Incredibly cursed error message that I just got on a work PC trying to launch Task Manager:

"Too many files are currently in use by 16-bit programs. Exit one or more 16-bit programs, or increase the value of the FILES command in your Config.sys file.", that message is pretty cursed on its own (Task Manager is not 16-bit and should not be affected by 16-bit open files limitations), but this is 64-bit Windows 10.

Which doesn't even support 16-bit applications.

I don't need assistance troubleshooting this, FWIW (based on how poorly the system was responding, with the disk light solid on, I'm suspecting HDD failure), but thought it was amusingly cursed.

@bhtooefr Presumably this means that the core of Windows 10 is actually Windows 3.11

@bob @bhtooefr Or at least that they ported the 16-bit backwards compatibility from the 9x series to the NT series.

@KitsuneAlicia @bob I feel like this is a message related to NTVDM, which is unrelated to the Win9x 16-bit compatibility stuff, but still

@KitsuneAlicia @bhtooefr I'm pretty sure there were people running DOS programs in Windows 2000, although it wasn't officially supported.

@bob @KitsuneAlicia it's officially supported in every 32-bit release of Windows NT - including Windows 10 - except for the ARM builds.

(The 32-bit MIPS, PPC, and Alpha releases used SoftPC's emulation core to get x86 emulation.)


@bhtooefr I'm guessing this was probably some new stuff reusing an old error code from a header file: "oh, this code ERR_TOO_MANY_FILES sounds right" but they never checked what the error text displayed to the user said.

@kepstin ...interestingly, MSDN says that ERROR_TOO_MANY_OPEN_FILES returns an error of "The system cannot open the file.":

So now, I'm wondering if the PE loader or something really low level was coded to use that error when it failed to load a file, then some time around Windows 7 (SP1, maybe, I find references to this error happening on Win7 SP1 specifically), Microsoft changed the error description to match the error name?

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