Software Pursuits Knowledge Base

Cannot create a file when that file already exists (Error 183)

The "cannot create a file when that file already exists" error can occur for a number a different reasons.

  • During the initial scan process, SureSync notes whether a file is to be added or replaced based upon whether or not that same file already exists in the destination path. If SureSync is unable to see the destination file due to permissions issues yet is does indeed exist, SureSync will encounter this error from the destination system indicating that file we intended to create as new is already present. This case of the error is caused by incorrect or inadequate permissions.
  • When SureSync copies any file, it is always copied first to a temporary file of the same size as the source. When the copy process completes and comparison of the temporary file to the source confirms an identical copy, a "rename and replace" API is called to rename the temporary file and cause it to simultaneously replace the destination copy. If the destination copy is open atthis time, this error is raised.
  • Unless the short filename option has been disabled (highly unusual), all Windows Operating Systems generate an internal, short filename (called the 8.3 filename) for all files you see in an Explorer Window. These names are not visible to the end user without going to some degree of trouble and the choice of name is not under user control. Often, older programs and processes (and sometimes even modern ones) will save a file as the same 8.3 filename format such as "DOCUME~1.TXT", for example. This means that the long file name is now in the same form as the internally generated short file names. On the same machine, this is not an issue. However, when SureSync copies the long file name "DOCUME~1.TXT" to a destination machine where a different long file name happens to have a short file name which matches "DOCUME~1.TXT", a conflict is raised and the file is not copied. When this problem is the cause of the issue, you will often see  "Possible attempt to copy a "short" file name to a location where a long file name already uses the short name." as part of the message. Often the easiest way to resolve this issue is to rename the 8.3 filename format file names.
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