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  1. #1
    Member Priam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    Default Reserved characters for file names

    Okay, so there's a lot of reserved characters that you can't use in files, right? Things like " and \ and * and ? and , and so on. Most of these I can write off as knowing how to use them and why, therefore, they are reserved--but recently I was looking at an article here on the site and one hit me that I wasn't familiar with, and that I hadn't thought to ask about before now: %. I saw it used in one of the tutorials here as a replacement for a directory name (as "%COMMONPROGRAMFILES%"), and the thought occurs to me that if XP is sensitive to that particular name and knows what that is, then what other directory trees might it know? Perhaps something along the lines of %USERDOCUMENTS%?
    "It's everywhere, in the headlines in the newspapers, in the blurry images on television. It is a secret you have yet to grasp, but the first syllable has been spoken in a dream you cannot quite recall." ---Unknown Armies

  2. #2
    Member Help2Go Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Boston, MA USA


    they are environment variables. If you would like to see what environment variables are loaded on your machine go here..

    Right click "My computer" select "properties" click the "Advanced" tab click the "environment variables" button . Under the "system variables" there's a list with the section "variables" . Variables are what you type to get the value.

    So in mine, I have NUMBER_OF_PROCESSORS with a value of 1. If i went to start > run > and typed %NUMBER_OF_PROCESSORS% and clicked ok i would get a message saying "windows couldn't find the file '1' ...."

    Notice that '1' is the %variable%.

    There are others that aren't listed which you can see here.