I have an external hard drive with many files (800 GB). I want to copy the entire contents of the external hard drive to my local drive. get many errors about long file name or long file path. Renaming is also not possible because of number of errors.

What can I do about this issue?

1 Answer 1


You'll get these kinds of errors if you use the drag-and-drop copy within Windows explorer.

However, if you use Robocopy, you should find that you can copy the files without any issues.

The command-line version of Robocopy is built-in to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008; it can be downloaded for other operating systems. Although there is a downloadable GUI, it's best used from the command line (aka CMD.exe).

By default, Robocopy should handle paths greater than 256 characters (there's a switch to turn it off, but in your case you don't want to do this).

Example command line (which will copy all files in the folder C:\Projects to the folder Z:\Projects):

robocopy "C:\Projects" "Z:\Projects" *.* /COPY:DAT /E

  • thanks for answer / would you plz tell me which parts of robocopy should i check for this purpose! Oct 23, 2011 at 10:34
  • those checks are so important... Oct 23, 2011 at 10:37
  • 1
    Edited answer to provide an example Robocopy command Oct 23, 2011 at 12:02
  • thanks for edit / should i use this command in command prompt(cmd) or robocopy has a place for using that command? Oct 24, 2011 at 10:28
  • As it says in the text, "use it from the command line" otherwise known as the command prompt or CMD. Oct 24, 2011 at 18:44

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