Path too long error message when exceeding MAX_PATH



Symptoms

Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 clients can expand a server directory structure beyond MAX_PATH (256 characters) by accessing a server share and creating directories and files through the network. As a result, a server running Windows NT 4.0 returns the following error message if the server administrator tries to access these files or directories locally on the server through Windows NT Explorer: Can't access this folder. Path is too long. If you attempt to create a new folder, you may receive the following error message: Unable to create the folder ''. The filename or extension is too long. A server running Windows NT 3.51 shows unexpected results in File Manager such as a general protection fault (GP fault), WINFILE crash, or display of nonexistent directories. Several tools and programs may also show problems when working with this directory structure that exceeds MAX_PATH

Cause

Win32 programs are limited to a 256-character string size limit because of the MAX_PATH variable. Software programs can work around this problem by passing Win32 a path that is MAX_PATH or less. The real underlying path can then be accessed independently of the real length of the path. In this way, a program can access files or directories beyond MAX_PATH on the server.

Status

The problem described above could not be reproduced with NTBACKUP

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