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Trouble report 494

Installed application doesn't run, can't uninstall, "Could not open INSTALL.LOG"

Versions affected

3.0-3.4, 4.0

Description of the problem

This problem occurs only on some computer systems.  The following describes the problem behavior:

"I installed the software and then tried to run it using the commands in the Windows Start Menu.  Nothing at all happens when I select any of The Panorama Factory entries in the Start Menu, including the uninstall item.  When I try to remove the software using the Add or Remove Programs item in the Windows Control Panel, it displays the message "Could not open INSTALL.LOG file."

What causes the problem

Please note that this problem affects only the small number of systems on which 8.3 filenames have been disabled.  The problem occurs only if someone has explicitly disabled this option on your system.  This option is normally enabled when Windows is installed.

This problem occurs when creation of 8.3 filenames is disabled on your computer system.  Although The Panorama Factory does not require 8.3 filenames, the software is installed by Wise Installation System which does require them.  If 8.3 filenames are disabled when The Panorama Factory is installed, the Start Menu entries and the Control Panel uninstall entry are created incorrectly and will not work properly.

Background information

8.3 filenames are a legacy feature of Windows from the days of DOS.  An 8.3 filename has up to 8 letters or numbers, a period, and up to 3 more letters or numbers.

Windows supports long file names up to 255 characters in length. Windows also generates an MS-DOS-compatible (short) file name in 8.3 format to allow MS-DOS-based or 16-bit Windows-based programs to access the files.  These filenames are normally hidden from the user, but are used by certain software programs.

Creation of 8.3 filenames is normally enabled in Windows, but sometimes users disable the option in an attempt to improve performance.

To successfully install The Panorama Factory, you must enable 8.3 filenames before installing the software.  You may disable the option again after installing the software.  As long as the option is enabled during installation, the software will run properly and will uninstall properly even if you disable 8.3 filenames afterwards.

Microsoft indicates that creation of 8.3 filenames may hurt performance for directories containing a large number of long filenames.  See NTFS Performance with Numerous Long Filenames (Q130694) in the Microsoft Knowledge Base at for an explanation of this issue.

However, our own testing suggests that this performance issue may not apply to Windows XP.  Note that the previously referenced Knowledge Base article mentions only Windows NT 3.x.

We have tested directories containing as many as 10000 long filenames and are unable to detect any difference in performance when 8.3 filenames are enabled compared to when they are disabled.

For additional information, read these Microsoft Knowledge Base articles:


NOTE: This workaround is applicable only if the Program Files folder has an 8.3 filename.  It will not correct systems that do not have an 8.3 filename for the Program Files folder.  To determine whether your system's Program Files folder has an 8.3 filename:

  1. Click the Windows Start menu (lower left corner of your desktop).
  2. Select All Programs, then Accessories, then Command Prompt.
  3. In the Command Prompt window, type "dir /x c:\Program*Files".  Note that you must type this command exactly as shown.  If you replace the "*" with a space, for example, it will not display the proper directory listing.
  4. Examine the line printed for the Program Files folder to determine whether this folder has a short filename.  If it does, you will see something like:

    11/03/2005  11:05 AM  <DIR>  PROGRA~1  Program Files

    If the folder does not have an 8.3 filename, you will see:

    11/03/2005  11:05 AM  <DIR>            Program Files

Please contact for assistance if:

  • Your system's Program Files folder does not have an 8.3 filename.
  • You have any concerns about this procedure.
  • You are unable to carry out the procedure.

To work around this problem, you should follow these steps.

  1. Enable 8.3 filenames:
    1. Click the Windows Start menu (lower left corner of your desktop).
    2. Select Run, type regedt32, and then click OK to run the Registry Editor.
    3. Double-click the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE folder, then the SYSTEM, CurrentControlSet and Control folders.
    4. Single-click the FileSystem folder.
    5. Double-click the NtfsDisable8dot3NameCreation value on the right hand side of the window
    6. Type the number 0 in the Edit DWORD Value box, and then click OK.
    7. Quit the Registry Editor, and then restart the computer.

      WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system.  We cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

  2. Remove the application files for The Panorama Factory that were created by the failed install:
    1. Using the right hand mouse button, click the Windows Start menu (lower left corner of your desktop).
    2. Select Explore from the popup menu.
    3. Double-click the C: folder, then Program Files.
    4. Single-click the Smoky City Design folder.
    5. Press the Delete (or Del) key on your keyboard to delete the folder.
  3. Reinstall The Panorama Factory.
  4. After installing The Panorama Factory, you may disable 8.3 filenames if you wish.  However, we recommend that you leave 8.3 filename creation enabled to avoid similar problems in the future.


Corrected in V4.1.  The installer for V4.1 warns if 8.3 filenames are disabled on your system and offers to enable 8.3 filenames.

Revised: December 01, 2005

 1999-2005 Smoky City Design, LLC and John Strait