"Invalid argument"s when attemping to create files with certain characters in filename on external drive

Nils Kassube kassube at gmx.net
Sun May 27 08:59:20 UTC 2007

Danny Colligan wrote:
> dannyc at washington:~/Desktop$ df -h
> Filesystem            Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
> ...
> /dev/sdb1             150G   52G   98G  35% /media/FAT32
> dannyc at washington:~/Desktop$ cp -R Musical /media/FAT32/
> ...
> cp: cannot create regular file `/media/FAT32/Musical/Music/Ween/Dude,
> Wheres my Car Sndtrack/Dude, Where\'s My Car?-06-Ween-Voodoo Lady.mp3':
> Invalid argument


> It seems that it is impossible to create _any_ file on this drive with
> a question mark or colon in the name (this might not be an exhaustive
> list of prohibited characters...), no matter what utility is used,
> eliminating the potential of it being just a problem with cp:
> dannyc at washington:/media/FAT32$ touch \?
> touch: setting times of `?': No such file or directory
> Does anyone know why this is happening?  Seems quite strange that
> certain characters would be absolutely outlawed on a file system...

It is a FAT32 file system with it's Windows heritage. When I try to rename 
a file with Windows XP including one of your invalid characters, it tells 
me that these characters are forbidden:


I tried it on a NTFS file system, but for FAT32 it is supposedly the same.


More information about the ubuntu-users mailing list