Danish Kapoor
Danish Kapoor

Windows feature that Microsoft hasn't changed in 30 years has been revealed

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On a Thursday morning nearly 30 years ago, at Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond, a software developer turned in some code for a dialog box he was working on. Since this dialog box was planned to be used temporarily, its simplicity did not worry anyone. However, this box, which is thought to be temporary, is still in use and Microsoft continues to use this box without changing it in Windows 11.

Developer Dave Plummer, who previously worked at Microsoft, made a work on X. share He told the interesting story of how the “Format Drive” dialog box was created years ago.

“We were porting millions of lines of code from the Windows 95 UI to NT, and Format was just one of the areas where Windows NT was different enough from Windows 95 that we needed to come up with some custom UI,” Plummer said. I pulled out a piece of paper and looked up some information about formatting a disk, such as file system, label, cluster size, compression, encryption, etc. “I wrote down all the options and choices you can make, such as.”

Plummer then created a basic user interface and added it to the Windows NT codebase as a workaround “until the elegant user interface came along.” This UI improvement never materialized, and almost 30 years later Plummer's workaround is still used in Windows 11 today.

It can be said that the format size of a FAT volume in Windows is limited to only 32 GB, which is partly related to Plummer. Plummer explained this choice with the following words: “I also had to decide how much “cluster slack” would be too much, which would limit the format size of the FAT volume to 32 GB. “This border was also an arbitrary choice that morning, and it was a border that stuck with us as a permanent side effect.”

FAT actually supports volumes up to 2TB. But even if Microsoft's operating system reads these larger FAT drives correctly, it is necessary to use a third-party tool in Windows to create this volume.

Microsoft also uses other legacy elements in its Windows interface

Despite many revisions to the Windows user interface, Microsoft hasn't touched the Formatting dialog since its introduction in Windows NT years ago. It is possible to find many old user interface elements in the most current versions of Windows. However, it seems that the “If it ain't broke, don't fix it” approach is preferred, especially for the Formatting dialog box in question.

Danish Kapoor