Microsoft KB Archive/103698

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File Manager Cannot Modify File/Directory Names Containing "?"


The information in this article applies to:

  • Microsoft Windows versions 3.1, 3.11
  • Microsoft Windows for Workgroups versions 3.1, 3.11


Microsoft Windows File Manager is unable to make any modifications (rename, change attributes, delete, move, and so forth) to a file or directory name that has a question mark (?) as the first character.

NOTE: Microsoft Undelete for Windows, which ships with MS-DOS 6.0 inserts a question mark for the first letter of an undeleted file if no letter is given. This problem was corrected in MS-DOS version 6.2 and later.


You can rename or delete these files from an MS-DOS command prompt in Windows. (For more information on the REN and DEL commands, refer to your "Microsoft MS-DOS User's Guide.")

If you use Microsoft Undelete for Windows and a directory name has a ? as the first character, do one of the following:

  • Use a third-party disk editor to rename the directory.
  • Format the drive to remove the directory name.
  • Run the ScanDisk utility (which ships with MS-DOS 6.2). ScanDisk locates these directory names and makes them valid directories when all is complete.

Additional query words: 3.10 error winfil scan disk

Keywords :
Issue type :
Technology : kbAudDeveloper kbWin3xSearch kbWFWSearch kbWin310 kbWin311 kbWFW310 kbWFW311

Last Reviewed: October 7, 1999
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