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The Hack Is Back

Why does this problem exist? It's simple, really: long file names in Windows are a hack. Support for them was never built into the file system, and the short aliases were required because of a desire to maintain compatibility with older 8-bit (DOS) and 16-bit (Windows 3.x) software. Microsoft did a reasonably good job of providing long file name support within Windows, but when you do things in a kludgy way, inevitably it comes back to haunt you.

The short file name aliases are not created under user control: they are generated automatically by Windows, which manages them to make sure that files are not accidentally overwritten. But this dynamic creation process also means that the short file names are not permanently tied to the long file names and can change.

Next: This Will Get Your Back Up


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