Fix: “The tag present in the reparse point buffer is invalid” on OneDrive

Some Windows users are encountering the “tag present in the reparse point buffer is invalid” error when attempting to use the On-Demand feature in one of their OneDrive folders. This issue has been ongoing for years and occurs on every recent Windows version (Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10).

“The tag present in the reparse point buffer is invalid” Error on OneDrive

After investigating this issue thoroughly, it turns out that there are several underlying scenarios that are known to cause this particular issue on Windows. Here’s a list of potential culprits that might trigger the “tag present in the reparse point buffer is invalid” error with OneDrive:

  • Junction file is damaged – If you get this error when the backup OneDrive client tries to backup junction files or folders maintained by the On-Demand feature, chances are you’re dealing with some kind of corruption that is affecting the junction files. In this case, you should be able to fix the issue by running a CHKDSK scan to prepare the corrupted blocks.
  • Corrupted OneDrive cache – As it turns out, you can also expect to experience this issue in an instance where you’re dealing with some kind of corrupted temporary files that are currently being stored by the Onedrive cache. In this case, you can fix the issue swiftly by clearing the cache of OneDrive from an elevated Command Prompt.
  • Missing Windows Update – Keep in mind that over the years, Microsoft polished the functionality of OneDrive to the point where there’s a minimal chance to encounter this issue if you have the latest hotfixes installed for Windows 10 or Windows 11. IF you haven’t already, use the Windows Update component to install every pending update.

Now that you are familiar with every scenario that might cause this OneDrive issue, here’s a list of verified methods that other affected users have successfully used to get fix this issue permanently.

Install the latest Windows updates

Before you move on to any of the other fixes below, you should start by installing any pending updates that might still be waiting to get installed.

The reason why is important is that Microsoft has already released dozens of hotfixes aimed at improving the stability of the OneDrive integration on both Windows 10 and Windows 11.

To ensure that you’re taking advantage of every fix released by Microsoft, access the Windows Update component and install every pending update either you’re on Windows 10 or Windows 11.

Follow the instructions below for step by step instructions on how to do this:

  1. Open up a Run dialog box by pressing Windows key + R.
  2. Inside the Run dialog box that just appeared, type ms-settings:windowsupdate’ inside the text box and press Enter to open up the Windows Update tab.
    Open up the Windows Update tab
  3. When you’re prompted by the User Account Control (UAC), click Yes to grant admin access.
  4. Once you’re inside the Windows Update tab, move over to the right-hand section of the screen and click on the Check for Updates button.
    Check for updates on Windows 10 and Windows 11
  5. Follow the on-screen prompts to install every pending update on your computer.
    Note: If you have a lot of pending updates waiting to be installed, you might be prompted to restart your PC before you get the chance to install everything – if this happens, restart as instructed and return to this same screen once the next startup is complete.
  6. Once every pending update has been installed, return to Onedrive and re-create the scenario that was previously producing the “tag present in the reparse point buffer is invalid” error and see if the problem is now fixed.

If the same OneDrive issue is still ongoing, move down to the next potential fix below.

Reset the OneDrive cache folder

If you already made sure that every pending Windows Update is already installed, the next step is to ensure that you’re not dealing with some type of glitch brought about by an inconsistency located in the cache folder of Onedrive.

Several affected users dealing with the same kind of issue have confirmed that they managed to get the issue resolved by resetting the entire OneDrive cache while being signed in with an administrator account.

If you haven’t tried this fix yet, follow the instructions below to reset the entire OneDrive cache using an elevated Command Prompt:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box.
  2. Once you’re inside the Run screen, type ‘cmd’ and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up a Command Prompt window with admin access.
    Open up an elevated CMD prompt
  3. When you’re prompted by the User Account Control window, click Yes to grant admin access.
  4. Once you’re inside the elevated Command Prompt, type the following command to execute a reset procedure on the OneDrive cache:
    %localappdata%\Microsoft\OneDrive\onedrive.exe /reset
  5. After the operation is complete, go ahead and restart your computer, then repeat the action that was causing the “tag present in the reparse point buffer is invalid” error and see if the problem is now fixed.

In case clearing OneDrive the cache didn’t do anything in your case, move down to the next potential fix below.

Running a CHKDSK scan

If none of the issues above have been effective in your case, there’s a high chance you’re dealing with an issue rooted in some kind of system file corruption affecting the junction files that the OneDrive On-Demand feature uses.

In a scenario like this one, the best course of action should be to run a CHKDSK scan from an elevated command prompt in order to replace the corrupted OneDrive junction dependencies with healthy equivalents.

Important: Before getting started with this method, it’s important to understand that running this type of repair will require a system reboot at the end of this procedure. Before moving forward, makes sure you save any document you might be currently working on.

Once you’re ready to deploy a CHKDSK scan, follow the on-screen instructions below to deploy a CHKDSK scan:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box.
  2. Inside the Run box, type ‘cmd’, then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open un an elevated Command Prompt.
    Open up an elevated CMD prompt
  3. When you’re prompted by the User Account Control window, click Yes to grant administrative privileges.
  4. Once you’re inside the elevated command prompt, type the following command and press Enter to initiate a file dependency cleanup using the Check Disk Utility:
    chkdsk c: /f
  5. Next, you will be asked to confirm the operation. Do this by typing the letter Y and by pressing Enter.
  6. Wait until the operation is complete, then restart your PC and see if the “tag present in the reparse point buffer is invalid” error is now fixed.
Kamil Anwar
Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.

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Fix: “The tag present in the reparse point buffer is invalid” on OneDrive

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