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Bug of the moment 2012-07-01

One final entry

It’s time to call it a wrap with Bug of the Moment, and I think the following screenshot suffices nicely:

I’ve seen MAX_PATH get hit twice lately. In both cases, Windows Server 2008 R2 was involved. One of the situations involved being unable to retrieve files from Previous Versions because it had lengthened the path beyond the limit. The files were all backed up, but not retrievable from backup without fiddly workarounds. I would have thought that Vista/Server 2008 Previous Versions would be able to use \\?\* path notation to avoid hitting this problem, but no.

The screenshot is from the second situation, where I was trying to copy a large directory tree, and various subfolders hit MAX_PATH only on the target server. I was pleased to see that Windows Vista introduced a touch of intelligence to Windows Explorer’s error messages, but there’s still so far to go. Apparently a folder called “doc” has a path that is too long. A search of the source tree showed that many subfolders were called “doc”. Since “doc” is at most the straw that breaks the camel’s back, I cannot make any immediate derivation from knowing the folder’s name alone. (In fact, some of the “doc” folders contained files with ridiculously long names, but Windows was not going to tell me the names of the actual items that were causing the problem.)

From that dialog box alone, there’s not a lot I can do. I can’t display or save a list of the full paths of all six affected folders, nor can I jump to the folder in question. There is no auto-rename option.

I don’t imagine that Windows 8 will do anything to help any of the above, but maybe Microsoft will put some effort into making Notepad not suck, and giving Registry Editor an address bar and permitting it to be run within two different user contexts at the same time.

Oh well, that’s all folks.

Posted 1st July 2012 – Comments and questions?