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What Special Characters do I need to avoid to successfully archive my data? Illegal Characters and Filenames in Platform Servers.

Avoiding common illegal filename characters is essential to ensure successful archive. Naming conventions for all files in an archive are important, not only video files, but other commonly archived support files such as PDFs, XML, and project files.

Do not use any of these common illegal characters/symbols in both files and folders:

# pound < left angle bracket $ dollar sign + plus sign
% percent > right angle bracket ! exclamation point ` backtick
& ampersand * asterick   single quote | pipe
{ left brace ? question mark " double quotes = equal sign
} right brace / forward slash : colon [ left bracket
\ back slash   blank spaces @ at sign ] right bracket
~ tilde ^ caret ¢ cent sign bullet point
¡ upside-down exclamation point trademark £ pound sterling infinite
§ section sign paragraph ª feminine ordinal indicator º masculine ordinal indicator
not equal « left pointing double angle less than or equal to more than or equal to
÷ division ˚ degrees œ oe summation symbol
´´   ® registered trademark dagger ¥ yen
¨ umlaut ˆˆ abreviation ø slashed zero π pi
å Angstrom ß eszett partial derivative ƒ latin f with hook
© copyright ˙ dot above Delta ¬ negation
Ω Omega approximately equal to ç cedilla square root
integral ˜   µ Mu    


Do not use the following reserved names for the name of a file: CON, PRN, AUX, NUL, COM1, COM2, COM3, COM4, COM5, COM6, COM7, COM8, COM9, LPT1, LPT2, LPT3, LPT4, LPT5, LPT6, LPT7, LPT8, and LPT9.

Also, keep these rules in mind.

  • Don’t start or end your filename with a space or period.
  • Keep your filenames to a reasonable length and for maximum OS cross compatibility be sure they are under 31 characters.
  • Keep the total file path (from the root) to less than 255 characters as not all OS are capable of working with files with “deep” paths. On newer OS (Windows Server 2016 or later) keep individual filenames below 255 characters. 
  • Some operating systems are case sensitive; always use lowercase.
  • Do not use Emojis in filenames.

Bad filenames:

1. F&A Costs.html

2. my PDF file#name.pdf

3. My Movie, Scene 1 “Brandon Falls Down” 4/22/2014.mov

4. Two files each called FinalCutProject1.fcp and finalcutproject1.fcp on a case sensitive OS. One of the two example files above will be overwritten or will cause an error on restore as both will be seen as finalcutproject1.fcp on an OS that is not case sensitive.

5. Many Stock footage files come with exorbitantly long filenames which should be renamed before being saved onto a NAS. 

Good filenames:

• Folder name/index.html

• my-pdf-file-name.pdf

• mymovie_s1_b-falls_42214.mov

finalcutproject1.fcp and finalcutproject1_1.fcp

• /My_Drive_Name/Folder1/Folder2/Folder3/Folder4/Folder5/moviename.mov