Files Not Sorted Alphabetically

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by a_gera80@hotmail.com, Jan 1, 2005.

  1. Guest

    I have a strange problem that only seems to be happening on one PC.

    The problem is that in some applications (not many*), when the 'Select
    Files' dialog window opens, the files within folders are not sorted
    alphabetically - instead they are sorted in the order they were saved
    into those folders.

    *I'm guessing it only happens in applications that don't use the
    standard Windows dialog box.

    However the same thing happens when doing a "dir" using the Command
    Prompt. On all other PC's I've tried, the "dir" command automatically
    sorts by name. On this particular PC, the files are sorted in the order
    the files were saved into the folder.

    Is there some setting somewhere that is controlling this?
    Thanks,
    Andrew

    BTW I am using XP SP2.
    , Jan 1, 2005
    #1
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  2. Gurble Guest

    On 1 Jan 2005 01:40:54 -0800, had this to say:

    >I have a strange problem that only seems to be happening on one PC.
    >
    >The problem is that in some applications (not many*), when the 'Select
    >Files' dialog window opens, the files within folders are not sorted
    >alphabetically - instead they are sorted in the order they were saved
    >into those folders.
    >
    >*I'm guessing it only happens in applications that don't use the
    >standard Windows dialog box.
    >
    >However the same thing happens when doing a "dir" using the Command
    >Prompt. On all other PC's I've tried, the "dir" command automatically
    >sorts by name. On this particular PC, the files are sorted in the order
    >the files were saved into the folder.
    >
    >Is there some setting somewhere that is controlling this?
    >Thanks,
    >Andrew
    >
    >BTW I am using XP SP2.


    Sounds like the files are being sorted in date order.

    You should be able to just click on "Title" above the list of files in
    the dialog box. Note that sometimes the files are being displayed in
    "list" format rather than "details" format, meaning that the "Title"
    is not there to be clicked. To sort this, click the "Details" button
    in the upper right corner (amongst a couple of others), and you should
    then be able to click "Title".

    Once you've sorted by "Title", you should be able to go back to "List"
    view, and they will be alphabetical.

    HTH. Let us know if this doesn't work, or is not what you meant.
    Gurble, Jan 1, 2005
    #2
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  3. Gurble Guest

    On 1 Jan 2005 01:40:54 -0800, had this to say:

    >I have a strange problem that only seems to be happening on one PC.
    >
    >The problem is that in some applications (not many*), when the 'Select
    >Files' dialog window opens, the files within folders are not sorted
    >alphabetically - instead they are sorted in the order they were saved
    >into those folders.
    >
    >*I'm guessing it only happens in applications that don't use the
    >standard Windows dialog box.
    >
    >However the same thing happens when doing a "dir" using the Command
    >Prompt. On all other PC's I've tried, the "dir" command automatically
    >sorts by name. On this particular PC, the files are sorted in the order
    >the files were saved into the folder.
    >
    >Is there some setting somewhere that is controlling this?
    >Thanks,
    >Andrew
    >
    >BTW I am using XP SP2.


    Sounds like the files are being sorted in date order.

    You should be able to just click on "Title" above the list of files in
    the dialog box. Note that sometimes the files are being displayed in
    "list" format rather than "details" format, meaning that the "Title"
    is not there to be clicked. To sort this, click the "Details" button
    in the upper right corner (amongst a couple of others), and you should
    then be able to click "Title".

    Once you've sorted by "Title", you should be able to go back to "List"
    view, and they will be alphabetical.

    HTH. Let us know if this doesn't work, or is not what you meant.
    Gurble, Jan 1, 2005
    #3
  4. Ralph Fox Guest

    On 1 Jan 2005 01:40:54 -0800, in message
    <>, wrote:

    > On all other PC's I've tried, the "dir" command automatically
    > sorts by name. On this particular PC, the files are sorted in the order
    > the files were saved into the folder.
    >
    > Is there some setting somewhere that is controlling this?



    For the dir command, include this in your DOS environment

    DIRCMD=/O:N

    See the dir built-in help


    | DOS>dir /?

    ....

    | /O List by files in sorted order.
    | sortorder N By name (alphabetic) S By size (smallest first)
    | E By extension (alphabetic) D By date & time (earliest first)
    | G Group directories first - Prefix to reverse order
    | A By Last Access Date (earliest first)

    ....

    | Switches may be preset in the DIRCMD environment variable.


    This might not help with your other problem, though.


    --
    Cheers,
    Ralph

    "There is only one boss, the customer. And he can fire everybody in
    the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money
    somewhere else." -- Sam Walton
    Ralph Fox, Jan 1, 2005
    #4
  5. Ralph Fox Guest

    On 1 Jan 2005 01:40:54 -0800, in message
    <>, wrote:

    > On all other PC's I've tried, the "dir" command automatically
    > sorts by name. On this particular PC, the files are sorted in the order
    > the files were saved into the folder.
    >
    > Is there some setting somewhere that is controlling this?



    For the dir command, include this in your DOS environment

    DIRCMD=/O:N

    See the dir built-in help


    | DOS>dir /?

    ....

    | /O List by files in sorted order.
    | sortorder N By name (alphabetic) S By size (smallest first)
    | E By extension (alphabetic) D By date & time (earliest first)
    | G Group directories first - Prefix to reverse order
    | A By Last Access Date (earliest first)

    ....

    | Switches may be preset in the DIRCMD environment variable.


    This might not help with your other problem, though.


    --
    Cheers,
    Ralph

    "There is only one boss, the customer. And he can fire everybody in
    the company from the chairman on down, simply by spending his money
    somewhere else." -- Sam Walton
    Ralph Fox, Jan 1, 2005
    #5
  6. Jerry Guest

    Ralph Fox wrote:
    > On 1 Jan 2005 01:40:54 -0800, in message
    > <>, wrote:
    >
    >
    >>On all other PC's I've tried, the "dir" command automatically
    >>sorts by name. On this particular PC, the files are sorted in the order
    >>the files were saved into the folder.
    >>
    >>Is there some setting somewhere that is controlling this?

    >
    >
    >
    > For the dir command, include this in your DOS environment
    >
    > DIRCMD=/O:N
    >
    > See the dir built-in help
    >
    >
    > | DOS>dir /?
    >
    > ...
    >
    > | /O List by files in sorted order.
    > | sortorder N By name (alphabetic) S By size (smallest first)
    > | E By extension (alphabetic) D By date & time (earliest first)
    > | G Group directories first - Prefix to reverse order
    > | A By Last Access Date (earliest first)
    >
    > ...
    >
    > | Switches may be preset in the DIRCMD environment variable.
    >
    >
    > This might not help with your other problem, though.
    >
    >

    When the files are displayed in the window, just click on "name" at the
    top of the file list.

    Jerry
    Jerry, Jan 1, 2005
    #6
  7. Jerry Guest

    Ralph Fox wrote:
    > On 1 Jan 2005 01:40:54 -0800, in message
    > <>, wrote:
    >
    >
    >>On all other PC's I've tried, the "dir" command automatically
    >>sorts by name. On this particular PC, the files are sorted in the order
    >>the files were saved into the folder.
    >>
    >>Is there some setting somewhere that is controlling this?

    >
    >
    >
    > For the dir command, include this in your DOS environment
    >
    > DIRCMD=/O:N
    >
    > See the dir built-in help
    >
    >
    > | DOS>dir /?
    >
    > ...
    >
    > | /O List by files in sorted order.
    > | sortorder N By name (alphabetic) S By size (smallest first)
    > | E By extension (alphabetic) D By date & time (earliest first)
    > | G Group directories first - Prefix to reverse order
    > | A By Last Access Date (earliest first)
    >
    > ...
    >
    > | Switches may be preset in the DIRCMD environment variable.
    >
    >
    > This might not help with your other problem, though.
    >
    >

    When the files are displayed in the window, just click on "name" at the
    top of the file list.

    Jerry
    Jerry, Jan 1, 2005
    #7
  8. Ralph Fox Guest

    On Sun, 02 Jan 2005 08:22:45 +1300, in message
    <41d6f863$>, Jerry wrote:

    > When the files are displayed in the window, just click on "name" at the
    > top of the file list.


    The OP may first have to change the view from "List" to "Details"
    to be able to do this.
    Ralph Fox, Jan 1, 2005
    #8
  9. Ralph Fox Guest

    On Sun, 02 Jan 2005 08:22:45 +1300, in message
    <41d6f863$>, Jerry wrote:

    > When the files are displayed in the window, just click on "name" at the
    > top of the file list.


    The OP may first have to change the view from "List" to "Details"
    to be able to do this.
    Ralph Fox, Jan 1, 2005
    #9
  10. Guest

    Thanks everyone for your replies. However the problem is that this
    particular dialog window doesn't allow sorting by header clicks or any
    other way. It's not the standard Windows 'Select Files' dialog box,
    it's a custom one for the application and it doesn't seem to offer any
    sorting.

    And I'm aware of the command line switches for the "dir" command to
    force sorting, however my point is that on my computer, using "dir"
    without any switches returns all the files sorted alphabetically, and
    I'm pretty sure this is the standard behaviour (perhaps some of you can
    try this to confirm?).

    Therefore there seems to be an underlying difference between my
    computer and this other one in terms of the way the file directory is
    stored. The only difference is that I'm using NTFS and this other
    computer has FAT32 - could this have anything to do with it?

    Andrew
    , Jan 1, 2005
    #10
  11. Guest

    Thanks everyone for your replies. However the problem is that this
    particular dialog window doesn't allow sorting by header clicks or any
    other way. It's not the standard Windows 'Select Files' dialog box,
    it's a custom one for the application and it doesn't seem to offer any
    sorting.

    And I'm aware of the command line switches for the "dir" command to
    force sorting, however my point is that on my computer, using "dir"
    without any switches returns all the files sorted alphabetically, and
    I'm pretty sure this is the standard behaviour (perhaps some of you can
    try this to confirm?).

    Therefore there seems to be an underlying difference between my
    computer and this other one in terms of the way the file directory is
    stored. The only difference is that I'm using NTFS and this other
    computer has FAT32 - could this have anything to do with it?

    Andrew
    , Jan 1, 2005
    #11
  12. Max Burke Guest

    wrote:
    > Thanks everyone for your replies. However the problem is that this
    > particular dialog window doesn't allow sorting by header clicks or any
    > other way. It's not the standard Windows 'Select Files' dialog box,
    > it's a custom one for the application and it doesn't seem to offer any
    > sorting.
    > And I'm aware of the command line switches for the "dir" command to
    > force sorting, however my point is that on my computer, using "dir"
    > without any switches returns all the files sorted alphabetically, and
    > I'm pretty sure this is the standard behaviour (perhaps some of you
    > can try this to confirm?).


    > Therefore there seems to be an underlying difference between my
    > computer and this other one in terms of the way the file directory is
    > stored. The only difference is that I'm using NTFS and this other
    > computer has FAT32 - could this have anything to do with it?


    Does this help?

    Windows XP introduced a different ordering method when sorting numeric file
    listings in Windows Explorer. Instead of sorting character-by-character in
    the file name, any numeric string is now handled as a number.
    http://www.winguides.com/registry/display.php/1293/


    --

    Replace the obvious with paradise.net to email me
    Found Images
    http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/~mlvburke
    Max Burke, Jan 2, 2005
    #12
  13. Max Burke Guest

    wrote:
    > Thanks everyone for your replies. However the problem is that this
    > particular dialog window doesn't allow sorting by header clicks or any
    > other way. It's not the standard Windows 'Select Files' dialog box,
    > it's a custom one for the application and it doesn't seem to offer any
    > sorting.
    > And I'm aware of the command line switches for the "dir" command to
    > force sorting, however my point is that on my computer, using "dir"
    > without any switches returns all the files sorted alphabetically, and
    > I'm pretty sure this is the standard behaviour (perhaps some of you
    > can try this to confirm?).


    > Therefore there seems to be an underlying difference between my
    > computer and this other one in terms of the way the file directory is
    > stored. The only difference is that I'm using NTFS and this other
    > computer has FAT32 - could this have anything to do with it?


    Does this help?

    Windows XP introduced a different ordering method when sorting numeric file
    listings in Windows Explorer. Instead of sorting character-by-character in
    the file name, any numeric string is now handled as a number.
    http://www.winguides.com/registry/display.php/1293/


    --

    Replace the obvious with paradise.net to email me
    Found Images
    http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/~mlvburke
    Max Burke, Jan 2, 2005
    #13
  14. Ralph Fox Guest

    On 1 Jan 2005 12:36:17 -0800, in message
    <>, wrote:

    > And I'm aware of the command line switches for the "dir" command to
    > force sorting, however my point is that on my computer, using "dir"
    > without any switches returns all the files sorted alphabetically, and
    > I'm pretty sure this is the standard behaviour (perhaps some of you can
    > try this to confirm?).



    On my computer, using "dir" without any switches

    1. If I do not have DIRCMD=/O:N in my environment,
    the files are _not_ returned sorted alphabetically.

    2. If I do have DIRCMD=/O:N in my environment, the
    files _are_ returned sorted alphabetically.
    Ralph Fox, Jan 2, 2005
    #14
  15. Ralph Fox Guest

    On 1 Jan 2005 12:36:17 -0800, in message
    <>, wrote:

    > And I'm aware of the command line switches for the "dir" command to
    > force sorting, however my point is that on my computer, using "dir"
    > without any switches returns all the files sorted alphabetically, and
    > I'm pretty sure this is the standard behaviour (perhaps some of you can
    > try this to confirm?).



    On my computer, using "dir" without any switches

    1. If I do not have DIRCMD=/O:N in my environment,
    the files are _not_ returned sorted alphabetically.

    2. If I do have DIRCMD=/O:N in my environment, the
    files _are_ returned sorted alphabetically.
    Ralph Fox, Jan 2, 2005
    #15
  16. Guest

    Thanks, but this seems to be with all files, not just ones with numeric
    filenames. Plus it's not an issue with Explorer or any of the standard
    Windows dialogs. It's just a couple of applications that seem to use
    their own custom dialog windows plus the "dir" command when no sort is
    specified.

    Could it be that the Indexing Service in XP is actually physically
    sorting the files? And therefore if you use NTFS with the Indexing
    Service turned on then files are physically sorted alphabetically but
    if you use FAT32 then they aren't?
    , Jan 2, 2005
    #16
  17. Guest

    Thanks, but this seems to be with all files, not just ones with numeric
    filenames. Plus it's not an issue with Explorer or any of the standard
    Windows dialogs. It's just a couple of applications that seem to use
    their own custom dialog windows plus the "dir" command when no sort is
    specified.

    Could it be that the Indexing Service in XP is actually physically
    sorting the files? And therefore if you use NTFS with the Indexing
    Service turned on then files are physically sorted alphabetically but
    if you use FAT32 then they aren't?
    , Jan 2, 2005
    #17
  18. Guest

    That's interesting. I don't have DIRCMD specified in my environment
    variables yet the "dir" command returns files sorted alphabetically.
    Are you using NTFS with the Indexing Service turned on?
    , Jan 2, 2005
    #18
  19. Guest

    That's interesting. I don't have DIRCMD specified in my environment
    variables yet the "dir" command returns files sorted alphabetically.
    Are you using NTFS with the Indexing Service turned on?
    , Jan 2, 2005
    #19
  20. Bok Guest

    wrote:
    > Therefore there seems to be an underlying difference between my
    > computer and this other one in terms of the way the file directory is
    > stored. The only difference is that I'm using NTFS and this other
    > computer has FAT32 - could this have anything to do with it?


    Yes, certainly that's the difference.

    In brief:
    NTFS employs a BTree based directory structure and directory entries are
    ordered by name.

    In contrast the FAT/FAT32 directory structure is essentially unordered -
    directory entries are obtained by traversing a linked list (cluster
    chain) and occur in allocation order (not necessarily creation order
    when space is reused).

    The DIR command and 'File Select' dialogs are listing entries in the
    default order for the file system.
    Bok, Jan 2, 2005
    #20
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