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Microsoft KB Archive/104077

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Knowledge Base

16-Bit Applications May Not be Able to Use Long Filenames

Article ID: 104077

Article Last Modified on 11/1/2006


  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1

This article was previously published under Q104077


When you are running 16-bit Windows or MS-DOS applications under Windows NT, you may receive various error messages when trying to save a file to an NTFS partition using a long filename. 16-bit applications are not designed to use filenames greater than the 8.3 characters that MS-DOS allows. Some 16-bit applications may allow you to save long filenames, some may give incorrect or misleading error messages and still save the file as an 8.3-character filename. It may be possible to use a long filename with a 16-bit application if you save the file as an 8.3-character MS-DOS filename and then rename it with File Manager. However, some applications, such as Write, will rename the file back to 8.3 characters when it is saved.


For example, if you try to save a long filename in Word for Windows, you will receive the following error message:

This is Not a Valid Filename.

Word for Windows will not let you save the file unless an MS-DOS 8.3 filename is used.

In Write, if you try to save a file as THISFILEHASALONGFILENAME.WRI to an NTFS partition, you will receive the following error message:

Cannot Find This File.

Either Something Has Happened to the Network or Possibly the File Has Been Renamed or Moved. Do You Want to Try Again?

Once this error message appears, it is not possible to save further work in Write. However, Write will save the file as an 8.3 filename with a .WRI extension and the first 8 characters of the name, and once you exit Write, it is possible to open the 8.3 file.

With the MS-DOS editor (EDIT.COM), if you save a file with a filename greater than 8.3 characters, Edit will take the first 11 characters of the supplied name and use it for the 8.3 filename.

Additional query words: lfn prodnt

Keywords: kb3rdparty kbinterop KB104077