GetFileAttributes API May Return Invalid Return Code

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Article ID: 193763 - View products that this article applies to.
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The return value expected, when using GetFileAttributes, is FFFFFFFF for failure, and for success the value of the files attributes. Sometimes, when the API should have been returning failure, it was succeeding and returning invalid attributes.


Some file information is cached locally when it is opened. So, when another process needed some of that information and it was cached, it was obtained without checking to see if it had the proper rights to obtain that information.


To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows NT 4.0 or the individual software update. For information on obtaining the latest service pack, please go to:
  • 152734 how to obtain the latest windows nt 4.0 service pack
For information on obtaining the individual software update, contact Microsoft Product Support Services. For a complete list of Microsoft Product Support Services phone numbers and information on support costs, please go to the following address on the World Wide Web:;EN-US;CNTACTMS


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Windows NT version 4.0. This problem was first corrected in Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 5.


Article ID: 193763 - Last Review: June 6, 2012 - Revision: 2.0
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Enterprise Edition
  • Microsoft Windows NT Workstation 4.0 Developer Edition
kbhotfixserver kbqfe kbbug kbfix KB193763

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