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  1. #1
    Lounger
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    Spaces replaced by % 20 in filename on flash drive

    I have a friend who reported the following problem. It is a tough one to search on. Perhaps some of you will have encountered it before. Here is what he wrote about the problem:

    When you save a file called "This is a test.doc" on the hard drive it is saved as such. If you are saving the same file to a flash drive, its name will change to "This% 20is% 20a% 20test.doc". Basically, every space in the filename (not the file itself) is replaced with a "% 20". [I inserted a space in the "% 20" code to get it to not convert to a white space on this board.]

    Word, Excel and PowerPoint are all doing this. WP is not affected and neither is Notepad. This narrows the problem down to Office 2003.

    The Office has been reinstalled and is up-to-date. Windows is up-to-date as well. Spyware and Aware has been removed. There are no viruses on the computer and I have removed Normal.dot (Word template) to make sure that it is not corrupted. All the settings have been checked and the files as being save as "Word files."

    We have used two flash drives. On both of them Word files get saved with instead of spaces. Both drives work fine when connected to other machines.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Spaces replaced by % 20 in filename on flash drive

    What happens if the file is saved to hard disk, then copied/moved to the flash drive in Windows Explorer?

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Spaces replaced by % 20 in filename on flash d

    Replacing spaces with %20 typically is associated with URLs and web servers. It's rather odd to see it with a DOC file on a local drive. Is there anything special about the path used to save the file? For example, is the drive being addressed using an HTTP or FTP path? Perhaps there is an alternative or updated driver for the flash drive...

  4. #4
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    Re: Spaces replaced by % 20 in filename on flash d

    It is odd indeed! When saved on a HD the name doesn't change. It only happens on a flash drives and we have tried several different branded flash drives with the same outcome. The drives have no drivers as Win XP has flash drive support built-in. The same drives work fine in other computers and you can save Office files to these drives without any problems. It seems there is actually something peculiar about the settings in Office on this one particular computer. Nothing fancy is going on during the save (that I can detect) such as saving the document as a Web page. Even re-installing Office wasn't sufficient as the setting somehow persisted. Perhaps a clean install of Windows is the only solution, but I hate to see such an unsatisfying end to a tricky problem.

  5. #5
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Spaces replaced by % 20 in filename on flash d

    Two other thoughts.

    1- Make sure that you remove ALL addins, and then try saving to the flash drive.

    2- Before trying a clean install of Windows, try a clean install of Office. There use to be programs available on the MS website to completely remove all of office, including all of the registry entries. You might try to find one of those for your version of office and try that and a reinstall of Office.
    Legare Coleman

  6. #6
    New Lounger
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    Re: Spaces replaced by % 20 in filename on flash d

    Ok, I am the actual friend who has a user with the problem. :-) I decided to post myself. Here are the answers to the questions:

    1. There are no add-ins.
    2. Clean Office reinstalled has been attempted with the same results. And I have also formatted the HD, reinstalled (not imaged) Windows XP Pro and Office 2003 Pro with all the patches from MS.

    I have never seen this problem and starting to wonder if this is starting to look like a hardware problem.....?

  7. #7
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Spaces replaced by % 20 in filename on flash d

    If you drag a saved DOC file from the HD to the flash drive, I assume the spaces remain regular spaces, or do they change?

    There is a way to remove the drivers for plug-and-play devices so that they have to be recognized from scratch, but I can't remember the details. They probably have been discussed many times on the Windows XP board. If I recall correctly, there also is a trick to display ALL previously recognized devices by running the device manager from Start>Run... with a special switch or code. Hopefully if you can remove the past recognitions and get a fresh driver install the next time you attach the flash drive, that will fix this.

  8. #8
    New Lounger
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    Re: Spaces replaced by % 20 in filename on flash d

    If you drag a saved .doc (or .xls) file from the HD to the flash drive, the name of the file stays the same regardless whether it has or space in it.

    As far as the driver removal comment you made I don't know if that will help. My thinking is that the hard drive has been wiped and all software reinstalled by hand. The flash drives we used have been formatted. I was pointed to a posting on one of the other forums about the same problem (no solution thought) reported over 4 years ago. It seems as this has been a bug somewhere in the software/hardware but in all my years of IT support I have never seen it happen.

    The other thought is that since the machine has been reformatted it is rather unlikely that the same problem would resurface twice on the same laptop (Dell Lat D800). Seems weird but I will look into the driver removal for the lack of other things to try :-)

    Thanks.

  9. #9
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Spaces replaced by % 20 in filename on flash d

    In the meantime, let your friend save the documents to hard disk, then copy them to the flash drive in Windows Explorer. Or avoid spaces in the file names...

  10. #10
    New Lounger
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    Re: Spaces replaced by % 20 in filename on flash d

    That is what he has been doing.

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