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Cannot copy file_name: The path is too deep August 1, 2007

Posted by cboykin in explorer, file system, firewall, windows.

Ever get this error “Cannot copy file_name: The path is too deep” when trying to drag-and-drop a file?  Were you going through a firewall?

I recently came across this error and it had us stumped for quite a while.  I found several articles online that didn’t quite identify it correctly or didn’t apply to my situation.  After digging around on the knowledge base of the firewall manufacture, Check Point in this case, I came across a real solution that worked.  It wasn’t easy to find, even on their site because the situation wasn’t the same, but I figured “what the heck, I’ll try it”, and it worked. 

The problem had to do with the default windowing size allowed through the firewall.  If you aren’t familiar, “windowing” is how TCP negotiates the transfer of data.  It is variable and starts out slow until it can negotiate an acceptable packet-to-acknowledgement rate for both parties.  For example, first we exchange packets by me giving  you one packet and you responding (acknowledging) that you received it.  Then we try say 10 packets to one, if that worked without corruption, we increase it.  So on and so forth until we get to a maximum agreeable rate that both of us are comfortable with and we get data transfered at a much higher speed.  All that to say this…

Check Point firewalls have a max windowing size of 10K by default.  This sometimes gives you the “Path is too deep” error, espescially when on a LAN going to a DMZ or some other interface on the firewall.  To fix it you will want to do the following:

To increase the window size, run the fw ctl set int fwtcpstr_max_window 65536 command.

Note: This command does not survive a reboot.

To make the command survive a reboot:

  1. On Linux or SecurePlatform, edit the $FWDIR/boot/modules/fwkern.conf file using vi.
  2. Set a parameter name to a value, e.g.,
  3. Run the fw ctl get int fwtcpstr_max_window command to verify whether the new value is applied on the OS properly.

After the procedure completes, users should be able to successfully copy the files.


1. sublimnl - August 21, 2007

aww man, you left out the best part!

2. cboykin - August 25, 2007


3. Guy Patters (Nullamatix.com) - January 11, 2008

Wow – had this post came up as the #1 result in Google, I would have saved a lot of time. Anyway, great information – thanks for sharing. This proves Blogging is not a self-serving trend.

4. Ra - January 14, 2008

hmmm…… i got the same error when trying to transfer data from an external harddisk to my laptop….. the data got fried and the harddisk crashed…. any idea about that one?

5. Mix - January 22, 2008

Im still confused on how to solve the problem and does this apply to copyint to and from external Hard drives.

6. sublimnl - January 22, 2008

this is about a problem related to copying files across a VPN connection created using Check Point Firewalls.

If you are getting a similar error copying to/from an external hard disk then one of your hard disks, or perhaps something else in your system is going bad. You’ll need to do troubleshooting to isolate the problem. Use a different external HDD, drop your internal HDD into another system, etc until you figure out where the problem is. Those are just a couple suggestions.

Good Luck.

7. scitech - April 24, 2010

It’s happen with mine too. I’m use mobo with intel G31 chipset. When this error come, I’m just update the ‘chipset driver’ with newest version, and the error solved.

8. Kit Gath - December 12, 2010

I had the same problem. And http://www.pathtoolongtool.com helped me.

9. alan.larky - January 3, 2011

i also have faced the same problme and following software sort out my problem


some of the features of this softwares are:

Path too long.
Error cannot delete file: cannot read from source file or disk.
Cannot delete file: Access is denied.
There has been a sharing violation.
Cannot delete file or folder The file name you specified is not valid or too long.
Specify a different file name.
The source or destination file may be in use.
The file is in use by another program or user.
Error Deleting File or Folder
Make sure the disk is not full or write-protected and that the file is not currently in use.
Path too deep.

10. GabrielNar - November 13, 2012

Long Path Tool helped me in this situation if you want than you can use them. I hope that you will resolve your problem

11. frankedgar77 - May 13, 2013

Thank for posting this! I finally have a way to deal with this message that, for a long time, has been the bane of my existence.

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