large file support in Win32

Ryan Malayter ryan at
Fri Sep 23 17:41:02 CEST 2005

On 9/22/05, cdr <cedar at> wrote:
> It is generally preferable for application developers to warn the
> users against creating and processing files which are larger than
> 2**31 bytes, than to try to make their particular application
> process such files in 32-bit windows systems.
> A file is almost never an object dealt with exclusively by a single
> application or program; it is almost certain that it will sooner or
> later be dealt with by an operating system component or third party
> utility, many (if not most) of which on Win32 family of operating
> systems will choke on such files, or, worse, fail without giving any
> indication of the fact.

Oracle, Microsoft, Veritas/Symantec, Computer Associates, IBM, Adobe,
and most other major software shops seem to disagree with you. Every
single video, database, or enterprise backup application built for
Windows deals with large files on a routine basis.

Large file support has stable on the windows NT platform since the NT
3.5 release, so long as NTFS is the chosen file system. NT 3.5 was
released in 1994.

In fact, the only "major" application I can think of that has trouble
with large files is WinZip prior to 9.0, and that is because the
entrenched ZIP file format only uses 32-bit file size fields.

Come to think of it, I seem to have trouble with large files on
Windows only when dealing with ported POSIX utilities like gzip,
rsync, gnupg, and the like.

All problems can be solved by diplomacy, but violence and treachery
are equally effective, and more fun.

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