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Shell meta character expansion problems

I recently updated my visual C installation, and for paranoia reasons I 
maintained the original install (neither uses the registry, they are just
directory trees for command-line use).  I happened to put the new tree
a little "deeper" that the original install, and noticed that I can't grep through the header files with an absolute path.  The following fails:
	grep your_symbol_here /d/sdks/vc5sp5/vc98/includes/*
	grep your_symbol_here /d/sdks/vc5sp5/vc98/includes/*.h works.
Also, this fails
	ls /d/sdks/vc5sp5/vc98/includes/*

I figured out that 
	ls ./sdks/vc5sp5/vc98/includes/*
filed, but
	ls ./vc5sp5/vc98/includes/*
worked (from the obvious, appropriate cwd's).

The source to grep turned up nothing, but then I looked at the shell (bash).
It appears that expandmeta() in expand.c (line 1124) has a lower limit for
expanded output of 16K, otherwise a size computed from PATH_MAX.  I can't
really tell if the failure I have is due to this computed size, since the
allocated buffer gets passed into expmeta() as an un-sized char *.
However, based on what I see at the command line, it certainly seems that
the wildcard expansion is running out of memory.

Is there anyone familiar enough with this to shove me in the right direction?

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