Deleting files that give an error of “The filename or extension is too long”

del 0-Namespace-https???next-services.apps.microsoft.com?browse?6.2.9200-1?670?en-US?c?AU?Namespace?pc?00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000?00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000.dat
The filename or extension is too long.

Cleaning up after a Windows 8 restore and had problems deleting some files. According to KB320081 one possible way was to “Use an auto-generated 8.3 name to access the file”. After some searching I found what this means thanks to this post (it annoys me to no end that lot’s of posts just copy and pasted the details in the KB320081 page and don’t explain how to use the 8.3 name for deleting stuff). So the 8.3 name is the first 6 letters of the file name appended with a ~1 with any similar files will have an incremented number (~2, ~3, etc) as shown below.

1. My Chicagotech A.doc => MYchic~1.DOC
2. My Chicagotech B.doc => MYchic~2.DOC

I used this to help delete some files but even that didn’t manage to delete some files. In the end a “del name*” helped

C:\Windows.old\Users\Tim\AppData\Local\Packages\WinStore_cw5n1h2txyewy\AC\Microsoft\Windows Store\Cache>dir
 Volume in drive C is Windows8

 Directory of C:\Windows.old\Users\Tim\AppData\Local\Packages\WinStore_cw5n1h2txyewy\AC\Microsoft\Windows Store\Cache

13/Apr/2014 16:09 <DIR> .
13/Apr/2014 16:09 <DIR> ..
01/Nov/2013 21:35 5,578 0-Namespace-https???next-services.apps.microsoft.com?browse?6.2.9200-1?670?en-US?c?AU?Namespace?pc?00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000?00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000.dat
28/Oct/2013 13:04 5,578 0-Namespace-https???next-services.apps.microsoft.com?browse?6.2.9200-1?670?en-US?c?GB?Namespace?pc?00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000?00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000.dat
27/Oct/2013 18:42 5,574 0-Namespace-https???services.apps.microsoft.com?browse?6.2.9200-1?615?en-GB.en-US?c?GB?Namespace?pc?00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000?00000000-0000-0000-0000-000000000000.dat
01/Nov/2013 21:35 474 0-ProductTileExtendedByProductGuidForOS-https???next-services.apps.microsoft.com?browse?6.2.9200-1?670?en-US_en-US.en?c?AU?OsUpgrade?0a295e4d-5f14-4b44-9c2e-c98177f9e2f4?pt?x64.dat

del 0-Prod~1.dat   # worked

del 0-Name~1.dat   # didn't work
Could Not Find C:\Windows.old\Users\Tim\AppData\Local\Packages\WinStore_cw5n1h2txyewy\AC\Microsoft\Windows Store\Cache-Name~1.dat

del 0-Name*        # worked
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Unlocker / lsof / ps is your friend

So you go about your business using your computer and you want to safely remove or unmount a USB drive or SD card and you get the following message:

Windows: “Problem Ejecting USB Mass Storage Device” The device ‘TheNameOfYourDrive’ cannot be stopped now. Try stopping the device again later
OS X: The disk “TheNameOfYourDrive” is in use and could not be ejected”. Try quitting applications and try again.
eye fi is in used dialog box when unmounting

Windows: the solution is relatively simple: download Unlocker. So when you get the error message just right click > Unlocker > Unlock All
OS X: As the OS X dialog box suggests, you should try quitting applications but you don’t want to just willy-nilly close all applications, just the one causing the problem. To identify the application, open Terminal and type the following:

lsof | grep TheNameOfYourDrive

lsof output

It should display the current usages of the drive. The first name on the left is the application that is using the drive. Close that application and try unmount the drive again and it should work.

I used a similar tip to identify why I couldn’t replace my GIMP installation: I tried copying the application into the Applications directory and just got an error message saying that “The operation cannot be completed because the time libexpat-1.5.2.dylib is in use”. Fired up terminal and instead of “lsof” I used “ps -e” and saw that there processes using it. I killed those processes with “kill -9 processID” (process ID is the leftmost/first column in the “ps -e” output) and was able to copy it without a problem
gimp libexpat 1 5 2 dylib in use ps -e

Windows 7 – Touch Gestures

Ever since the iPhone came out there seems to be a resurgence with touch technology and in particular multi-touch technology. From full all-in-one PC systems like the HP TouchSmart that I’ve seen in Netcom and the MSI WindTop to now the Acer T230H Touch Screen Panel monitor (seen at both Concepts and Netcom). Not knowing what Windows 7 with offered in terms of touch features I looked it up and came across “Using touch gestures” on Microsoft’s Windows 7 microsite (“My favorite ways to use Windows Touch” by John Swenson is also a good read for those considering using a touchscreen)

The main features are:

  • Flicks: basically navigating a page by flicking your finger upwards or downwards as normally seen on iPhones
  • Press and hold: press and holding down on the screen will act as a right click and it will pop-up the context menu
  • Windows Touch Gestures: Pan, Zoom, Rotate, Press and Tap. The first 3 are all similar to Apple’s trackpad multi-touch trackpads gestures but the “Press and Tap” gesture seems new and interesting. In order to activate “Press & Tap” you have to “Press the item with one finger, then quickly tap with another finger, while continuing to press the item with the first finger.”: if you just tap the shortcut menu will appear, if you tap and hold it will be treated as a right click. I’m not sure how well this works in usage and how helpful the shortcut menu is but it is something new and worth exploring
  • The last feature is related to the taskbar: tap the icon in the taskbar and flick upwards and it will show the window menu and jump list

Basically these features aren’t all that great to me, and I feel most of them work on devices with smaller screens and not so much with larger screens. But to all touch enthusiast this should be a good starting point for Windows. Most manufacturers will make their own touch software that runs on top of Windows and provides a more touch friendly experience but they will most likely stick to a multimedia focus or just for goofing around and nothing too productive

Offline Installers

Have you ever started to download an application and after downloading it you realized that what you downloaded wasn’t the application but a downloader application. I’ve always disliked this as it requires an Internet connection and isn’t an installer that I can just pass around to friends. So this post is dedicated to getting those full installers.

Google Chrome: Download page
Basically add “?standalone=1” to the end of the URL of the download page that shows the Terms of Service

Live Essentials: Download page (On the download page, there is a column on the right with a “Try again” button. On pressing this button you will get the full download)

AVG: Download page

  1. On the initial download page, go to the bottom and where you can download the file direct from AVG servers.
  2. On the following page there is a link for the offline version (linked above) which is the complete installer

Skype: Direct Download | Download Page
Instead of the regular installer look for the business version that includes the MSI installer

Java runtime:
Click the “all Java downloads here” link on the Java download page

Windows 7 in Brunei

With Windows 7 being released in Brunei tomorrow I tried contacting several computer shops here in Brunei (CF King, Concepts, Netcom) to ask about pricing and availability. It seems that they have no information and are waiting upon Microsoft distributor, Tech One Global for the hard information. The typical response from the retailers is that they are not sure on when they are getting the stock and will only known in the coming days of the price and availability.

I called Tech One Global and was told that they cannot disclose any information yet as Windows 7 is not officially released yet. He said that there will be a standard pricing throughout Brunei and information will be giving to retailers starting tomorrow. There is no official event to launch Windows 7 so end users will just have to wait for the prices tomorrow. Will keep the Brunei community updated on any news regarding the prices and upgrade paths. But in the mean time check out QQeStore prices below (strange enough, when you click on the item there is no price available *shrug*):

Windows 7 Prices:

  • Home Basic: B$258.00
  • Home Premium: B$298.00
  • Professional: B$458.00
  • Ultimate: B$488.00

Windows 7 prices from QQeStore

Update 1 [22nd Oct 1020AM]: Called Tech One Global and they mentioned that Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional and Ultimate will be available to end users. No family pack is available in Brunei and upgrades may come later. So consumers are left with the expensive retail prices for now (whatever they may be).

It seems that there was a briefing for retailers/resellers yesterday but as of this time Netcom, CF King and Concepts are still unsure of retail date and prices for Windows 7. Netcom did mention that there was a staff training on Monday which could mean they are selling it next week.

So does that mean the country manager is wrong as it states in
the news article:

WINDOWS 7, the successor to Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system (OS), will go on sale in the Sultanate in tandem with the official international release on Oct 22, the country manager of Microsoft Brunei said yesterday.

Update 2 [22nd Oct 1038AM]: It seems Yappe at least has the prices though it’s not available for pick up now, just on order basis. Prices are:
Home Basic: B$230
Home Premium: B$264
Professional: B$409
Ultimate: B$430

Update 3 [26nd Oct 11AM]: Seems that with Concept’s advertisement in the Borneo Bulletin today that the shops actually have Windows 7 available for pickup. Called them up and only Netcom is currently not selling Windows 7.

Windows 7 prices that are available to be bought now (prices in B$)

Home Premium Professional Ultimate
Yappe

$264 Retail

$279 OEM

CF King $249 Retail
(includes installation)
Concepts

$198 OEM

$258 Retail

$258 OEM

$378 Retail

$338 OEM

$398 Retail

Playing Nice with Filesystems

If you have played around with any 2 of the 3 major operating systems (Windows, OS X and Linux) and start transferring files to and from external hard disk you will probably run into an issue with the type of filesystem you choose for your hard disk. Windows likes NTFS, OS X likes HFS and Linux likes ext. As you can see none of them are the same. Being different is not so much an issue, but being compatible and accessible to all is.

Based on default system settings:

  • NTFS is readable on all operating systems, but not writable on OS X. Most modern Linux distributions can write to NTFS drives
  • HFS is readable on OS X and modern Linux distributions, and not writable on Windows or Linux
  • ext is only readable on Linux and not writable on Windows or OS X.

or to put it based on operating system

  • Windows can only read and write to NTFS, nothing else
  • OS X can read and write to HFS and read NTFS
  • Linux can read and write to ext and NTFS and read HFS

Take note that there is also the older FAT32 filesystem that is fully supported for reading and writing by all operating systems but due to limitations of FAT32, I rather not consider this. Basically the main issues with FAT32 is that the maximum file size is 4GB and the maximum partition size is 32GB (actually Windows can’t format a FAT32 partition greater than 32GB but can read FAT32 partitions of more than 32GB. Use GParted or just filter this Google search to be able to create and format a partition of 32GB). If these are limitations you can deal with, for the sake for interoperability stick with FAT32.

Now to solve the problem of support for each filesystem in each operating system:

NTFS:

  • OS X: NTFS-3G + MacFUSE
  • Linux: NTFS-3G
  • I’ve been using NTFS-3G in Linux for many years and haven’t had any problems with it and so far it’s working well with OS X too
  • On another note if the NTFS drive is not unmounted properly or there are some issues with the file system integrity, it is necessary to use Windows scan disk to rectify the problem. Thus this requires a copy of Windows to fix the filesystem.

ext:

  • Windows: Ext2 Installable File System for Windows
  • OS X: Mac OS X Ext2 filesystem
  • I’ve had issues of only being able to mount an ext2 partition in Linux and it gave a mount error in Windows and OS X and was due to an inode issue as new Linux distributions create the file system with inodes of 256 bytes but Ext2 fs only supports the older version with 128 bytes. And the only solution is to back up the files, and reformat partition with inodes of 128 bytes (-I 128) and restore the files.
  • Filesystem integrity issues should be able to be fixed with “fsck” from a Linux distribution / live CD. The great thing about this is that you can get a Linux distribution for free and this recovery can be done with out any strings attached.

HFS:

  • Windows: MacDrive (US$50, read and write), Paragon HFS for Windows (read only)
  • Linux: Enabling HFS writing in Ubuntu
  • Note: I have not personally tested these so I cannot give first hand experience of how well it works or what issues can be had with this.
  • I believe that HFS+ journal
  • I would believe any filesystem repairs would have to be done in OS X (similar to NTFS and Windows) and if so this enforces that you have OS X at hand, and in order to have OS X you must have Apple hardware or a Hackintosh either way this is very restrictive.

So it is pretty easy to get full read and write support of all 3 default file systems on the 3 major OS’s but there are issues. So far I’m inclined to stick with ext2/ext3 just due to the fact that it has no restrictions in terms of filesystem repair. I’ve had many NTFS issues related to damaged filesystems that required Windows and the inconvenience of taking the drive out of my box to find a Windows box was too much.

Deleting Windows Services

In the process of installing MySQL I ran into a few errors leaving me with an added service that didn’t work. So now had to remove it:

In a command prompt (Start > Run > type "cmd", enter), type the following:

sc delete serviceName

Notes:

  • Ensure you use the Service Name, not the Display Name, i.e. in the

    Service Name vs Display Name
  • Ensure the service is stopped
    • Go to Service listing. This can be done in the following ways:
    • Start > Run > type "services.msc", enter

      or
    • Right click "My Computer" (XP) or "Computer" (Vista onwards)

      > Manage > Services and Applications (in left pane) > Services
  • Find the service and stop it
  • This was done on Windows 7 RC, thus item names may differ in XP / Vista