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In Windows XP, I can't run files with certain names.

"Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file.  You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item."

This message began showing up two weeks ago when I would try to execute certain programs over the local network.  Some programs in the directory would run, others would not.  If the non-running executable was copied onto the pc, it still would not run.  I downloaded new copies of the executables, they would not run. I checked for viruses, none. I checked for new programs running in memory and I did find McAfee HID, but it was not the cause. I decided to run a program directly from a host website and IT RAN.  

Background:
I work in desktop support.  I regularly download various setup files from all over (Quicktime, Acrobat Reader, Sun Java, etc.).  To keep up with which file is the most current, when I download it, I will give it a more descriptive name if it needs it.  "reaper1879-install.exe" tells me what "QuickTimeInstaller.exe" does not. I might rename the QuickTime file to "QuickTime for Windows 7.2.exe".   I now know which setup version I have.

"CCleaner (Crap Cleaner) 1.41.544.exe" will not run on my computer.  I get the above message.  The identical file "ccsetup 141.exe" will run on my computer. If I take the first name and rename it to "1.exe", it will run.

 Here are some of the names that will not run:
CCleaner (Crap Cleaner) 1.41.544.exe
CCleaner Crap Cleaner 1.41.544.exe
CCleaner 1.41.544.exe
CCleaner_(Crap_Cleaner)_1.41.544.exe
ccsetup.v1.39.502.exe
ccsetup_v1.39.502.exe

Here are some names that will run:
ccsetup v 1 39 502.exe
ccsetup 141.exe
CCleaner_(Crap_Cleaner)_1_41_544.exe
CCleaner (Crap Cleaner) 1_41_544.exe
CCleaner (Crap Cleaner) 1.41.544.setup.exe
Drive Cleaner (DCleaner) 1.08.211.setup.exe
Spybot Search and Destroy Detection Updates 2007-07-18.exe
Remote Assistance Identification 1.07-setup.exe
XnView for Windows 1.91.1.exe
QuickTime for Windows 7.2.exe
jre-6u2-windows-i586-p-s.exe
Nullsoft Install System (NSIS) 2.29.exe

I remembered an article about Vista and its permissions, which I went back and found  (http://www.theregister.com/2007/04/23/vista_program_naming_oddness/) which said,
"If Vista sees that you have created a Microsoft Visual C++ project with install in the project name, then that .exe will automatically require Admin Rights to run. Create exactly the same project, but call it, say, Fred, and the problem disappears," he explained. "Vista's security isn't just concerned with what an .exe is doing to your PC, but what it's actually called."

I suspect a Windows XP update maybe the cause of my frustrations.

Question #1
  What is causing the problem? (OS, AV, etc)

Question #2
  What are the rules for this naming convention?
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bekaye
Asked:
bekaye
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3 Solutions
 
willcompCommented:
Don't use periods (dots) in the file name. Windows expects to find a file extension after the first period.
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KenneniahCommented:
The names are all fine. What security software are you running (Antivirus, antispyware, etc. etc. etc.)?
Some do have blacklists that won't allow certain file names to run. Only thing I can think of, is that some of those names got added to that list somehow.
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willcompCommented:
File names are not fine.

"Here are some of the names that will not run:
CCleaner (Crap Cleaner) 1.41.544.exe
CCleaner Crap Cleaner 1.41.544.exe
CCleaner 1.41.544.exe
CCleaner_(Crap_Cleaner)_1.41.544.exe
ccsetup.v1.39.502.exe
ccsetup_v1.39.502.exe"

Those are not allowable file names.
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bekayeAuthor Commented:
Kenneniah,

In the past hour I have narrowed it down to the AV (McAfee!).  As yet, I haven't been able to find a mechanism that would exclude certain names.  Variations on the file name give differing results.  I'm now looking for a badly written rule.

Thanks,
bekaye
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bekayeAuthor Commented:
willcomp,

But they WERE allowable file names two weeks ago.  What has changed to disallow them.

bekaye
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johnb6767Commented:
Those filenames are ok, as long as there are no spaces in them, which would then need quotes around them....
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KenneniahCommented:
"Those are not allowable file names."
Wrong. The only non allowable keyboard characters are \ / : * ? " < > |
Multiple periods has been supported in modern file systems for awhile. The file system assumes the characters after the last period is the file extension. It ignores the periods before.
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willcompCommented:
In the bad old DOS days, extra periods were not allowed in file names and believe that's still part of MS's naming conventions.
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KenneniahCommented:
Spaces are allowed in long file name format also (quotes are not). In a batch file, or using  many command line programs to do something to a file that has spaces in the name, you'd need quotes in the command line. The file name itself however does not have quotes and in fact, cannnot.
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willcompCommented:
And, if I'm wrong, won't be the first time. Still don't think it's good practice though.
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johnb6767Commented:
Kenneniah

TY for clarifying, I was referring primarily to either the Run dialogue, or the command prompt, in reference to the quotes, in where they are needed.........
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bekayeAuthor Commented:
Well now, I'm getting somewhere.  This file:
C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\McAfee\Common Framework\AgentEvents\2007072514124787100000730.txml
contains the following:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?><EnterceptAgentEvent><MachineInfo><MachineName>A210114342</MachineName><AgentGUID>{D09F8A6F-34E2-482C-A510-2A5F2AF56E4F}</AgentGUID><IPAddress>10.141.130.83</IPAddress><RawMACAddress>001143C77B42</RawMACAddress><OSName>Windows XP</OSName><UserName>SYSTEM</UserName><TimeZoneBias>300</TimeZoneBias></MachineInfo><EnterceptSoftware ProductName="McAfee Host Intrusion Prevention" ProductVersion="6.1.0" ProductFamily="SECURE"><Event><EventID>18000</EventID><Severity>3</Severity><GMTTime>2007-07-25T19:12:47</GMTTime><EventData SignatureID="412" SeverityLevel="4" Reaction="3" ProcessUserName="dhhs\kridgway" Process="C:\WINDOWS\Explorer.EXE" IncidentTime="2007-07-25 14:12:45" SigRuleClass="Program" SigRuleDirective="run" RemoteIPAddress="127.0.0.1" SignatureName="Double File Extension Execution"></EventData><Params><Param name="Workstation Name" exceptionAllowed="false">Local</Param><Param name="file" exceptionAllowed="false">CCleaner (Crap Cleaner) 1.41.544.exe</Param><Param name="path" exceptionAllowed="false">\;Z:000000000001fc63\a210114342\all-cds\hold\CCleaner (Crap Cleaner) 1.41.544.exe</Param></Params></Event></EnterceptSoftware></EnterceptAgentEvent>

===

So, the new software that was introduced two weeks ago IS my culprit.  The McAfee definition of "Double File Extension Execution" was what tripped me.  If you have "Hide extensions for known file types" on, then the file name would appear as;

"CCleaner (Crap Cleaner) 1.41.544"

which I don't have a problem with, but McAfee does.  They were just trying to save me from myself.

So, the answer to question #1 is AV by McAfee.

The answer to question #2 is that any filename that has a three letter extension preceded with a three letter extension will be shutdown by the AV software.

Thanks guys!
bekaye

p.s. I'll spread the points around.
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KenneniahCommented:
Yes, multiple periods were not allowed in the days of short file name (8.3 format). That changed completely with the introduction of long file name support. At that time, it was recommended to be careful in the naming format, as you would probably still be interacting and trading files with non long file name aware systems and applications. Most of that risk in gone now, although yes there are still some reasons to follow conservative guidlines. For exampe, you cannot have spaces in a file name on the Web, or as mentioned before to reference a file with spaces in certain situations will require quotes.
That said, none of those file names should cause any problem at all with normal Windows use for running an executable.

"that's still part of MS's naming conventions"
Then why does Microsoft itself use multiple periods in filenames?
Files right in Windows XP such as....
sessmgr.setup.log
uddi.mmc.dll
.manifest files
.mui files
Windows Installer files like C:\WINDOWS\Installer\{90120000-0011-0000-0000-0000000FF1CE}\Icon.A6439DA8.2965.4ABD.8D79.954C90CF546A.exe
The entire Windows\Prefetch directory pretty much.
Most the folders in C:\WINDOWS\WinSxS
I could go on and on...there's over 700 Microsoft files in XP that have multiple periods.
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