Support for environments where short names (8.3) are disabled or removed

  • Article ID: 117024
  • Updated: 14 Oct 2015

The following issues occur when Sophos Endpoint Security and Control is either installed with short name support disabled or has the short name removed from the path to the Sophos folder:

  • Diminished protection:
    • Buffer Overflow Protection will be inactive.
    • Home page scanning in IE8 and above, will be inactive.
  • Data Control will be unavailable.

First seen in
Sophos Endpoint Security and Control


Windows uses 'spaces' as a delimiter in the following registry key, this means that DLL files and it's corresponding path must have a short name.

32-bit and 64-bit:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows\AppInit_DLLs

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\WOW6432Node\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows\AppInit_DLLs

Example value:

See Microsoft KBA Q197571 for details on the restriction imposed on the use of spaces in this registry value.

What To Do

Support for short name disabled environments

Environments where the short name for the Sophos Anti-Virus path has been removed (Either in part or entirely) are not supported. Perform these checks to ensure your environment is supported.

1. Check the local computer policy for short name creation

Open a command prompt window, execute the following command:

fsutil behavior query disable8dot3

If the returned value is the following, short name creation has been disabled:

NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation = 1

See this Microsoft article on how to enable short name support.

2. Check the path to Sophos has a short name (no spaces)

Open a command prompt window, execute the following commands:

  1. dir /x \

    Check to see if 'Program Files' has a short name:

    DD/MM/YYYY HH:MM <DIR> PROGRA~1 Program Files

  2. 32 bit: dir /x "\Program Files\Sophos"
    64 bit: dir /x "\Program Files (x86)\Sophos"

    Check to see if 'Sophos Anti-Virus' has a shot name:

    DD/MM/YYYY HH:MM <DIR> SOPHOS~1 Sophos Anti-Virus

The short name should be present in the 4th column (just before the long name).

If you need more information or guidance, then please contact technical support.

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