions in the Windows API convert "/" to "\" as part of converting the name to an NT-style name, except when using the "\\?\" prefix as detailed in the following sections.

    The Windows API has many functions that also have Unicode versions to permit an extended-length path for a maximum total path length of 32,767 characters. This type of path is composed of components separated by backslashes, each up to the value returned in the lpMaximumComponentLength parameter of the GetVolumeInformation function (this value is commonly 255 characters). To specify an extended-length path, use the "\\?\" prefix. For example, "\\?\D:\very long path".

    Note  The maximum path of 32,767 characters is approximate, because the "\\?\" prefix may be expanded to a longer string by the system at run time, and this expansion applies to the total length.

    The "\\?\" prefix can also be used with paths constructed according to the universal naming convention (UNC). To specify such a path using UNC, use the "\\?\UNC\" prefix. For example, "\\?\UNC\server\share", where "server" is the name of the computer and "share" is the name of the shared folder. These prefixes are not used as part of the path itself. They indicate that the path should be passed to the system with minimal modification, which means that you cannot use forward slashes to represent path separators, or a period to represent the current directory, or double dots to represent the parent directory. Because you cannot use the "\\?\" prefix with a relative path, relative paths are always limited to a total of MAX_PATH characters.

    There is no need to perform any Unicode normalization on path and file name strings for use by the Windows file I/O API functions because the file system treats path and file names as an opaque sequence of WCHARs. Any normalization that your application requires should be performed with this in mind, external of any calls to related Windows file I/O API functions.

    When using an API to create a directory, the specified path cannot be so long that you cannot append an 8.3 file name (that is, the  directory name cannot exceed MAX_PATH minus 12).

    The shell and the file system have different requirements. It is possible to create a path with the Windows API that the shell user interface is not be able to interpret properly.

  • 3. Re: Problems with path depth in CIFS share

    Not much to do... I've asked the users to relocate files and minimize the folder depth... Thanks!

  • 4. Re: Problems with path depth in CIFS share

    Use emcopy. It handles long paths.

  • 5. Re: Problems with path depth in CIFS share
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  • 6. Re: Problems with path depth in CIFS share

    My env is VNX File 8.1.6 and i cannot open link with prefix \\?\UNC\server\share. error is windows cannot access path..