Rant: Conflicting Filenames

Why, oh why, can programmers not observe the sanctity of built in windows commands and not use that as a filename? We recently got a new terabyte external hard drive. Shannon had already transfered data onto to it when a problem crops up: Drive is full, cannot copy file. WTF? It’s a terabyte drive and still mostly empty. Disk is full? I don’t think so. It’s only a 5GB file. Then I remebered, shit, let me check the file system. Yup, as I suspected, FAT32. So that explains that. Not acceptable, since this drive’s primary purpose is for storing digitized video with the least possible compression.

No problem, since windows lets you convert FAT, FAT32 to NTFS(but not the other way around) without having to reformat the drive by simply using the convert command. So here goes:

convert g: /fs:ntfs

What do i get?

convert: unable to open image `g:’: Permission denied.
convert: missing an image filename `/fs:ntfs’.

WTF?! Not at all what I was expecting. Image filename? WTF are you talking about?

Then I realized: Oh yeah, I have ImageMagick installed on my computer. ImageMagick is a free, open source suite to create, edit, and compose bitmap images, and quite useful actually. One nice thing is that many things can be be done from the command line, which makes things like creating diptychs or mosaics pretty easy, since for instance, to create a diptych all I have to do is type:

convert +append file1 file2 outputfile

Beginning to see the problem here? Yup, you guessed it, convert.exe. I don’t quite remember whether I added ImageMagick to the path or if it added itself.

Sooo, when I called convert, it was running the ImageMagick convert.exe and not the windows convert.exe, which do completely different things. Damnit, if there’s already a file in windows\system32 with a certain name, DON’T use that name for your application. Not that difficult!

Anyways, once I figured it out, adding the full path to the windows convert.exe fixed the issue and the drive was properly converted to NTFS. But I shouldn’t have had to do any troubleshooting to do this in the first place!



~ by chriggy on September 20, 2008.

6 Responses to “Rant: Conflicting Filenames”

  1. haha….. I’ve had to deal with convert.exe being a taken name too! Though I also don’t know how well the idea sits with me that once Microsoft decides to use a word, that it is now forbidden by everyone else. There’s 1,094 EXE files in my %SystemRoot folder… That’s a lot of names to check against.

    (FYI…I believe ImageMagick asks you if you want to add it to the path or not during installation)

  2. Thanks! I hadn’t thought of that, and as I was on Vista I thought of yet another bug…
    Your comment saved me some time!

  3. thanks mate! same story with me and thank god…I’m changing OS, am only converting my 320GB external HD from Fat 32 to ntfs so that I can read it with MacOS, just bought a macbook, so see you later bloody windows-

  4. thanks – was banging my head against this one for a little while.

  5. Thanks, this made me go 0.o

  6. Thanks … and I did wonder about all the options I got at first, but hej, stuff like “clone an image” isn’t entirely out of question for a HD file system program …

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