Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: I'd like a specific feature incorporated into dmFileNote.  Can you do this?  And what timeframe can I expect?

A. All user feedback is appreciated and helpful to the future growth of dmFileNote.  If you would like additional or updated features, please register your copy.  Registrations help support the continuation of the project.

Q: My antivirus software reports that dmFileNote contains a virus / trojan / malware.  Why is this?

A. This is known as a 'false positive'.  With all the thousands of malware programs that exist today, it's all too common for security software to falsely detect legitimate programs as being malware.  dmFileNote does not contain spyware, toolbars, unwanted bundled apps, or other 'crapware'.  When downloaded directly from Dave Moreno Software, it is safe to use.

Q: I downloaded dmFileNote, installed it, and now I have a toolbar or other unwanted software on my PC!  What's going on?

A. dmFileNote does not include any toolbars or other unwanted malware.  However, certain "downloader" applications on other websites do install this unwanted software.  To avoid this, download dmFileNote directly from the Dave Moreno Software website.

Q: Why is Windows reporting a 'missing component' (dll/ocx/etc.) when attempting to use dmFileNote?

A. You need to install some additional software components.  Download and install the 32-bit support files linked in the dmFileNote section on the website.

Q: Aren't file and folder names descriptive enough to eliminate the need for additional software?

A: No.  File and folder names are good for conveying the basics: name of content, version, and maybe a very short note.  Though they can be fairly long, they should be kept short and simple, since the combination of the filenames and their folder pathnames is limited (260 characters in Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7).  Excessively long file and folder names are awkward to view and manage in Windows Explorer and other applications. 

Q: Will my file and folder descriptions be preserved if I copy, move or rename them?

A: Yes, but this requires the use of NTFS-formatted storage devices.  Fortunately, NTFS is more widely used than FAT32 with modern versions of Windows.  If you're running Microsoft Windows 7 or XP, chances are, you're already using NTFS.

If you don't use Windows Explorer to copy/move files and folders, and instead use other software to do so (such as an alternative Windows shell), descriptions may not be preserved.  If in doubt, create exported description files before copying/moving such files and folders.

Q: What the heck is NTFS and FAT32?

A: They are both file systems.  File systems are systems used to store and organize your files - stuff like your photos, your songs, your business documents, etc.  Both NTFS and FAT32 are file systems used by Microsoft Windows operating systems like Windows XP, Windows 7, etc.  NTFS is a more modern, more reliable file system than FAT32; it allows you to store more additional information alongside your files, such as security permissions, etc.

Q: Will my file and folder descriptions be backed up by my backup software?

A: This depends on 2 factors:
            1) The backup software must properly copy NTFS data.
            2) The destination must be formatted using NTFS.
The best way to find out is to simply back up a few files and folders containing dmFileNote descriptions, and check the backup to see if they were copied.

Q: When I go to copy/move a file to my flash memory card, thumb drive, or network drive, Windows reports that the file "has extra information attached to it that might be lost if you continue copying/moving" (Windows XP) or "has properties that can't be copied/moved to the new location" (Windows Vista / Windows 7).  What does this mean?  What do I do?

A: It means that the description for that file or folder cannot be copied/moved to the destination by Windows.  You should create an exported description file for the file or folder in such a situation and then copy/move them together as a pair.

This hassle can be avoided simply by formatting all of your storage devices using NTFS instead of FAT32 or other.  Most thumb drives and flash memory cards come pre-formatted using FAT32.  (For compatibility with older operating systems like Windows 98, and for various non-Windows devices.)


Q: I created descriptions for files, and they're gone now!  What happened to them?

Did you send the files through the Internet or a LAN (local area network)?  Did you 'zip' and 'unzip' them elsewhere?  File descriptions created by dmFileNote are not saved within file contents, unlike various other file formats (mp3, jpg, etc.).  Therefore, if you have files containing dmFileNote descriptions and copy them over the Internet or a local area network (LAN), the descriptions will not be preserved.  Furthermore, some applications may not preserve file descriptions, such as 'zip' programs, 3rd party file managers and file copiers, etc.  If you wish to preserve the descriptions in such situations, export the descriptions to separate files by checking "Export description to file" prior to updating them.  These description files can be kept alongside the files they belong with, ensuring preservation of file descriptions.

Q: Why use dmFileNote, when I can go into the file properties of a file in Windows Explorer and enter a description there?  Why not use my audio software to create descriptions for my audio files, my photo software to create descriptions for my photo files, etc.?

A: Great questions!  In fact, there may be times in which it's better to do so that way; those methods store the descriptions in the file contents (embedded), which will be preserved after sending over the Internet or elsewhere.  However, to create embedded file descriptions requires software that can properly handle the unique file structures of the various file types involved.  One application may handle the data one way, and another may handle it differently.  This inconsistency often leads to corrupted data, errors, and inconsistent results.  Furthermore, a great deal of file types do not support embedded descriptions (text ".txt" files and disk image ".iso" files, for example).  The bottom line: there is no standardized, widely-accepted, widely-used method of storing file descriptions (and other metadata) within the file contents of all file types.  Until that day comes, dmFileNote will be a good, useful, viable option.

dmFileNote does not rely on handling the file structures of the many unique file types out there.  It stores the file descriptions outside of the file contents, alongside it instead.  Therefore, it is able to store file descriptions for any unique file type.

The following is an actual error experienced when trying to modify the description of a photo file using Windows Explorer:

This particular error occurred because Windows Explorer and another (very popular) photo editing program each handled the embedded description in their own way.  Consequently, the description was corrupted.

Q: What are all these "00_index.txt" files?

A: They are FTP index files containing lists of files and file descriptions for whatever folders they reside in.  dmFileNote creates and updates these files, using them as one of multiple sources to store file descriptions.  FTP clients can be configured to automatically download these files when fetching file listings, allowing them to display file descriptions alongside the file listings.  File cataloging applications can use these index files to import descriptions from, also.  You can disable the creation of these index files by disabling the "Create '00_index.txt' files" option.

Q. Why are pathnames of target files/folders limited to 243 characters in dmFileNote?
A: This is a technical limitation of VB6 and/or the operating system.  Pathnames should not be allowed to reach such character length anyways (they become very unwiedly at that point).

Q. Why can't I modify the description (comments) for a particular file in Windows Explorer file properties?
A: If you are unable to modify the file description (comments) in the file properties window in Windows Explorer, try logging off and then back in to Windows.  Windows Explorer needs to be reloaded once a new file type is accessed using dmFileNote.  If that doesn't work, then the file type for the file is probably associated with another property handler which won't allow doing so.  You can still use dmFileNote to accomplish the task.  (Note: This feature does not work in Windows 10 as Windows Explorer has been replaced with File Explorer.)

Q. If file descriptions (comments) can be modified using WIndows Explorer, why use dmFileNote to do it?
A: dmFileNote provides a more user-friendly interface and is more suitable for editing large file descriptions.  It provides a failsafe feature to recover 'lost' file descriptions.  It also ensures that file descriptions can be edited for any file type, unlike Windows Explorer, which may not allow such editing depending on the property handler in use.

Q. Can I modify file tags/keywords/author/subject/rating/etc. from dmFileNote?
A: Not currently, but this functionality is planned for a future release.  In the meantime, you can use Windows Explorer to do this.

Q: Is there a portable version of dmFileNote?

A: dmFileNote can run in 'portable mode', which is useful on public computers where there is insufficient privileges to install software.  Simply download the 'portable' version of dmFileNote, copy the contents to a portable drive, and run it from there.  To use dmFileNote this way, you must have read/write privileges in the folder in which you run the application executable file from; dmFileNote will attempt to store additional data there.


<-- Back