Disable Long Filenames to Improve Window's Performance
By Stephen Bucaro
Starting with Windows 95, Microsoft introduced the Virtual File Allocation Table
(VFAT). VFAT provided 32-bit disk access and long filenames (up to 255 characters).
A long filename can include characters that are illegal in an MS-DOS compatible 8.3
file name, like spaces and dots.
To be backword compatible with 16-bit FAT partitions, both the VFAT and the NTFS
file systems create two names for each file, the long filename and a short filename
compatible with the FAT file system.
Note: The MS-DOS compatible 8.3 file name is created by taking the first six
characters of the long filename (ignoring spaces), add "~1 (or higher number)
and then using the first three letters after the last period as the file extension.
If you have no legacy 16-bit programs or hardware devices installed on your
computer, the 8.3 file names are not neccessary. Disabling 8.3 file name
creation can increase the performance of NTFS partitions. Below is a simple
script you can use to check and configure the registry key NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation.
Dim wshShell, RegKey
Set wshShell = Wscript.CreateObject("Wscript.Shell")
RegKey = "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\FileSystem"
If wshShell.RegRead(RegKey & "NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation") Then
If MsgBox("NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation = 1, Set to 0?", vbQuestion + vbYesNo, "NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation") = vbYes Then
wshShell.regWrite RegKey & "NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation", 00000000, "REG_DWORD"
If MsgBox("NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation = 0, Set to 1?", vbQuestion + vbYesNo, "NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation") = vbYes Then
wshShell.regWrite RegKey & "NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation", 00000001, "REG_DWORD"
Paste this script into Windows Notepad and save the file with the name dis8dot3.vbs.
Double click on the file name to execute it and a popup message box will display the
value of the NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation key on your computer and ask if you want
to change it. If the NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation key is set to one, clicking on the
Yes button will change it to zero. If it's set to zero, clicking on the Yes
button will change it to one.
When you restart Windows, the new configuration will take effect.
Note: The script in this article is provided AS IS without warranty of any kind.
Bucaro TecHelp disclaims all implied warranties including, without limitation, any implied
warranties of merchantability or of fitness for a particular purpose. The entire risk
arising out of the use of the script remains with you. To be safe, you should make a
backup copy of your computers registry before using this script. In no event shall
Bucaro TecHelp be liable for any damages whatsoever arising out of the use of or
inability to use this script.
More Windows Administration Information:
• Top Ten RAID Tips
• How to Change Process Priorities in Windows Task Manager
• How to Share a Printer
• Put HyperTerminal on Windows 7
• Hard Disk Management
• Disable Long Filenames to Improve Window's Performance
• CompTIA Security+ Made Easy
• Disable Kernal Paging to Speed Up Windows
• A Day in the Life of a System Administrator
• Is Your Critical PC Data Adequately Protected From Disaster?