Microsoft small business knowledge base

Article ID: 139427 - Last Review: November 15, 2006 - Revision: 1.1

This article was previously published under Q139427


If you click Run on the Start menu and then type a command including a long filename with an embedded space in the Run dialog box, one of the following symptoms may occur:
  • You receive the following error message: Cannot find <filename> (or one of its components). Make sure the path and filename are correct and that all required libraries are available.
  • An incorrect folder is opened or the wrong file is run.


Commands containing long filenames with embedded space characters must be enclosed in quotation marks in the Run dialog box.

Note that long filenames that do not contain embedded spaces are processed correctly.


To resolve this issue, use either of the following methods:
  • To use a command including a long filename with an embedded space character in the Run dialog box, you must enclose the entire command in quotation marks. For example, to run the command
    c:\program files\accessories\mspaint.exe
    you must type the following line in the Run dialog box (including the quotation marks:
    "c:\program files\accessories\mspaint.exe"
  • In the Run dialog box, use the 8.3 alias for any folder or filename that contains embedded spaces. For example, instead of typing
    "c:\program files\accessories\mspaint.exe"
    in the Run dialog box, you could type:
    In this example, "progra~1" is the 8.3 alias for the long filename "program files."


This behavior is by design.


When you type a long filename with embedded spaces without quotation marks in the Run dialog box, the filename is truncated at the first space when the command is processed.

  • Microsoft Windows 95
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
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