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Vol. 1 No. 6 August 2002

Windows backup: avoid the landmines

There's an old saying that the devil you know is better than the devil you don't know. For example, take the Windows operating system. It's easy to use, but this ease of use conceals a number of issues with the backup and recovery of NTFS and FAT filesystems. The first issue is of long and short file names. For compatibility with MS-DOS, earlier versions of Windows and earlier applications, every version of Windows to date generates an 8.3 file name for every file with a long name, longer than the original MS-DOS 8.3 limitation. In Windows 2000 and XP, the 8.3 file name is generated as follows: Delete Unicode characters from the file names that are illegal in MS-DOS. Delete all periods but one (8.3 names can have only one period). Truncate the file to six characters. Append a tilde (~) and a number. Truncate the file name extension to three or fewer characters. Here's where the devil starts rearing its ugly head: As shown in the next code listing on the next page, C:My Documents becomes C:MYDOCU~1. If you then created another ...

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Columns in this issue