Shortcut stops working after you open it one time on your Windows XP-based computer

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Article ID: 878515 - View products that this article applies to.
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After you create a shortcut on your Microsoft Windows XP-based computer, the shortcut stops working after you open it one time. When you try to open the shortcut for the second time, you may receive the following error message:
Problem with Shortcut
The item 'filename' that this shortcut refers to has been changed or moved, so this shortcut will not work properly.
Do you want to delete this shortcut?


This problem occurs because of a Microsoft Windows function that does not allocate the shortcut memory structure correctly if the shortcut (.lnk file) has a target of less than 14 characters.


To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows XP. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
322389 How to obtain the latest Windows XP service pack


To work around this problem, make the shortcut read-only. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Right-click the shortcut, and then click Properties.
  2. Click the General tab.
  3. Click to select the Read-only check box, and then click OK.


This problem was first corrected in Windows XP Service Pack 2.


Article ID: 878515 - Last Review: August 30, 2004 - Revision: 1.1
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
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