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Why Can't I create a folder named CON or PRN in windows XP?

Posted on 2007-10-19
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-01-09
Why Can't I create a folder named CON or PRN in windows XP?
Is there a system protection or just a bug left alone by Microsoft?
Is there Any Solution to this?
Does Vista has the same problem?
Question by:manishksingh97
LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 20114024

Accepted Solution

av8r1s2fly earned 500 total points
ID: 20114035
Hello manishksingh97,

The answer to your question has been explained by an Indian student named Raghuram in a microsoft forum (http://forums.microsoft.com/SamVaad/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1655253&SiteID=43). He has done it well, so I am pasting the whole post here:

"You can't create the following folders in Windows CON, NUL, COM1, COM2, COM3, LPT1, LPT2, LPT3,COM1 to COM9 and LPT1 to LPT9....
The reason is that con, prn, lpt1..lpt9, etc are underlying devices from the time dos was written..
con means console
prn means printer
So if u r allowed to create such folders, there will be an ambiguity in where to write data when the data is supposed to go to the specified devices.To print something, internally what windows does is, writes the data to the folder(virtually u can call it a folder, i.e virtual folders in device level) 'prn'.

However, this can still be done:

1) go to run dialog.
2) type cmd/command (command prompt gets opened)
3) go to root directory like C:\ or D:\ etc
4) type md \\.\\c:\\con

This is a UNC path (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Naming_Convention). Because these didn't exist under pure DOS, they don't have to be backward compatible (and \\remotehost\drive:\con doesn't make sense anyway, because without having a process on the remote host, there is no current 'console'). It would be a security hazard as well, having the serial and parallel ports accessible for everyone who is allowed to read or write in any single directory."

Hope this answers your query.


Author Comment

ID: 20114535
Thanx For the detail Gaurav.

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