Fully qualified file name must be less than 260 characters, but it is

I'm trying to build our SharePoint 2010 solution in PowerShell, and it's all working fine until it gets to a particular project, when the ever-fun "The fully qualified file name must be less than 260 characters" error appears and the build fails. But the problem is three-fold:

1) The fully qualified file name for the file in question is only 173 characters - way off the 260-char limit.

2) I have built and deployed this solution repeatedly in the past with no such problems, and the file path has not changed since the last time a successful deployment was done.

3) Some branches will build without the error, despite their paths being the same number of characters, whilst those affected throw the error even if I reduce the length of the path.

What could be different from one branch to another? And how could this error only now occur, despite the solutions not changing? Could there be a particular hidden file gumming up the works? Any ideas would be very welcome, thank you!


I hope you are considering character count correctly like a space(%20) takes three character count.

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