View Full Version : Renaming a file to 'con.pdf' is not allowed in XP/2000

23-05-2006, 06:19 AM
I have had to try and rename a pdf to con.pdf (using XP) and get a system error saying 'a file with a name you specified already exists'. I tried to recreate this on a Windows 2000 SP4 and got the following 'cannot create or replace file: The name you specified is invalid or too long'

Any ideas as to why this filename is not allowed by Windows? I tried renaming the same file on an OSX Mac and there was no problem, leading me to think Microsoft has an issue with the word con?

23-05-2006, 08:01 AM
I tried this too, even con.doc didn't go through. :confused: :badpc:

23-05-2006, 08:17 AM
How interesting. I tried it too with both a .pdf and a .doc.
I didn't get any messages, it just instantly reverted to the original filename.

Apparently this is because: "prn" and "con", which identify printer and keyboard, can't be used.

23-05-2006, 08:26 AM
"con" is a system reserved name. You cannot use it for anything. It is a hangover from DOS days and was short for Console. There are quite a few of these words still in the windows system (and other systems as well).

23-05-2006, 11:07 AM
how about using con_.pdf

23-05-2006, 11:15 AM
Hi Derek... been raised a few times on various sites. Try Google on "Windows con" for discussions, such as here http://kerneltrap.org/node/5772

23-05-2006, 11:59 AM
Reminds me of when I was in 3rd form - all the computers were running windows 95 & connecting to a nt4 server using terminal server.

We could create shortcuts to C:\con\con from NT, and when a windows 95 machine saw the shortcut, it would try to follow it to determine if it was valid. For those that don't see the significance of that, whenever a windows 9x box tried to read from \con\con it bluescreens :D

When they got their first win2k machines, we enabled the force bluescreen key sequence. I had too much time on my hands during the computing classes.

23-05-2006, 01:21 PM
what is the point of the manual bluescreen shortcut??? I enabled it on my xp with x-teq for a laugh but couldn't see any other reason for it...