OSR Dev Blog

DefineDosDevice Functionality Changes in Windows XP®
(By: Hector J. Rodriguez | Published: 15-Feb-02| Modified: 09-Oct-02)

A number of developers are discovering a change to the naming scheme in Windows XP®. The Win32 API function DefineDosDevice has changed its behavior in Windows XP from the behavior present in earlier versions of Windows 2000® and Windows NT®. These are documented in the platform SDK, but essentially device names are associated with a process using an authentication ID that is associated with the given logon session. Thus, for each process there are two namespaces - one local namespace that is private to the process and one global namespace that is shared with all processes. If there are conflicts, names in the local namespace will override names in the global name space. Developers who rely upon naming semantics need to be aware of this new naming scheme and review the Platform SDK documentation in this area. Also, using the WinOBJ utility to view the namespace on a Windows XP system will show the substantial changes to the namespace.

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