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Solve restore file server with Long File Names (LNF)

Created: 11 Jun 2014 | 5 comments

I am informed that Symantec has no solution to restoring a server with long file names.  I need clarification on this point - is it accurate?

Operating Systems:

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pkh's picture

Why do you say this?  Long file names are restored.

Jeanbot1051's picture

It came up in a management meeting.  One of the participants stated that when doing a restore from a backup that Symantec will give errors when there are deep rooted paths eg. \\fileserver\folder1\folder2\folder3\folder4\\folder5\my sincerest wish is that this will work.pdf.  Apparently the 255 character windows limitation would apply?  Is there documentation that I can refer to - which proves or disproves this statement?

Colin Weaver's picture

As "Program Files" and "My Documents" count as a long file name we would have real problems if we could not restore it's content

If you mean "Deep Paths" such as


being long then we are limited to what is officially supported by the operating system and have in the past had some issue with Linux deep paths and/or some operating systems letting users create deeper paths than the operating system itself officially supports

EDIT1: I was tryping this originally at the same time as you were already confirming you meant deep paths

EDIT2: the offical documentation would be from the operating system vendor and what their max path length including filename can be.

Jeanbot1051's picture


Stupid question - but rather ask a stupid question than make a stupid mistake and you are probably expecting this question, but how does the OS permit the user to create the deep paths if they are not supported?  If the OS allows the user to create the deep paths, then does Symantec in turn restore these paths?  If not, how is this problem solved without asking the users to go back and truncate.

Our file server is NTFS which permits users to exceed the 255 character limit.  Can Symantec support restoration successfully?  OS is windows server 2008.


Colin Weaver's picture

I wish I could answer how it is allowed.

What I think happens is there are some software components that can read and write deeper depths but other components that can't which then results in the possibility of creating data in a depth that is not officially supported by the operating systems and therefore not by us either. In also means that some programs will be able to access those deep depths and some won't

I can remember before I worked at Symantec (so probably with NT4 or Windows 2000 operating systems) someone copied a directory sturcture that was something like 200 characters deep into a directory structure that was already 200 characters deep. Even though the copy worked we had all sorts of random issues with the result.

With regards Backup Exec we officially support what the oeprating system officially supports, anything else might work but equally might give you problems and you would have to test both backups and restores yourself.