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Backup problem using "cp"




I'm attempting to backup current partition  to a USB connected 1 TB drive.

I get:

root@debian-jan13:/home/richard# cp -ax / "/media/richard/MISC backups/dev_sda14/"
cp: cannot stat '/media/richard/MISC backups/dev_sda14/home/richard/.local/share/Trash/expunged/73080846/grub2 problem-2018-02-13/grub2 problem-2018-02-13/grub2 problem-2018-02-13/grub2 problem-2018-02-13/grub2 problem-2....018-02-13/grub2 problem-2018-02-13': File name too long

After multiple re-readings of man page for cp I suspect:

-t, --target-directory=DIRECTORY
    copy all SOURCE arguments into DIRECTORY

-T, --no-target-directory
    treat DEST as a normal file

but am actually quite lost.
HELP please.
TIA