? in filename? Blasphemy!

12 01 2011

It all started when I got a few files from a friend. He copied them over to my external HDD from linux. I guess linux allows question-mark (?) in file names and so there were a few files with that. The problem was that they wouldn’t get copied to my Windows PC because Windows doesn’t allow ? as part of file names. The worst part was that I could not even rename it – which actually makes sense. The solution? Fire-up your handy virtual machine running linux, connect the external HDD to that, grep for all file names containing ?. Why grep? Coz ? is also a wildcard and so find may not work the way you want. Well, there should be some way to specify the question mark character itself, but I was too sleepy. Anyway, find|grep ? should do the trick. Rename them in linux. Happy Windows.

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