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The Internet is probably the greatest information-sharing resource in the history of mankind. Unfortunately, the same ease with which information can be shared allows misinformation to be shared as well. Once it becomes "generally accepted" that a method works, recommendations to use that method are passed around by the well-intentioned but unknowledgeable, like so many hoax email "virus alerts". Finally the myth becomes so well-established that it is virtually impossible to combat it. Even years after the method has been thoroughly discredited, you see person A recommending it to person B, who recommends it to person C. In this article, I will tackle one of these myths head-on.
Special thanks to John Navas, author of the excellent Navas Modem FAQ for first alerting me to the existence of this problem, and providing me with a batch file that I adapted into the step-by-step demonstration found below in this article. John's attempt to combat this pervasive myth is a worthwhile read. You will also be interested to read this very related article on the Real World Technologies site, written by my friend and associate, Dean Kent. It focuses more on the impact of this problem on mission-critical Windows NT installations.
Note: A number of folks have
written to tell me about a product which works in a way similar to how Xcopy does, but
fixes the problems that Xcopy has with short file name aliases. It is called XXcopy and is available for
free use to individuals. I have not tried it myself but apparently, it does work
correctly, so you may want to consider it.