Question asking (now way more detailed) question about filenames problems


Junior Member
Jun 22, 2020

Hello everyone


The OS is Win10

The file-system (also on the External hard disks) is NTFS.

I NEVER had this problem, even with very long filenames.

Third party apps (even Microsoft's PowerRenamer) don't help with this problem (anyway, now the filenames are short).

I've scanned both the PC and the external HD, repeatedly, with a few apps. All clear.

I used to have the same problem on computers' main drives, but a simple registry tweak (that I found online) had solved the problem on the PC. Regarding External drives, Google finds absolutely NOTHING on the internet.​

I've got truckloads of items saved onto External hard disks.

After lots of work on my part, their filenames are short.

Even so, very often, I cannot rename them, or easily move them, etc.

Such files are NOT nested inside subfolders etc etc

The problem persists even if/when I move files from the External HD to the PC's C-drive.

I often get this weird Windows message::

"If you change a filename extension, the file might become unusable. Are you sure you want to change it?"

The thing is, I'm not touching, at all, the file-extension. I'm only trying to shorten (a little. or a lot) the NAME of such file(s).

What's going on??

In advance, thank you very much for your help




May 19, 2011
Are you saying that for a given file, sometimes you can move/rename it and sometimes not? Because that would be weird.

Re long file names - the path up to the file name counts along with the file name itself. One thing I've often encountered when backing up customers' user profile folder to external drive\customer surname\customer username\files is that it is a longer path than it was on the original drive and so therefore when I go to delete it, it throws an error about a particular file name. Sometimes, finding that file then renaming its parent folders to shorter names will allow me to do destructive things to that file.

Another tactic someone mentioned on the Internet recently was that apparently 7-zip will allow you to browse a folder structure in Windows and make changes to names that Windows would normally not.

These days I'm usually encountering Windows throwing a wobbly when I've saved a folder on a shared NTFS drive in Linux that includes a forbidden character such as a colon, so I have to go back into Linux and rename it from there. I personally haven't tried the 7-zip idea yet, I haven't used 7-zip much personally.
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