Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Disabling Legacy Filename Creation
allowing their older applications to continue to work. However, that mentality
often results in performance reductions caused by code that has to be tweaked
to allow for new functionality while preserving existing functionality. The
legacy filename creation is a perfect example of this scenario. For Windows 8
to support older Windows applications, the NTFS has to support both the old
MS-DOS file naming standard as well as the new standard that allows for longer
filenames. How does Microsoft do it? It’s rather simple. When you create a file,
the file system creates two names for it: one in the MS-DOS 8.3 standard and
another in the latest filename standard.
Creating two filenames for every file is not the kind of buy-one-get-one-free
situation that is good. Creating the second filename takes more time and slows
down the performance of the ilesystem. Although this legacy feature has good
intentions, it causes the performance of file creation to decrease by 200 percent.
Disabling this feature will help you get that lost performance back.
Disabling legacy filename creation kills any application you have that needs
the 8.3 filename standard. If you try to run an application that requires 8.3
filenames, you will get various error messages. Even though this technology
is more than 15 years old, some major software developers still write code that
requires the ancient 8.3 standard. Unfortunately, in the software world, some
companies don’t bother to ix things simply to increase the performance of the
user’s computer. For the most part, they do not have to worry about it because
Microsoft supports the lazy programmers by leaving these old, inefficient
features in the operating system.
Even though some applications will fail when this feature is disabled, I highly
recommend trying to disable it on your computer. In the worst-case scenario,
you would have to turn the feature back on again. However, almost all your
programs will work just fine. For those that don’t, try to download a new version
from the company’s website, or perhaps use this as an excuse to buy a version
of the product from this century.
One type of program that has the most problems when the 8.3 standard is
disabled is the installer application that many software developers use to get
their programs up and running on your computer. For some reason, a few
installers are still programmed using the old 16-bit technology that depends
on the short filename compatibility feature to function.
Users frequently run into this error with Symantec’s anti-virus software.
According to Symantec, users may receive a 1639. Invalid command line
argument error when they install certain versions of Symantec’s software. For
users of Symantec software who want to disable the old support for greater
performance, the company recommends enabling the 8.3-standard filename
compatibility support when the software is being installed and then disabling
it after the software is installed. The software should then work fine.