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Errors Creating Files or Folders in the Root Directory

This article was previously published under Q120138
You may receive an error message when you create a file or folder in theroot directory. The exact error message depends on the method used tocreate the file or folder.

Using the COPY command in an MS-DOS session reports the following:
   Cannot make directory entry - <filename>				
WordPad and Paint report the following when saving a file to the rootdirectory:
   <filename>: This filename is not valid.				
When you try to create a new folder in the root directory in My Computeror Windows Explorer, you receive the following error message:
Unable to create <"New Folder">. Make sure the disk is not full or read-only.
NOTE: This information is accurate for a standard file allocation table 16(FAT16) file system, but does not apply to a FAT32 file system. For moreinformation about FAT32, see the following article in the MicrosoftKnowledge Base:
154997 Description of the FAT32 File System
This problem occurs when all 512 root directory entries have been used.This problem can also occur with fewer than 512 files and folders in theroot directory because Windows 95 uses additional directory entries tostore long file names.
To ensure compatibility with MS-DOS, Windows 95 uses a standard fileallocation table (FAT) file system. The root directory for a FAT drive hasa fixed size and is stored in a fixed location on the disk. All hard diskdrives use 32 sectors of 512 bytes each to store the root directory. Thislimits the root directory on a hard disk drive to 16K: 32 sectors x 512bytes per sector = 16,384 bytes, or 16K.

MS-DOS uses one directory entry for each file and folder, but Windows 95uses additional directory entries to store long file names and foldernames, and the associated 8.3 aliases. This means that you can run out ofdirectory entries with fewer than 512 files or folders in the rootdirectory.

Folders do not have a fixed size, so the only limitation to the number offiles or folders you can store in any folder with Windows 95 is free diskspace. For this reason, it is best to store your files (programs and data)in a folder off the root directory.
Use the following steps to free root directory entries:
  1. Check the drive for invalid long file names, and then defragment the drive as follows:

    Use the right mouse button to click the drive icon in My Computer or Windows Explorer and the click Properties on the menu that appears. Click the Tools tab and then click Check Now. Perform the default correction if invalid long file names are found. Then choose Defragment Now.
  2. Rename any files or folders in the root directory using only upper- case 8.3-compliant file or folder names.

    The characters that are valid for an 8.3-compliant file or folder name include any combination of letters (A-Z) and/or numbers (0-9), plus the following special characters:
          $   Dollar sign      %   Percent sign      '   Apostrophe      `   Opening single quotation mark      -   Hyphen      @   At sign      {   Left brace      }   Right brace      ~   Tilde      !   Exclamation point      #   Number sign      (   Opening parenthesis      )   Closing parenthesis      &   Ampersand      _   Underscore      ^   Caret						
  3. Move some files or folders out of the root directory.
An MS-DOS FAT root directory contains a separate entry for every file andfolder it contains. These directory entries contain information such asthe file name, extension, attributes, time and date the file was lastmodified, the starting cluster number, and the file size. Each directoryentry uses 32 bytes to store this information. Because the root directoryis 16K in size, it can contain a maximum of 512 directory entries, whichare 32 bytes each.

When you name a file or folder in Windows, the system creates a primaryfile name, which can be a long file name, and an MS-DOS-compliant 8.3alias. If the file or folder name is already 8.3-compliant, only onedirectory entry is used.

NOTE: For a file or folder name to be 8.3-compliant, it must contain onlythose characters that are valid for an 8.3 alias name, and it must becomposed of all uppercase characters.

Windows 95/98 allows file and folder names to contain up to 250characters. Valid characters for a Windows 95 file name include all thevalid MS-DOS file name characters, the space character, and the followingadditional characters:
   +   Plus sign   ,   Comma   .   Period   =   Equal sign   [   Opening bracket   ]   Closing bracket				
Windows 95 file names are not case sensitive, but the case is preserved.The primary file names can include upper, lower, or mixed-case characters.For example, you can name a file "MyText.txt" and the file systempreserves the case formatting.

If the file name is not 8.3-compliant, Windows 95 automatically generatesan 8.3 alias for the file name. An additional directory entry is used tostore the 8.3 alias. If the primary file name contains more than 13characters, an additional directory entry is used.

The following table shows some primary file names, their 8.3 aliases, anddirectory entry usage in Windows 95:
   Primary               Possible       Directory   file name             8.3 alias      entries used   -------------------------------------------------   EXAMPLE.TXT           EXAMP~1.TXT         1   Example.txt           EXAMP~1.TXT         2   !@#$%&().{^}          !@#$%&~1.{^}        1   !@#$%&().{+}          !@#$%&~1.{}         2   LFN TEST.TXT          LFNTES~1.TXT        2   This is a LFN.TEST    THISIS~1.TES        3   This is a very long    file name.test       THISIS~2.TES        4				
NOTE: Any file whose name contains more than 13 characters requires 3 ormore directory entries.
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Article ID: 120138 - Last Review: 01/19/2007 04:53:29 - Revision: 1.3

  • Microsoft Windows 95
  • Microsoft Windows 98 Standard Edition
  • kbdiskmemory KB120138