Microsoft did recommend to disable short names in a security guide some times back. There is evidence that file operations in directories (folders) that contain a large number of file can be slowed by short file name creations. So does it improve performance? The short answer – Yes.
Now should you disable short names? This answer is going to be on a case by case basis. Some questions to ask yourself –
- Do you have older programs that use 8dot3 (short names)?
- Do you have a folder with a significant amount of files and coping or creating files is slow?
Below is a pic showing the improvement by disabling and stripping
Image: Blog Technet Microsoft
Here’s what you need to do –
- Always backup your system
- Open a Command Prompt as Administrator
- Type fsutil 8dot3name query c:
(enter the drive letter at the end)
- Type fsutil 8dot3name set c: 1
(This will disable 8.3)
- If you want to do this system wide, type –
– fsutil behavior set disable8dot3 1
- To strip existing files with a 8.3 short name, this will scan your computer and the system registry and strip the files of their short names type the following-
– fsutil 8dot3name strip /s /v c:
- KB Article on short names: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/121007
- TechNet article with a reference for FSUTIL.EXE 8dot3name: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff621566.aspx
- TechNet article on the registry setting to disable 8.3 names system wide: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc778996.aspx