From Command Prompt: "The Name Specified Is Not Recognized..."

Article translations Article translations
Article ID: 103368 - View products that this article applies to.
This article was previously published under Q103368
Expand all | Collapse all

On This Page

SYMPTOMS

From the Windows NT Command Prompt, when you try to run a file or change to a directory whose name contains one of these characters

   &amp;  (  )  ^  ;  |  ,  or <space>
				


you then receive one of the following error messages:
The name specified is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.
-or-
The system cannot find the path specified.
The name specified is not recognized as an internal or external command, operable program or batch file.

CAUSE

Although File Manager and some other applications allow the use of the characters shown above, if you use any of these characters in a filename or directory name and then try to run the file or change to the directory from the Command Prompt, you will receive one of the error messages shown above.

WORKAROUNDS

  • In the Command Prompt, put quotation marks around the entire filename.

    -or-
  • Put a "^" (without the quotation marks) before the extended character in the filename or directory name. The ; and , characters will not work in a filename or directory name.

MORE INFORMATION

The Windows NT Command Prompt uses these characters for special functions. Refer to the Windows NT online Help file in the "What's New or Different from MS-DOS" section for information on the functions of these characters.

Steps to Reproduce Problem

  1. Using File Manager, in the Windows NT program directory, copy NOTEPAD.EXE and rename it to NOTE&PAD.EXE.
  2. From the Main group, start the Command Prompt.
  3. Change to the Windows NT program directory, type the following command, and press ENTER:
    note&pad

    One of the above error messages will appear.
Type the following command (with the quotation marks) to successfully run Notepad:

   "note&amp;pad"
				

Properties

Article ID: 103368 - Last Review: November 1, 2006 - Revision: 2.1
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.5
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 3.51
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Advanced Server 3.1
Keywords: 
kbother KB103368

Give Feedback

 

Contact us for more help

Contact us for more help
Connect with Answer Desk for expert help.
Get more support from smallbusiness.support.microsoft.com