Undelete for Windows Allows a "?" in a Directory Name (97442)

The information in this article applies to:
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 6.0

This article was previously published under Q97442


When you use Microsoft Undelete for Windows to recover a directory, you can type a question mark ? as the first character of the new directory name. Since the question mark character is a wildcard in MS-DOS, none of the commands or programs provided with MS-DOS 6.0 (for example, RD, DELTREE, and MOVE) can delete or rename this newly recovered directory.

If you run the CHKDSK command with an invalid directory name such as \?EST or \LPT1, an error message similar to the following is displayed:

Cannot CHDIR to C:\<directory name> tree past this point not processed
where <directory name> is the directory name you typed.


If you use the wildcard prefix, Undelete creates a file or directory with the wildcard character in the name (for example, ?FILE.DOC), and none of the File Manager commands or programs provided with Microsoft Windows can work with it if it is a directory.


To work around this problem, use a third-party disk editing program, such Norton Utilities by Symantec or PC Tools by Central Point Software.

NOTE: You can use the DEL command at the MS-DOS command prompt to delete the file. For example,
deletes the file ?FILE.DOC.

WARNING: If your file has a single-character name and you use the wildcard character, the wildcard replaces the one-character file name (for example, 1.DOC becomes ?.DOC). In this case, you should not use the DEL command to delete the file as this command deletes all files with the same file extension. Use a third-party disk editing program to rename the file.

Norton Utilities and PC Tools are manufactured by vendors independent of Microsoft; we make no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding these products' performance or reliability.

Modification Type: Major Last Reviewed: 11/19/1999
Keywords: KB97442