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Thread: dos 8.3 filenames (short form) in winXP

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004

    Question dos 8.3 filenames (short form) in winXP


    I have deleted files using the cmd prompt before, but it was so long ago I've forgotten something. It's about opening up directories (or specifying files, either way) whose first 6 characters include a space.

    For instance, I know how to open a directory called 'Windows'; I just type:

    cd Windows

    and it opens, because DOS 8.3 file naming only looks for the first 6 characters, after which you type ~1 and it 'guesses' the rest.

    Equally, if I type:

    cd Window~1
    it opens too. This means I can open a file/folder with a long name, just by typing the first 6 characters, followed by "~1".

    But if I have a directory called 'Other Windows', I can't do this so easily:

    cd Other
    doesn't work, because the directory is called 'Other Windows'
    cd Other ~1 doesn't work either, because the space I put in messes it up: "Too many parameters - ~1";
    nor does
    cd Other_~1 work, because the name doesn't include an underscore.

    So how do I open it? Basically, how do I get windows command prompt (/dos shell) to recognise files/folders whose names contain a space in the first 6 characters? I know you can do it, and this must be an obvious question for anyone who's used DOS, but I have really forgotten how to do it.

    Hope you can help,


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Leave out the space, i.e. 'Other windows' becomes otherw~1 in DOS 8.3 form.
    Last edited by Nikto; August 3rd, 2004 at 09:54 AM.

  3. #3
    Hardware guy Super Moderator FastGame's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Blasters worm farm
    Nice job Nikto, I always get mixed up on commands where there's a space or no space.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Thanks very much Nikto! I knew it would be something simple.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    You can find out the 8.3 file name that corresponds to a long file name by using DIR /x in the cmd window open to the folder in which the item resides. The second column then contains the 8.3 file name.

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