Windows reserved words

Tales from the Level 3 Helpdesk: A colleague told me an interesting tale about a strange situation he encountered whilst working for a large multinational IT helpdesk. A new user called up and was having trouble with their computer. Their home drive was not being mapped automatically upon login and 3 tech's had given up trying to troubleshoot the situation. A most senior engineer overheard two techs discussing this issue and just casually asked:

His name's not Con, is it?

As it turned out it his first name was, and that was of course the cause of the problem. So if your name is Conrad, Conan or Stephen Conroy then please don't be abbreviating it to 'Con'.

List of Windows reserved words

These words cannot be used for directory, file or program names. If you're reading on form the story above, this also means that you cannot have directory names such as 'con.doe' on a Microsoft Windows system:

  • Con
  • Aux
  • Prn

It seems that even in 2009 we're unable to escape the legacy that is built into Microsoft Windows.

If you come across any more then drop me a line via a comment

— Andrew


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