Using Hard Disk Utilities with Windows 95

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Article ID: 120442 - View products that this article applies to.
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Most hard disk utility programs released before Windows 95 and Windows NT 4.0 require an update. If you use a non-long filename-aware hard disk utility, you may lose long filenames and you are at risk of losing data.

If the file maintenance utility you use is not written to support long filenames, it will likely damage your long filenames. Examples of such programs include the following:
   Disk utilities in Stacker 4.0 or earlier
   Norton Desktop
   Norton Utilities
   PC-Tools PCShell
   PC-Tools Utilities
   Windows File Manager
   XTree Gold
   XTree Pro
   XTreeNet 3.0
For more information about the problems caused by third-party hard disk utilities, please contact the manufacturer.

More information

The following MS-DOS commands run from MS-DOS (not an MS-DOS command prompt) may also cause long filename damage:
  • COPY - This command results in a mismatched long filename when you copy a short filename in the 32-bit entry beneath an orphaned long filename.
  • DEFRAG - Using DEFRAG from MS-DOS version 6.0, 6.2, 6.21, or 6.22 causes you to lose long filenames because it re-sorts the structure of short filenames on your disk without taking into account their associated long filenames.

    Windows 95 Defrag does not re-sort the filenames due to the possibility of file corruption in a multitasking environment.
  • DEL/DELTREE - These commands result in orphaned long filenames. DEL applies to files only. DELTREE applies to files and folders, but only affects the topmost folder that it is run on as all subsequent folders and files are deleted, including their long filenames.
  • MD - This command results in a mismatched long filename. The damage occurs when you make a short filename folder in the 32-bit entry beneath an orphaned long filename.
  • MOVE - This command causes mismatched or orphaned long filenames. If MOVE is performed within the context of the same folder (a modified rename) then a mismatched long filename will result. If MOVE is performed outside of the folder, then an orphaned long filename will result. This applies to both files and folders.
  • RD - This command results in an orphaned long filename. The damage occurs when you remove a short filename folder in the 32-bit entry beneath its associated long filename.
  • REN - This command results in a mismatched long filename. The damage occurs when you rename a short filename in the 32-bit entry beneath its associated long filename. The REN command will not fix a previously mismatched long filename.
  • SCANDISK - This command does not account for the long filename structure when it writes corrections to your disk; therefore, it corrupts long filenames.
If you need to use an earlier version of a hard disk utility in Windows 95, perform the following steps:

NOTE: The long filename backup utility (Lfnbk.exe) is not supported in Windows NT 4.0. There is no comparable utility for Windows NT 4.0.
  1. Run Lfnbk.exe, which is a long filename (LFN) backup utility available in the \\Admin\Apptools\Lfnback folder of the Windows 95 CD.

    Lfnbk.exe removes your long filenames and saves them to a data file. Read LFNBK.TXT for more information.
  2. Restart your computer and use the appropriate step below:
    • If you need to run an MS-DOS-based utility, press the F8 key when you see the "Starting Windows 95" message, and then choose Command Prompt Only from the Startup menu.

    • If you need to run a Windows-based utility, allow Windows 95 to start normally.
  3. After you run the utility, restart your computer and run Lfnbk.exe to restore your long filenames.
The third-party products discussed in this article are manufactured by vendors independent of Microsoft; we make no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding these products' performance or reliability.
Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.


Article ID: 120442 - Last Review: October 24, 2013 - Revision: 2.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows 95
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbappcompatibility kbdiskmemory KB120442

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