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Date: 16 July 2007

Author: Howard Kaikow <>

Subject: Read File program

Download the latest version of the ReadFile program


The Read File program is only a demonstration program.

Originally, the program was intended to faciltate testing a certain behavior of backup programs that are capable of mounting a virtual drive from a backup file.

In particular, the program demonstrates that it is possible to process certain files that fail to:

As a side effect, the program can be used to demonstrate how long it takes to read a file, using various buffer sizes, and how the speed may vary depending on whether the file is on a physical or virtual drive.


Other than the information displayed in the program's Form, the program creates no output.


The program was compiled using Microsoft Visual Basic 6 (with SP 6).

In order to run this program, you will need to have the following installed:


I have developed the program using Microsoft Windows 2000, and intentionally designed the program so that it will not work on operating systems older than Microsoft Windows 2000.

Running the program

There is no installation necessary, just directly run the program by double-clicking on the ReadFile.exe file, or by using a shortcut to that file.

When you run the program, a Visual Basic 6 Form will be displayed that looks something like the Form below. The Form was designed using a screen resolution of 1280 x 1024.

The Form includes the following controls.



Attempt to bypass errors

Checking the Attempt to bypass errors box will cause the program to take additional measures to attempt to access files that may fail to be accessed using the usual techniques.

Use Unicode

Checking the Use Unicode box will cause the program to use a Unicode API to attempt to access files that may fail to be accessed using the usual non-Unicode API.

Buffer Size (bytes)

Choose one of the preset buffer sizes, or enter a size of your own choosing. The buffer is not freed until either the program ends or the Free buffer button is used.

Free buffer

Frees the memory allocated to the buffer.
Select File Clicking on the Select File button will allow you to choose the file to be read.
ReadFile After choosing a file with the Select File button, clicking on the ReadFile button will read the file.
Bye Bye! Exit the program, even while a file is being read.