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What I am asking is if there is any file system that is known to be a possible successor of NTFS?

I am asking because I just bought a new external, and realized that the path to a file, including the file name itself, cannot add up to more than 255 characters. This is known as the "Long File Name" by microsoft. I am assuming this is due to the file system limitation, so I am searching for any possible alternatives.

I have a windows 7 based machine, but I am under the assumption that there would be third party software that would work with windows to make the new file system accessible by windows explorer.

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closed as not constructive by DragonLord, Indrek, Simon Sheehan, Mokubai, studiohack Sep 9 '12 at 2:56

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Where did you get that information from? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTFS#Limitations says: "File names are limited to 255 UTF-16 code points." and "The NT kernel limits full paths to 32,767 UTF-16 code points." –  Shi Sep 8 '12 at 20:36
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I was copying some files to my external that were in a very long directory sub directory pattern using tera copy, and in tera copy it said that the path was too long so I googled around and came to the wiki page of "Long File Name". If I am wrong, I would be happy to be corrected about this issue! :) –  hak8or Sep 8 '12 at 20:42
    
Well, my original intention was to ask about any possible alternative to NTFS that would be better. The information about the file name was stated to provide a reason for asking about a possible successor to NTFS, it wasn't the actual thing I was asking about. But, the answeres were helpful anyways, thanks guys. :) –  hak8or Sep 9 '12 at 0:13
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2 Answers 2

up vote 16 down vote accepted

There is a successor to NTFS. It is NTFS :)
(NTFS kept its name, but newer versions of windows have different and improved versions of NTFS)

However NTFS is not the reason for the file name length limit. Check this link from microsoft. I'll copy the relevant part, even though it is a bit long to copy from another side.


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" where "" 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".

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The limitation you refer to is in the Windows API, not the filesystem. To pass filenames longer than MAX_PATH characters, Microsoft has extended the APIs to accept long Unicode names up to 32,767 characters. But to use a longer path, it has to be in Unicode, prefixed by \\?\ and fully qualified (no relative path names). Effectively, what this means is that to use these longer paths, the filesystem and OS support are there, but you need an application that knows how to do its part.

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