4 Replies Latest reply: Apr 7, 2008 2:15 PM by Kappy
bill f Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
Unfortunately, my boss likes Windows more than Macs, so we have puchased some new Dell computers to replace older G4 Macs.

I'm having trouble copying existing files from a Mac (OS 10.4)to the shared drive on the Windows XP computer. I'm getting an error message:

"You can't copy the item 'filename' because the name is too long or includes characters that the disk can't display." Sometimes it doesn't give a filename, it gives a similar message "Some items couldn't be copied..."

I assume the person has used some "illegal" file names such as "Meeting minutes 10/7/07" Or maybe we have too many folders inside of folders.

QUESTION: Is there a correct/better way to copy large quantites of files/folders from Mac to Windows? Or is there a program that will look at the Mac files and alert me to wrong or too long files names?

Other ideas to copy these files?

thanks,
Bill

Titanium Powerbook, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (252,480 points)
    You can use a freeware utility like Renamer4Mac or BatchRename'em both of which have built-in filters that will rename files for Windows compatibility. You cannot use any special characters that the Windows' filesystems don't accept such as "/\*?|&!@^" for example. If the filesystem is FAT rather than NTFS then filenames are limited to 31 characters.

    If you are simply archiving files on the server, then you can make life easier by zipping them before copying them to the server.
  • sig Level 8 Level 8 (35,780 points)
    Instead of 10/7/07 try 10-07-07. There is no program that I know of that will do what you propose. You may need to just know how Windows names files (length and format) and adjust accordingly. I trust the files are operable by a Windows program.
  • bill f Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    You can use a freeware utility like Renamer4Mac or BatchRename'em both of which have built-in filters that will rename files for Windows compatibility.


    Thank you... This sounded to me like it would fix the problem, so I downloaded both and looked at them. However, the manual/help file is very sparse, so I don't know if it will do what I want to and how it would do it.

    1. I couldn't find any option in either program to: Look at all files in selected folder, and list any invalid file names for Windows.
    2. There doesn't seem to be an option to "rename files without bad Windows characters" or "Remove invalid for Windows characters"

    I just couldn't find any explanation of how it was offering to rename the files. I can't rename all files to sequential names, that would make it hard to find a file later.

    Thank you,
    Bill
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (252,480 points)
    If you're willing to spend $25 then try A Better File Renamer - VersionTracker or MacUpdate to download demo.

    Or you can try Mac2FAT - MacUpdate which is an older PPC app, but it may work OK, and it's freeware.

    Message was edited by: Kappy