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Native MS-DOS Commands and the Space Character

This article was previously published under Q166827
The Windows operating system uses various command interpreters to processcommands at a command prompt, such as This can cause confusion when you are using native, or internal, commands (such as CHDIR, MKDIR, RMDIR, and so on) at a command prompt, particularly in conjunction with the space character.
Various Windows operating systems may generate different results for the same command when typed at a command prompt. For example, the following command generates different results:
c:\>md This is a Directory
In Windows 95, this command generates the following error message:
Too many parameters - is
In Windows NT-based computers and later, this command generates four separate folders:
   C:\This   C:\is   C:\a   C:\Directory				
In this example, the internal MD command treats the use of the spacecharacter differently depending on the command interpreter in Windows 95 does not allow the spaces, while Cmd.exe inWindows NT (and later) treats the spaces as delimiters and processes the command by treating each word after the command as a separate parameter.

Note that in each case, the interpreter does not create a long file nameor long folder name that includes spaces without the use of quotationmarks. To create a long folder name with spaces at a command prompt, usequotation marks as in the following example:
c:\>md "This is a Directory"
In this case, both operating systems create one folder with the longfile name "This is a Directory."

Microsoft Windows NT System Guide, version 3.5.
ldn lfn ms-dos

Article ID: 166827 - Last Review: 02/26/2007 20:50:55 - Revision: 2.2

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