Microsoft KB Archive/169632

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Article ID: 169632

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Server
  • Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q169632


When performing an unattended installation in which Sysdiff is used to install additional applications, you may receive the following error message during the initial phase of the installation:

Setup was unable to create the following directory on the target drive:

<drive letter>:\$\$$\<directory path>

Check the target drive and make sure no files exist with the names that coincide with the target directory. Also check cabling to the drive.

Setup cannot continue. Press ENTER to exit.


If you have verified that your drive cabling is functioning properly and there are no duplicate directory or file names, this error may be caused by the length of your directory path. The maximum number of characters allowed in the directory path is 55; this does not include the drive letter, colon, or any backslashes.


Two options are provided to work around this problem. Option B requires more advanced knowledge of Sysdiff and the unattended installation process.

Option A

  1. Note the directory path shown on the screen when you receive this error.
  2. On the computer that you are using to create the Sysdiff or diff file, either shorten the directory names, or move the directories in order to shorten the length of the path. If the directory that is causing the problem contains a software program, you may have to remove and re- install the program to a new, shortened directory path.

Keep in mind that the Sysdiff program will truncate each directory name to eight characters. (Refer to the directory path from step 1.) Therefore, if you shorten the directory names, you must shorten them to fewer than eight characters.

If the original directory is a subdirectory of the %Systemroot% directory (that is, C:\Winnt\<path>), the maximum number of characters cannot exceed 52. If the original directory is a subdirectory of the root partition (that is, D:\<path>), the maximum number of characters cannot exceed 53.

  1. After you have shortened the directory path to contain less than the maximum number of characters, you must re-create the Sysdiff or diff file and the Sysdiff or inf image.

Option B

  1. Note the directory path shown on the screen when you receive this error.
  2. Locate this directory path in your $Oem$ subdirectory of the I386 share, and modify the length of the path by shortening the directory names to fewer than eight characters each.

You need to shorten only as many directory names as required to reduce the length of the entire path to the maximum allowed characters. If the problem is with a subdirectory of the $Oem$\$$ directory, the maximum is 52. If it is a subdirectory of $Oem$\C or $Oem$\D, then the maximum is 53 characters, as counted from the first character following the $$ or the drive letter, not counting the backslashes.

  1. Modify the $$Rename.txt file from the appropriate location (that is, $Oem$\$$\$$Rename.txt or $Oem$\c\$$Rename.txt) to reflect the modifications you made to the actual directory path in step 2 above.

The $$Rename.txt file is used to rename the truncated directory and file names to their original names before the Sysdiff program truncated them to the MS-DOS 8.3 format.

Be sure to make a copy of the $$Rename.txt file and review the existing format carefully before making any changes. A section header, which is the parent directory enclosed in brackets, must precede each directory that needs to be renamed. For example:

The directory path $Oem$\$$\Profiles\Alluse~1\Startm~1\Programs\Myprog~1 needs to be renamed C:\Winnt\Profiles\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\My Programs.

The $$Rename.txt file should appear as follows:

    ALLUSE~1="All Users"

    STARTM~1="Start Menu"

    Myprog~1="My Programs"

Additional query words: unattend sysdiff

Keywords: kbsetup KB169632