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Error: System cannot find the path specified (FAQ does NOT apply BUG!)

Lord Kestrel

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uTorrent 1.6.1 (Build 490), just downloaded tonight.


Windows XP SP2 + current hotfixes through May (32-bit)

AMD Sempron 3300 with 768MB of physical RAM

Very lean install (not many non-MS apps)

All volumes are formatted with NTFS 5.1

I have a torrent which is producing this error fairly consistently, and I've yet to figure out exactly why, though I have some suspicions. The pathnames aren't very long, certainly under 120 characters, and I've even tried to set the Download location to be the drive's root - letting uTorrent put the sub-directories directly into the root directory.

The torrent contains five directories, labelled thusly (names changed, but not the word lengths or their number):

Complete Zyborg Problem Vol 9 19XX Part 1

Complete Zyborg Problem Vol 9 19XX Part 2

Complete Zyborg Problem Vol 9 19XX Part 3

Complete Zyborg Problem Vol 9 19XX Part 4

Complete Zyborg Problem Vol 9 19XX Part 5

But there's something strange... in the TORRENT, the directory name of the first one actually has a space after the 1, whereas the rest of the names are fine. That is, the first directory name is actually "Complete Zyborg Problem Vol 9 19XX Part 1 ".

Sure enough, when I look at the directories created, there is no space after the "1" in the directory name which has a terminating space. No wonder the path isn't found - the wrong one was created, but uTorrent thinks it's there.

When I tell uTorrent to not download any files in that first directory, my problems seem (so far anyway), to be gone.

It seems like uTorrent, or some library/API call is TRIMMING the terminating spaces from the directory name. But worse, a different part of uTorrent which does path/dir validation is convinced the directory exists. Naturally, when the file create/write attempt is made, the system says "Sorry, no path!". [it would seem that Windows itself is truncating the directory's name.]

I've since noticed that Windows doesn't seem to support filenames with a terminal space. Attempts to create such a filename in either the GUI or the CLI fail. So it would seem that uTorrent needs to adopt a similar path translation scheme which right-trims the directory/filenames accordingly.

I learned something bizarre and new tonight. I had no idea that terminal spaces were "invalid" (in either the create or the file transaction side of it) under the Windows file APIs.

Thanks for reading this,


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Sure, but it would be fine if you applied a DETERMINISTIC transformation process such that for any version of uTorrent, the transformed directory names would end up the same. I suspect users would tolerate automatic "disambiguation" which would slightly mangle the filenames, if it meant they'd be allowed to actually download the files. Or better yet, display the transformed pathnames in the torrent summary window so as to avoid any knowledge disparities. I realise this will break torrents that are moved from Windows to Linux - so perhaps a small bit of notification or notation in the torrent status would be pertinent.

I would imagine such transformations already are in place to handle pathologically named files with more obvious "violations" of filenaming standards.

I can't help but wonder how many posts regarding this issue were ignored and sent off to the FAQ when it wasn't a filename/path length issue at all. A cursory search turned up many of these threads, with a good fraction of them protesting that the pathnames weren't so long.

PS: The last line of your entry intrigues me - have you already posted a new build? Or is this "underscore" replacement already in 1.7 beta?

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Well, µT currently transforms any disallowed character into an underscore, so I figured it was fitting to do that for trailing spaces as well.

And the fix has been implemented (wait for the next beta), but link the .torrent so alus he can test it.

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I've emailed it to you directly via the board messaging system.

I appreciate your not binning this into the "Read the FAQ, n00b" bucket. :)

May I humbly suggest a brief word in the FAQ about this issue? I suspect a reasonable number of the "Path not found" errors people have received were caused by it.

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It didn't get the 'read the FAQ' response, because, unlike so many other posts, you actually put in the effort to troubleshoot, and give us something more than "it don't work" to go on.

With something specific to look into, that you hunted down yourself, and supplied, it turned into a bug report that was actually USEFUL.

We need more people like that.

Thank you for your effort.

-- Smoovious

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  • 5 years later...

Sorry to necro this thread, but I've looked through about half a dozen relating to the error in question and this one seems closest to my issue.

I encountered a problem similar to the op's, but rather than a trailing space causing the error, I narrowed it down to a subfolder with a filename that ends in a period. Unless I'm mistaken, it seems this creates a conflict with Windows in exactly the same way that the trailing space did when this thread was first created:


After setting that part of the torrent to "do not download" and starting the download again, the error did not return, confirming my suspicions.

My question is, is there anything I can do to download the files located in the folder under the offending filename? Thanks. Any assistance is greatly appreciated.

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