File Names in Windows XP Professional
File names in Windows XP Professional can be up to 255 characters and can contain spaces, multiple periods, and special characters that are not allowed in MS-DOS file names. Windows XP Professional makes it possible for other operating systems to access files that have long names by generating an MS-DOS-readable (8.3) name for each file. These MS-DOS-readable names also enable MS-DOS-based and Windows 3.x–based applications to recognize and load files that have long file names. When a program saves a file on a computer running Windows XP Professional, both the 8.3 file name and long file name are retained.
* The 8.3 format means that files can have between 1 and 8 characters in the file name. The name must start with a letter or a number and can contain any characters except the following:
* . " / \ [ ] : ; | = , * ? (space)
* An 8.3 file name typically has a file name extension that is from one to three characters long and has the same character restrictions. A period separates the file name from the file name extension.
* Several special file names are reserved by the system and cannot be used for files or folders:
* CON, AUX, COM1, COM2, COM3, COM4, LPT1, LPT2, LPT3, PRN, NUL