Symptoms

"The requested operation could not be completed due to a file system limitation" error message will be reported from OS level when you running large backup job(e.g. Exchange backup set) or you are attempting to copy a large file(e.g. 150 GB VHD file) from one Windows Server 2008 R2 server to another.

Cause

1. Compressed files are more likely to reach the limit because of the way the files are stored on disk. Compressed files require more extents to describe their layout. Also, decompressing and compressing a file increases fragmentation significantly.

2.The limit can be reached when write operations occur to an already compressed chunk location. The limit can also be reached by a sparse file. This size limit is usually between 40 gigabytes (GB) and 90 GB for a very fragmented file.

3. A heavily fragmented file in an NTFS file system volume may not grow beyond a certain size caused by an implementation limit in structures that are used to describe the allocations.


Workaround

1. Make sure the NTFS File System File Compression is not enabled on the target drive/disk that you will save the file/backup.

2. You need to format the volume with the large FRS, use the below command to format the volume.

Format /FS:NTFS /L


3. For files that are not compressed or sparse, the problem can be lessened by running Disk Defragmenter. When a file is very fragmented, NTFS uses more space to save the description of the allocations that is associated with the fragments. The allocation information is stored in one or more file records. When the allocation information is stored in multiple file records, another structure, known as the ATTRIBUTE_LIST, stores information about those file records. The number of ATTRIBUTE_LIST_ENTRY structures that the file can have is limited.