File Name Warning

I’m seeing the exact same thing as this person on my computer.

I am working on a computer (XP-Pro) that comes up with the following message every time it is booted.

“There is a file or folder on your computer called “C:\PROGRAM” which could cause certain applications to not function correctly. Renaming it to “C:\PROGRAM1″ would solve this problem. Would you like to rename it

The options are “rename” and “ignore”. She has been picking “ignore” each time and doesn’t seem to be having any problems in Windows. She has no “C:\PROGRAM” folder. She runs Norton Antivirus 2003 and her virus definitions are up to date. See the error message at

I think the “File Name Warning” title on the window looks a little phony. Does this look familiar to anyone?
What would be your recommendations?

Source: Need help with startup error – technology support

But I’m using Windows XP Home. I wonder where it’s from?

I don’t have a C:\program folder, but there is a 24 byte file called program (no extension). I wonder where it came from? Opening it in a text editor shows this:

Name: Description:

No idea where it’s from.

Read the comments below for more info, then add your own comment! 

36 Responses to “File Name Warning”

  1. Peter says:

    This same shit happened to me.. I didn’t find any folder with that name either. And I startted to get error in Internet Explorer every time I changed the page. A day later I Serched for “program” on my system drive and found one file “Program” on the root with no file-ext and hidden. I removed it and all problems are gone.

  2. Craig says:

    I’ve just been having the same problem since I started up this morning. I think it may have been to do with trying out several IRC scripts to find one that worked with my itunes. When my comp started, I got that error, and was asked to rename to program1. I did so. Second time I started up, it was the same but said program2. I ignored it and told it not to check again. The only other thing I noticed wrong was that my AIM wouldn’t open, but I never use that anyway and uninstalled it.

    Deleted the “program” file and some of the IRC scripts I installed last night.

  3. Nick says:

    Same as the others, I found this site when googling for this error msg. I suspect it is the result of running applications through a CMD window, perhaps as part of the Scheduler. The space in Program Files confuses the CMD window.

    JKDefrag caused it for me by leaving a log file called c:\program. I wonder if it was actually trying to leave a log in c:\program files\jkdefrag\log or similar.

  4. Bruce Meyer says:

    I am running Vista Ultimate, all updates. I go to command prompt, and delte the file.
    If I open a command prompt as normal user, it is not present. Every time I open command prompt as administrator the C:\Program is recreated.

    I think it is from a install program for an app that isn’t fully Vista complaint in my case,. I isntalled several older utils yesterday and had the warning of ‘You may need to reinstall again, if you have problems with this odler application.’


  5. This is nothing to be worried about. It is just accidental in more than one application installer and uninstaller out there. I am a programmer and I have had this happen during some of my tests. It is an issue when Windows does not read a full path for creation correctly. Instead of making c:\program files\my application it can only see c:\program and so makes a file named just that. This happens when the services that control that function fail. Then on a reboot it comes up with that message. Any time this happens just delete the file and you will be fine. This can also happen when Windows itself needs to update a file or folder on boot up from c:\program files\whatever. If it tries to update something before the services for the function start then it will just create the file c:\program. YAY Microsoft for this little confusing mix up. :D

    Have a nice day and switch to Linux.

  6. Dale says:

    Yep, the goof up is on Windows’ part. I’d run different softwares that are known to be safe over an extensive period of time with this message popping up occasionally. One could view the “Program” file with any text editor and see that there is nothing important. Just choose ignore (or rename, doesn’t matter) and delete the file.

  7. Atraxen says:

    I had the same error. Once I opened the file, I saw ASCII text that I recognized as being from a molecular modeling experiment I ran the day before. I agree with the last few posts – the appearance of the “c:\program” file is due to sloppy command line use sticking something there. This might explain why some people are reporting seeing it after installing a program, but also when they haven’t (the program probably had a sloppy bit of scripting, or if you were working in a command prompt window, maybe you did.) When I check the processID for the message box it’s the same process as Explorer.exe – so yeah, it’s some kind of Windows internal check…

  8. Voidwalker68 says:

    Got the same problem, file was created by an error dump from a demo I downloaded which terminally crashed so I assume it´s only a Microsoft cleanup routine although as many has mentioned with a rather dodgy and non user friendly explaination. I checked the file content in Notepad and deleted the file. If you´re unsure what´s in the file open it in Notepad and have a peek before deleting or renaming it.

  9. Scott says:

    Jah, it’s a Windows bug when a call “%systemroot%\program files\anything” is made without the quotes. There’s tons of posts on the net about it. It’ll screw up all kinds of things and it’s the devil to find it if the dialog box doesn’t pop up. For one thing it broke my file search function in explorer as long as the file was present on the system root. I wrote a batch file that just deletes it and set Win.ini to activate the batch on boot. You could do the same with a login script or whatever. Problem solved.

    Funny thing, there are a lot of posts about this but MICROSHAFT doesn’t have a thing in the MS KB about it. Not even the error dialog.

  10. alan says:

    I got the same problem,and with the file:”c:\program” either.
    Open that “program” file,it contains these text:”default-zpublisher-encoding utf-8″,and i realized that may be “Plone”(a big web system base on python) created that file, I checkd the date which that file:”program” created, and exactly, the same date when i installed plone system in my computer. So, it is really a bug with some kind of program…

  11. Are any of you using Analog 6.0 website log reader or Report Magic to format your reports? One of these applications wrote a text file called Program (no extension) to the root of my C drive. Its just a text report, so open it with a text editor and if you don’t need the file, rename or delete it.

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