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Non-existent folders / files in Win 9x

Non-existent folders / files in Win 9x

Non-existent folders / files in Win 9x

Can anyone explain, with certainty, why Windows up to '98 refuses to believe in the existence of folders or files with the ASCII character (255) embedded in their names. One can create and access them after a boot to DOS or while shelled to COMMAND.COM. An attempt to view the contents of such a folder in Explorer may result in the message "The 'C:\Y_ZZTOP' folder does not exist." Any attempt to delete the folder or file results in "Cannot delete file: File system error (1026)." An attempt to open a file with (255) in the name may result in "Cannot find the C:\ZZTOP_.TXT file. Do you want to create a new file?"
I have seen variations on those error messages throughout the various SR-xs. NT4.0 doesn't seem to have a problem.
Do we have a glitch in the long filename convention?

RE: Non-existent folders / files in Win 9x

Oops, sorry. Blown the security. I hide all of my critical stuff in C:\_ at work.
Anybody care to access it? Let me know what it's like.
Technology is is great when it works, even better when it doesn't.

RE: Non-existent folders / files in Win 9x

Well, for starters: in Windows 95 there isn't REALLY any such thing as a long file name!!! Just a SIMULATED long file name (it's REALLY got a name consistine of the first six characters of the long name, an "~", then a digit (ie. 1).
In windows 98 I'm not quite sure if that problem still exists; after all, Windows 95 is still REALLY windows 3.1 in disguise (a VERY glitchy disguise at that!)

I'm not really sure of any way to avoid your problem (except to use a different character). Sorry I couldn't be of any more assistance.


RE: Non-existent folders / files in Win 9x

Actually, my posting was a TIP. But I would still like to understand the mechanics behind Window's contrary behavior. Why does Explorer identify C:\_ as a folder, modified on a certain date and time, and then state that the folder DOESN'T EXIST when you try to access it? The Win 3.xx File Manager appears to be as myopic as its older siblings.

RE: Non-existent folders / files in Win 9x

I'm not really sure, it's probably some sort of MicrosoftSecurity thing; Bill Gates must've decided that he didn't like the "_" character, so he had 'em program in aglich :-) LOL
Honestly, though; I think this is a real problem, but I have NO idea where it's root is. You might try downloading Linux or Unix onto a partition of you hard drive and see if they have the same glich as well; it's probably just a Microsoft problem, but it would be interesting to find out if it exists in non-Microsoft OSs as well.


RE: Non-existent folders / files in Win 9x

I don't have access to the "good" OSs. I hope that someone will try your suggestion.
As it stands, I'm happy with the one character Windows doesn't understand. It's served me well since the release of Win 3.0. You can't imagine how comforting it can be to use MS-DOS batch files to copy a set of files from the non-existent directory to a working folder and then move them back when you are finished.
There are a number of users with full access rights to my hard drive. Personally and professionally, I believe there are some things that even a network administrator should not know. :-) LOL
So far... I'm laughing louder than most.

RE: Non-existent folders / files in Win 9x

Oooohhhh; so what's the domain to your hard drive LOL!
Oh, I guess it would be better if I warned you beforehand that I LOVE to do "impossible" things on a computer (like read from non-existant folders and other, MUCH stranger, things [did I mention more complicated?]) LOL
I hope it serves you well; if I gain access to one of the more stable OSs (ie: Unix & Linux) I'll be sure to try this out.


RE: Non-existent folders / files in Win 9x

zdnet ran an article that might help on this issue...it's a long one (of course..hehe), but it could help answer some these filename questions.....its at:


RE: Non-existent folders / files in Win 9x

I think this is just a reiteration of what has gone before, but non alpha characters in the long name do not translate to the short name with ~ as well, hence the folder _MyLongNameFolder 's short name is different from the short name that Explorer tries to access, hence it does not exist.

The problem is even worse from Mac to PC and back as the character sets are different...

RE: Non-existent folders / files in Win 9x

Of the legal filename characters, character 255 appears to be the only one likely to cause the "File system error (1026)". I may have missed one or two....

RE: Non-existent folders / files in Win 9x

I *think* I might have figured (at least part) of this out:
Everyone who has discovered the "Alt-sequence characters" that exist on *all* windows * dos systems *knows* that Windows & DOS have *vastly* different character sets....i.e. in Windows Alt+0255 is ÿ and Alt+255 is _; whereas in DOS *both* of them leave a blank space. What I said all of this to arrive at is: Windows & DOS use different character sets; maybe windows translates the _ (ALT+255) character into the _ (underscore) character before asking DOS to retrieve something; thus DOS returns the comment "it doesn't exist".


RE: Non-existent folders / files in Win 9x

I'm inclined to agree with Robherc. If (255).TXT and (underscore).TXT exist in the same folder, Windows thinks they are the same file.
Create a file named _(255).TXT, doubleclick on it, when Windows reports that the file doesn't exist and "would you like to create a new one?" click yes, type some text into notepad and save it. Windows saves the file as _(underscore).TXT. When you doubleclick on the original file, Windows opens the one you just edited.
It doesn't have a clue! And neither do I....
By the way, there are several legal DOS filename characters that are illegal in Win 9x but only two that NT Server can't swallow. One is character 229 -- the character used to mark a file as "deleted".

RE: Non-existent folders / files in Win 9x

If anyone has access to an NT box; you might try 0171: «
and 0187: » (0171 marks the beginning & 0187 the ending of a name of a DB field to insert into a form letter in MS Works)
they are both legal in DOS 7.1 and both come out as an _ (underscore) when you try to find the file in Windows Explorer & neither will open under Win9.x

Point of Interest: 178 DOES come out as an underscore in Win9.x: _
but 187 comes out a plus sign: +
both come out underscores when you find a file with that character in the name.


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