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Error renaming files in shared folder - invalid filename error, but no invalid characters

    Question

  • I am running into an issue with users renaming files on a shared drive. When the users try to rename, they get the error "A file name can't contain any of the following characters: \ / : * ? < > |". However, neither the new or old filename contains any of these characters, or any other invalid characters as far as I can determine, just alphanumeric characters and spaces.When they try to rename it again, it works without an issue.

    I have found reports of this error being generated if the file path is too long, but all users are accessing this from a shared drive, and even if the share name is taken into account the file path and name are easily under 100 characters.

    I have 3 users on 3 different systems reporting this issue, so I don't think it is user error.

    The workstations are running Windows 7 Pro, SP1. The server is Windows Server 2003 R2 Enterprise, Service Pack 2.

    The users are located at a remote site, and accessing the share over a site to site VPN. There are XP workstations at the site as well, that do not appear to be having the issue.

    Any help, suggestions, or guidance is greatly appreciated!

    Friday, November 11, 2011 3:02 PM

All replies

  • Hi,

     

    This error should occurs when the name contain invalid characters. Please simply rename the folder just contain normal letter like “aaa” to see if the same issue occurs.

     

    Furthermore, please create another share folder to these users and let them try  renaming for test.

     

    Regards, 

    Leo   Huang

    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum. If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tngfb@microsoft.com


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.
    Monday, November 14, 2011 3:27 AM
    Moderator
  • Neither the new or the old files or folder name contain invalid characters. If the user tries again with the same filename, they are able to rename the file without an issue, so the error does not actually seem to be being triggered by invalid characters in the filename.

    Monday, November 14, 2011 2:15 PM
  • I was just able to replicate the issue on another PC running Windows 7 connected to the same share; tried to rename File Z:\Scan Docs\Scan Nov 14, 2011 (1).pdf to Z:\Scan Docs\Scan Nov 14, 2011.pdf and got the error. Tried again to rename to the same filename and it worked without an issue.
    Monday, November 14, 2011 6:46 PM
  • I have also created an additional share on the same server, and the issue also occurs on that share as well.
    Monday, November 14, 2011 11:00 PM
  • Hi,

     

    Thank you for your update.

     

    That’s seems quite odd. Another question: could these folders renamed on local server with administrators?

     

     

    Regards,

    Leo   Huang

     

    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum. If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tngfb@microsoft.com

     


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 9:42 AM
    Moderator
  • I am able to rename the files without an issue on the local server. I also tried from a Windows Server 2008 Enterprise x64 (Sp2) server and was able to rename without an issue. Appears to be an issue with Win 7 Pro accessing the Win 2003 Server.
    Tuesday, November 15, 2011 10:59 PM
  • One interesting thing is that the error is a pop-up message box, rather than a alert balloon like it would be if you actually tried to rename a file with invalid characters. I have attached a screenshot (sanitized to remove identifying information).

     

    Thursday, November 17, 2011 2:59 PM
  • Hi,

     

     

    I am trying to involve someone familiar with this topic to further look at this issue.

     

     

    Regards,

    Leo   Huang

     

    TechNet Subscriber Support in forum. If you have any feedback on our support, please contact tngfb@microsoft.com


    Please remember to click “Mark as Answer” on the post that helps you, and to click “Unmark as Answer” if a marked post does not actually answer your question. This can be beneficial to other community members reading the thread.
    Friday, November 18, 2011 12:51 AM
    Moderator
  • Thanks for your help, I would really like to try to get this resolved as soon as possible.

    Friday, November 18, 2011 2:21 PM
  • Just had 2 users at a different site running Windows XP writing to a different share on the same server replicate the error (name too long or invalid characters popup). In their case, the issue went away a few minutes later on its own.
    Friday, November 18, 2011 6:26 PM
  • As you noted with the pop-up, this is definitely not the default behavior of Windows7. It is expected to be a non intrusive balloon.

    The wording is also different from the general Windows error i.e. "cant" in place of "cannot" expected in windows errors.

     

    I'd suggest you to look for 3rd party software on the PCs.

    Does this happen in safe mode with networking?

    Does it happen when you do clean boot using msconfig?

    Can you replicate this error with a share on another server?

     

     


    Sumesh P - Microsoft Online Community Support
    • Proposed as answer by Ole Drews Jensen Wednesday, November 23, 2011 2:14 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by Caleb Baker Tuesday, November 29, 2011 4:53 PM
    Monday, November 21, 2011 7:50 AM
    Moderator
  • As an update, it is looking like the issue may potentially be due to the realtime scanning portion of the ESET antivirus. I am still in the process of try to confirm this, as users are still reporting getting it, but I have not gotten the error with realtime scanning disabled (of course, I also have had issues replicating it in the first place).

     

    I will give another update if I determine this has resolved the issue, or if I have further troubleshooting.

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011 2:09 PM
  • Issue is now occurring on some Windows XP clients as well (connected to the same server). I was not able to replicate the issue in safe mode with networking, however I think that is due to the intermittent nature of the issue (can sometimes go for days without occurring for any users). I was able to replicate the issue doing a clean boot. I also completely removed the antivirus from one of the systems, and the issue still occurs.
    Tuesday, November 29, 2011 4:28 PM
  • On the XP machine that was having the issue, it was actually reproducible until I logged out and logged back in. If the name is less than 8 characters, I did not have an issue, but going over 8 characters caused it to occur. The symptoms were slightly different on this system, but the root issue seems quite similar.
    Tuesday, November 29, 2011 4:56 PM
  • Download process explorer from technet.

    When the error window pops up again, run process explorer as Administrator and then drag the 'find windows process'(sniper marker) icon on to this popup.

    If its a user mode process, it should point you to the process throwing the error.

     

     


    Sumesh P - Microsoft Online Community Support
    Wednesday, November 30, 2011 3:24 AM
    Moderator
  • So did the issue resolve on the XP machine after you uninstalled AV and then logged off/on ?

     


    Sumesh P - Microsoft Online Community Support
    Wednesday, November 30, 2011 3:26 AM
    Moderator
  • The issue on the XP machine was resolved with just a log off/on, I didn't make adjustments with the antivirus. I will try the process explorer steps next time I am able to replicate the issue.
    Thursday, December 01, 2011 3:03 PM
  • Ran process Explorer, explorer.exe is the process throwing the error.
    Thursday, December 01, 2011 3:30 PM
  • check the DLLs loaded in explorer.

    Use shellexview.exe to disable the 3rd party shell extensions.

     


    Sumesh P - Microsoft Online Community Support
    Thursday, December 01, 2011 3:42 PM
    Moderator
  • I disabled all non Microsoft shell extensions (there were a few adobe addons). The issue is still occurring.
    Monday, December 05, 2011 5:10 PM
  • Start Process Monitor -> rename the file using invalid character -> let the error come up -> dont press OK -> Save the procmon log as PML file and share.

     


    Sumesh P - Microsoft Online Community Support
    Thursday, December 08, 2011 5:54 AM
    Moderator
  • I have captured the log file as the issue happened. There are a couple of attempts here, the one where the issue happened is near the end of the file; I was trying to rename "2 3 45" to "4 5 6 2". No file extension on either of them, makes it easier to do multiple renames quickly that way.

     

    I was doing a clean boot to minimize the noise from other applications, the only allowed items are the antivirus and the software I use to access this system remotely.

     

    I have attached the same file as both a ZIP and the PML, just in case one or the other is blocked.

     

    Download zipped file from Skydrive (3.5 MB)

    Download PML file from Skydrive (26.1 MB)

     

    Thanks for your continued help on this issue!

    Thursday, December 08, 2011 3:20 PM
  • Hi,

    Can you try installing the 3rd party softwares on a test system that has the issue?

    I still believe it is caused by one of the 3rd party software installed on these systems.

    I was able to test most of these softwares inside my test system to try and reproduce the issue.

    However I could not manage to test the Dell(wave) encryption/drive protection software as it seems like hardware dependent.

    So i'd suggest choosing a test system, then start uninstalling the 3rd party softwares one by one starting with the Dell drive protection.

    Or you can go the other way around and take a vanilla system and install the standard softwares in your environment till the error occurs.

    Based on my test i'd put my money on the drive protection s/w, however that is just an educated guess.

    Outside of this approach it would take a lot of debugging to figure out who is throwing the error and requires direct access to these machines as well which requires to be worked through a paid support incident.

     

     


    Sumesh P - Microsoft Online Community Support
    Friday, December 09, 2011 7:28 AM
    Moderator
  • Hello,

    Sorry to intrude but i have precisely the same problem with the same setup. Did you find a solution to the problem?

     

    Thanks!

    Wednesday, January 25, 2012 8:48 PM
  • I am getting this error frequently as well. The system here is running MSE and have very little third party software on it. It has been doing it since it was first installed. I think is is an x64 version issue as I have not experienced it on an x32 system I use at work.

    Wednesday, February 01, 2012 10:46 PM
  • I'm having this exact same issue: I have a shared folder on a Windows Server 2008 R2 and a client computer running Windows 7 accessing this network share. On the Windows 7 machine, I copy a file, then paste to the same folder. Windows automatically renames the file, adding "copy 1". If I then try to rename the new file by simply changing the 1 for a different number (i.e. 6), I get the error "A file name can't contain any of the following characters: \ / : * ? < > |".  The only way is to delete about half of the file name and retype the exact same characters I am removing. Then it will take it.
    Wednesday, March 28, 2012 5:01 PM
  • Hi

    I'm also getting this error from a Window 7 computer naming folders on a network share

    A file name can't contain any of the following characters: \ / : * ? <

    The folder name does not conatin these characters.  Other users can create folders on the same share on their computers no problem

    It will eventually work, but usually fails the first time.  Most annoying.

    Anyone got a solution yet please??

    Friday, April 13, 2012 1:55 PM
  • Hi ~

    Did anyone find a fix for this yet?  I have 45 new Windows 7 pro x64 machines exhibiting this behavior on network shares that reside on ALL types of server operating systems: NT4 Server sp6a, Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2003 Server, Windows 2008 Server and even on Windows 7 x64 pro workstation shares.

    I does not appear to happen when renaming files/folders on XP shares or Linux shares. Its only on Windows server shares and Win7 shares. Have not tested Vista shares (don't have Vista).

    I am now hesitant to rollout the rest of the 200+ workstations due to this annoying "feature".

    Wednesday, May 02, 2012 1:16 AM
  • This problem happens on Linux servers as well. Users will not find a fix for this as it's a coding error in the operating system.

    Don't know if I would stop a rollout however as it isn't a show stopper.

    Mircosoft is very well known for ignoring theses sorts of problems so you will left in limbo.

    I get this problem quite regularly and now highlight my change and press ^c if the rename is extensive before pressing enter.

    When/if the message pops up I then rename (f2) again using ^v

    Wednesday, May 16, 2012 11:30 PM
  • Hi ~

    Did anyone find a fix for this yet?  I have 45 new Windows 7 pro x64 machines exhibiting this behavior on network shares that reside on ALL types of server operating systems: NT4 Server sp6a, Windows 2000 Server, Windows 2003 Server, Windows 2008 Server and even on Windows 7 x64 pro workstation shares.

    I does not appear to happen when renaming files/folders on XP shares or Linux shares. Its only on Windows server shares and Win7 shares. Have not tested Vista shares (don't have Vista).

    I am now hesitant to rollout the rest of the 200+ workstations due to this annoying "feature".


    Same issue here with the exact same setup. Must be a Server 2008 and WIN 7 x32/x64 bit issue. I would try updateing Server 2008 to the latest update and the WIN 7 64/32 bit with all windows updates and see if that fixes the issue. Please let me know if this works. I'm still looking for a fix.
    • Edited by Taurus247 Tuesday, July 03, 2012 11:36 PM
    Tuesday, July 03, 2012 11:35 PM
  • Seeing the same exact issue from Windows 7 and Vista workstations accessing a shared drive.  These users are also able to successfully rename the files on a second attempt.  Sure sounds like a bug in server code from what I gather on this thread.  Would love to see it patched if that is the case.  Our users are connecting to servers in Germany from the U.S. and so the latency causes the renaming process to take about a minute to complete by the time you deal with the error and successfully rename.
    Wednesday, August 08, 2012 7:13 PM
  • Same exact issue here. We have Win 2008 R2 Server, remote user connect via Cisco AnyConnect VPN and uses Vista PC with PGP Encryption on it. Anyone got a solution for this? I would appreciate any help. Thanks in advance.
    Friday, August 24, 2012 2:28 PM
  • I'd put my bottom dollar on that this is an issue within windows.
    Normally, the error appears as a bubble in windows 7, but for some reason it comes up as a standard error message in this instance. I have a user on my network who is having the same issue.

    Also, the standard windows 7 'bubble' error uses the word can't in the place of cannot (Tested on my unaffected machine).

    More and more people are having the issue, Microsoft don't appear to be doing jack about it... Meh...

    Should also add that this is happening on my network when a particular user attempts to amend the name of a file hosted on a Windows Server 2008 R2 server from a Windows 7 machine running SP2 and all updates.
    Considering rebuilding his machine and seeing if the error happens again.

    Monday, September 03, 2012 7:01 AM
  • Same exact issue here. We have Win 2008 R2 Server, remote user connect via Cisco AnyConnect VPN and uses Vista PC with PGP Encryption on it. Anyone got a solution for this? I would appreciate any help. Thanks in advance.

    I don't know if we can call this as solution but what I did was I went to the System Configuration and in Services and Startup I've disabled anything the user doesn't need/use to do the daily works (i.e. Intel Management and Security Application Local MAnagement Service, etc.) and the user said that everything works fine now.  

    T3chSupp0rt

    • Proposed as answer by Fenn Elite Tuesday, October 16, 2012 5:32 AM
    • Unproposed as answer by Fenn Elite Tuesday, October 16, 2012 5:32 AM
    Wednesday, September 05, 2012 3:50 PM
  • The only work around that we have been able to sort out to rename files is copy it to the desk top and then drag it back to the shared folder. Our shared folders are hosted in the shared QNAP nas drive running linux. All PC's are running windows 7
    Tuesday, October 16, 2012 5:34 AM
  • I definitely believe that it is an issue with windows 7 and running shared folders on a linux drive
    Tuesday, October 16, 2012 5:35 AM
  • Hello,

    I'd like to throw my hat into the ring regarding this problem.  Judging by what I've been reading and comparing it to my issue (Same renaming problem), I'd have to say it's not a server problem and I'm not 100% sure it's just a windows 7 problem.  I have a NAS setup on a router and I have the renaming issue running from my Dell laptop running 7 pro x64.  It didn't happen when I had XP pro on another Dell laptop but now it happens quite frequently.  It doesn't happen, however, from any work machine running Windows 7 pro x64 and going to our work NAS, Server 2003 or any other server version that we run (we have 4 servers). 

    I have noticed that it SEEMS to happen more frequently when the laptop is running very slowly do to file transfers or other background activity.  That COULD be my imagination but I don't think so.  I'm starting to think it may be a background process (maybe a pre-installed DELL utility) or even a virus/spyware/malware intrusion.  I have run several virus/malware utilities and have more yet to run but I would have thought that I'd have found it by now if it was that.

    I hope that someone out there is still on the case as I'm sure some bright guy or gal will eventually come up with the answer and I'd love to know what it is.

    Thank you.


    • Edited by Cheetah111 Sunday, October 28, 2012 2:17 AM
    Sunday, October 28, 2012 2:15 AM
  • Caleb, I was wondering if you had a solution to this issue yet.  The thread went on for quite sometime but then you seemed to drop right off.  This is still happening at my company now.  Any response will be greatly appreciated.
    Friday, January 04, 2013 6:08 PM
  • Has there been a solution for this issue? I was just helping out a couple users in my company and I have 2 of them having the same issue. We have Windows 7 Enterprise. I was unsure if one of our applications were causing this issue or if it was a Windows thing, but seeing this thread here makes me believe this is something with Windows. Anyway, the user is on wireless and is trying to rename a file that is saved on a network location.

    Friday, March 22, 2013 8:20 PM
  • Any solution to this problem yet? We're also experiencing this with a few users. 
    Wednesday, May 08, 2013 1:58 PM
  • I've been experiencing this for a couple of years and tried many many things I've read here and there. Here I am trying to find an answer yet again.  It comes and goes.  Win 7 Enterprise/Server 2008 R2.  It isn't always this error, sometimes it's "locked/file in use" type of error, when the file is not in use, which may be totally unrelated, but in my environment I get both errors, and they both come and go. 

    Today it is the invalid characters rename issue on an iMac bootcamped to Win7 Enterprise.

    Internally, our company got something from Microsoft along the lines of how the Win7/2008 CREATOR OWNER and SYSTEM persmissions work, thumbs.db, etc., I can't remember exactly now, that was a long time ago, but that was from Microsoft and the fix wasn't 100%.  Does seem to happen more frequently in a User share set to create a user's folder automatically and allow for privacy, when users try to turn their user folder into a team share.  Never had this problem until we upgraded from 2003/XP. Our third party software is all exactly the same, user to user, from XP/2003 to Win7/2008.  I'm just tired of hearing about the issue - and looking incompetent because there's no solution.  BYOD and cloud seems to be resolving it.

    Wednesday, May 22, 2013 3:49 PM
  • Morning all

    Another sufferer of this issue here.  Currently only affects one Windows 7 PC (but of course it's the MD) connected to a 2008R2 file server.  He can save files OK but cannot rename files or folders.  The workaround we have is for me to rename them for him directly on the server which is a pain - for both of us.

    Has anyone managed to get anywhere with this one yet?  Really annoying problem!

    Thanks

    Rog

    Thursday, July 11, 2013 8:40 AM