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ZwCreateFile routine

The ZwCreateFile routine creates a new file or opens an existing file.

Syntax


NTSTATUS ZwCreateFile(
  _Out_     PHANDLE FileHandle,
  _In_      ACCESS_MASK DesiredAccess,
  _In_      POBJECT_ATTRIBUTES ObjectAttributes,
  _Out_     PIO_STATUS_BLOCK IoStatusBlock,
  _In_opt_  PLARGE_INTEGER AllocationSize,
  _In_      ULONG FileAttributes,
  _In_      ULONG ShareAccess,
  _In_      ULONG CreateDisposition,
  _In_      ULONG CreateOptions,
  _In_opt_  PVOID EaBuffer,
  _In_      ULONG EaLength
);

Parameters

FileHandle [out]

A pointer to a HANDLE variable that receives a handle to the file.

DesiredAccess [in]

Specifies an ACCESS_MASK value that determines the requested access to the object. In addition to the access rights that are defined for all types of objects, the caller can specify any of the following access rights, which are specific to files.

ACCESS_MASK flagAllows caller to do this

FILE_READ_DATA

Read data from the file.

FILE_READ_ATTRIBUTES

Read the attributes of the file. (For more information, see the description of the FileAttributes parameter.)

FILE_READ_EA

Read the extended attributes (EAs) of the file. This flag is irrelevant for device and intermediate drivers.

FILE_WRITE_DATA

Write data to the file.

FILE_WRITE_ATTRIBUTES

Write the attributes of the file. (For more information, see the description of the FileAttributes parameter.)

FILE_WRITE_EA

Change the extended attributes (EAs) of the file. This flag is irrelevant for device and intermediate drivers.

FILE_APPEND_DATA

Append data to the file.

FILE_EXECUTE

Use system paging I/O to read data from the file into memory. This flag is irrelevant for device and intermediate drivers.

 

Note   Do not specify FILE_READ_DATA, FILE_WRITE_DATA, FILE_APPEND_DATA, or FILE_EXECUTE when you create or open a directory.

The caller can only specify a generic access right, GENERIC_XXX, for a file, not a directory. Generic access rights correspond to specific access rights as shown in the following table.

Generic access rightSet of specific access rights

GENERIC_READ

STANDARD_RIGHTS_READ, FILE_READ_DATA, FILE_READ_ATTRIBUTES, FILE_READ_EA, and SYNCHRONIZE.

GENERIC_WRITE

STANDARD_RIGHTS_WRITE, FILE_WRITE_DATA, FILE_WRITE_ATTRIBUTES, FILE_WRITE_EA, FILE_APPEND_DATA, and SYNCHRONIZE.

GENERIC_EXECUTE

STANDARD_RIGHTS_EXECUTE, FILE_EXECUTE, FILE_READ_ATTRIBUTES, and SYNCHRONIZE. This value is irrelevant for device and intermediate drivers.

GENERIC_ALL

FILE_ALL_ACCESS.

 

For example, if you specify GENERIC_READ for a file object, the routine maps this value to the FILE_GENERIC_READ bitmask of specific access rights. In the preceding table, the specific access rights that are listed for GENERIC_READ correspond to the access flags that are contained in the FILE_GENERIC_READ bitmask.

If the file is actually a directory, the caller can also specify the following generic access rights.

DesiredAccess flagAllows caller to do this

FILE_LIST_DIRECTORY

List the files in the directory.

FILE_TRAVERSE

Traverse the directory, in other words, include the directory in the path of a file.

 

For more information about access rights, see ACCESS_MASK.

ObjectAttributes [in]

A pointer to an OBJECT_ATTRIBUTES structure that specifies the object name and other attributes. Use InitializeObjectAttributes to initialize this structure. If the caller is not running in a system thread context, it must set the OBJ_KERNEL_HANDLE attribute when it calls InitializeObjectAttributes.

IoStatusBlock [out]

A pointer to an IO_STATUS_BLOCK structure that receives the final completion status and other information about the requested operation. In particular, the Information member receives one of the following values:

  • FILE_CREATED

  • FILE_OPENED

  • FILE_OVERWRITTEN

  • FILE_SUPERSEDED

  • FILE_EXISTS

  • FILE_DOES_NOT_EXIST

AllocationSize [in, optional]

A pointer to a LARGE_INTEGER that contains the initial allocation size, in bytes, for a file that is created or overwritten. If AllocationSize is NULL, no allocation size is specified. If no file is created or overwritten, AllocationSize is ignored.

FileAttributes [in]

Specifies one or more FILE_ATTRIBUTE_XXX flags, which represent the file attributes to set if you create or overwrite a file. The caller usually specifies FILE_ATTRIBUTE_NORMAL, which sets the default attributes. For a list of valid FILE_ATTRIBUTE_XXX flags, see the CreateFile routine in the Microsoft Windows SDK documentation. If no file is created or overwritten, FileAttributes is ignored.

ShareAccess [in]

Type of share access, which is specified as zero or any combination of the following flags.

ShareAccess flagAllows other threads to do this

FILE_SHARE_READ

Read the file

FILE_SHARE_WRITE

Write the file

FILE_SHARE_DELETE

Delete the file

 

Device and intermediate drivers usually set ShareAccess to zero, which gives the caller exclusive access to the open file.

CreateDisposition [in]

Specifies the action to perform if the file does or does not exist. CreateDisposition can be one of the values in the following table.

CreateDisposition valueAction if file existsAction if file does not exist

FILE_SUPERSEDE

Replace the file.

Create the file.

FILE_CREATE

Return an error.

Create the file.

FILE_OPEN

Open the file.

Return an error.

FILE_OPEN_IF

Open the file.

Create the file.

FILE_OVERWRITE

Open the file, and overwrite it.

Return an error.

FILE_OVERWRITE_IF

Open the file, and overwrite it.

Create the file.

 

CreateOptions [in]

Specifies the options to apply when the driver creates or opens the file. Use one or more of the flags in the following table.

CreateOptions flagMeaning

FILE_DIRECTORY_FILE

The file is a directory. Compatible CreateOptions flags are FILE_SYNCHRONOUS_IO_ALERT, FILE_SYNCHRONOUS_IO_NONALERT, FILE_WRITE_THROUGH, FILE_OPEN_FOR_BACKUP_INTENT, and FILE_OPEN_BY_FILE_ID. The CreateDisposition parameter must be set to FILE_CREATE, FILE_OPEN, or FILE_OPEN_IF.

FILE_NON_DIRECTORY_FILE

The file is not a directory. The file object to open can represent a data file; a logical, virtual, or physical device; or a volume.

FILE_WRITE_THROUGH

System services, file-system drivers, and drivers that write data to the file must actually transfer the data to the file before any requested write operation is considered complete.

FILE_SEQUENTIAL_ONLY

All access to the file will be sequential.

FILE_RANDOM_ACCESS

Access to the file can be random, so no sequential read-ahead operations should be performed by file-system drivers or by the system.

FILE_NO_INTERMEDIATE_BUFFERING

The file cannot be cached or buffered in a driver's internal buffers. This flag is incompatible with the DesiredAccess parameter's FILE_APPEND_DATA flag.

FILE_SYNCHRONOUS_IO_ALERT

All operations on the file are performed synchronously. Any wait on behalf of the caller is subject to premature termination from alerts. This flag also causes the I/O system to maintain the file-position pointer. If this flag is set, the SYNCHRONIZE flag must be set in the DesiredAccess parameter.

FILE_SYNCHRONOUS_IO_NONALERT

All operations on the file are performed synchronously. Waits in the system that synchronize I/O queuing and completion are not subject to alerts. This flag also causes the I/O system to maintain the file-position context. If this flag is set, the SYNCHRONIZE flag must be set in the DesiredAccess parameter.

FILE_CREATE_TREE_CONNECTION

Create a tree connection for this file in order to open it over the network. This flag is not used by device and intermediate drivers.

FILE_COMPLETE_IF_OPLOCKED

Complete this operation immediately with an alternate success code of STATUS_OPLOCK_BREAK_IN_PROGRESS if the target file is oplocked, rather than blocking the caller's thread. If the file is oplocked, another caller already has access to the file. This flag is not used by device and intermediate drivers.

FILE_NO_EA_KNOWLEDGE

If the extended attributes (EAs) for an existing file being opened indicate that the caller must understand EAs to properly interpret the file, ZwCreateFile should return an error. This flag is irrelevant for device and intermediate drivers.

FILE_OPEN_REPARSE_POINT

Open a file with a reparse point and bypass normal reparse point processing for the file. For more information, see the following Remarks section.

FILE_DELETE_ON_CLOSE

The system deletes the file when the last handle to the file is passed to ZwClose. If this flag is set, the DELETE flag must be set in the DesiredAccess parameter.

FILE_OPEN_BY_FILE_ID

The file name that is specified by the ObjectAttributes parameter includes the 8-byte file reference number for the file. This number is assigned by and specific to the particular file system. If the file is a reparse point, the file name will also include the name of a device. Note that the FAT file system does not support this flag.

FILE_OPEN_FOR_BACKUP_INTENT

The file is being opened for backup intent. Therefore, the system should check for certain access rights and grant the caller the appropriate access to the file—before checking the DesiredAccess parameter against the file's security descriptor. This flag not used by device and intermediate drivers.

FILE_RESERVE_OPFILTER

This flag allows an application to request a Filter opportunistic lock (oplock) to prevent other applications from getting share violations. If there are already open handles, the create request will fail with STATUS_OPLOCK_NOT_GRANTED. For more information, see the following Remarks section.

FILE_OPEN_REQUIRING_OPLOCK

The file is being opened and an opportunistic lock (oplock) on the file is being requested as a single atomic operation. The file system checks for oplocks before it performs the create operation, and will fail the create with a return code of STATUS_CANNOT_BREAK_OPLOCK if the result would be to break an existing oplock.

Note   The FILE_OPEN_REQUIRING_OPLOCK flag is available in Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and later Windows operating systems.

FILE_SESSION_AWARE

The client opening the file or device is session aware and per session access is validated if necessary.

Note   The FILE_SESSION_AWARE flag is available starting withWindows 8.

 

EaBuffer [in, optional]

For device and intermediate drivers, this parameter must be a NULL pointer.

EaLength [in]

For device and intermediate drivers, this parameter must be zero.

Return value

ZwCreateFile returns STATUS_SUCCESS on success or an appropriate NTSTATUS error code on failure. In the latter case, the caller can determine the cause of the failure by checking the IoStatusBlock parameter.

Note  ZwCreateFile might return STATUS_FILE_LOCK_CONFLICT as the return value or in the Status member of the IO_STATUS_BLOCK structure that is pointed to by the IoStatusBlock parameter. This would occur only if the NTFS log file is full, and an error occurs while ZwCreateFile tries to handle this situation.

Remarks

ZwCreateFile supplies a handle that the caller can use to manipulate a file's data, or the file object's state and attributes. For more information, see Using Files in a Driver.

Once the handle pointed to by FileHandle is no longer in use, the driver must call ZwClose to close it.

If the caller is not running in a system thread context, it must ensure that any handles it creates are private handles. Otherwise, the handle can be accessed by the process in whose context the driver is running. For more information, see Object Handles.

There are two alternate ways to specify the name of the file to be created or opened with ZwCreateFile:

  1. As a fully qualified pathname, supplied in the ObjectName member of the input ObjectAttributes.

  2. As pathname relative to the directory file represented by the handle in the RootDirectory member of the input ObjectAttributes.

Setting certain flags in the DesiredAccess parameter results in the following effects:

  • For a caller to synchronize an I/O completion by waiting for the returned FileHandle, the SYNCHRONIZE flag must be set. Otherwise, a caller that is a device or intermediate driver must synchronize an I/O completion by using an event object.

  • If the caller sets only the FILE_APPEND_DATA and SYNCHRONIZE flags, it can write only to the end of the file, and any offset information about write operations to the file is ignored. The file will automatically be extended as necessary for this type of operation.

  • Setting the FILE_WRITE_DATA flag for a file also allows the caller to write beyond the end of the file. Again, the file is automatically extended as necessary.

  • If the caller sets only the FILE_EXECUTE and SYNCHRONIZE flags, it cannot directly read or write any data to the file using the returned FileHandle. That is, all operations on the file occur through the system pager in response to instruction and data-access operations. Device and intermediate drivers should not set the FILE_EXECUTE flag.

The ShareAccess parameter determines whether separate threads can access the same file, possibly simultaneously. Provided that both callers have the appropriate access privileges, the file can be successfully opened and shared. If the original caller of ZwCreateFile does not specify FILE_SHARE_READ, FILE_SHARE_WRITE, or FILE_SHARE_DELETE, no other caller can open the file—that is, the original caller is granted exclusive access.

To successfully open a shared file, the DesiredAccess flags must be compatible with the DesiredAccess and ShareAccess flags of all the previous open operations that have not yet been released through . That is, the DesiredAccess specified to ZwCreateFile for a given file must not conflict with the accesses that other openers of the file have disallowed.

The CreateDisposition value FILE_SUPERSEDE requires that the caller have DELETE access to a existing file object. If so, a successful call to ZwCreateFile with FILE_SUPERSEDE on an existing file effectively deletes that file, and then recreates it. This implies that, if the file has already been opened by another thread, it opened the file by specifying a ShareAccess parameter with the FILE_SHARE_DELETE flag set. Note that this type of disposition is consistent with the POSIX style of overwriting files.

The CreateDisposition values FILE_OVERWRITE_IF and FILE_SUPERSEDE are similar. If ZwCreateFile is called with a existing file and either of these CreateDisposition values, the file will be replaced.

Overwriting a file is semantically equivalent to a supersede operation, except for the following:

  • The caller must have write access to the file, rather than delete access. This implies that, if the file has already been opened by another thread, it opened the file with the FILE_SHARE_WRITE flag set in the input ShareAccess.

  • The specified file attributes are logically ORed with those already on the file. This implies that, if the file has already been opened by another thread, a subsequent caller of ZwCreateFile cannot disable existing FileAttributes flags but can enable additional flags for the same file. Note that this style of overwriting files is consistent with MS-DOS, Microsoft Windows 3.1, and OS/2.

The FILE_DIRECTORY_FILE CreateOptions value specifies that the file to be created or opened is a directory. When a directory file is created, the file system creates an appropriate structure on the disk to represent an empty directory for that particular file system's on-disk structure. If this option was specified and the given file to be opened is not a directory file, or if the caller specified an inconsistent CreateOptions or CreateDisposition value, the call to ZwCreateFile will fail.

The FILE_NO_INTERMEDIATE_BUFFERING CreateOptions flag prevents the file system from performing any intermediate buffering on behalf of the caller. Specifying this flag places the following restrictions on the caller's parameters to other ZwXxxFile routines.

  • Any optional ByteOffset passed to ZwReadFile or ZwWriteFile must be a multiple of the sector size.

  • The Length passed to ZwReadFile or ZwWriteFile must be an integral of the sector size. Note that specifying a read operation to a buffer whose length is exactly the sector size might result in a lesser number of significant bytes being transferred to that buffer if the end of the file was reached during the transfer.

  • Buffers must be aligned in accordance with the alignment requirement of the underlying device. To obtain this information, call ZwCreateFile to get a handle for the file object that represents the physical device, and pass that handle to ZwQueryInformationFile. For a list of the system's FILE_XXX_ALIGNMENT values, see DEVICE_OBJECT.

  • Calls to ZwSetInformationFile with the FileInformationClass parameter set to FilePositionInformation must specify an offset that is a multiple of the sector size.

The FILE_SYNCHRONOUS_IO_ALERT and FILE_SYNCHRONOUS_IO_NONALERT CreateOptions flags, which are mutually exclusive as their names suggest, specify that all I/O operations on the file will be synchronous—as long as they occur through the file object referred to by the returned FileHandle. All I/O on such a file is serialized across all threads using the returned handle. If either of these CreateOptions flags is set, the SYNCHRONIZE DesiredAccess flag must also be set—to compel the I/O manager to use the file object as a synchronization object. In these cases, the I/O manager keeps track of the current file-position offset, which you can pass to ZwReadFile and ZwWriteFile. Call ZwQueryInformationFile or ZwSetInformationFile to get or set this position.

If the CreateOptions FILE_OPEN_REPARSE_POINT flag is not specified and ZwCreateFile attempts to open a file with a reparse point, normal reparse point processing occurs for the file. If, on the other hand, the FILE_OPEN_REPARSE_POINT flag is specified, normal reparse processing does not occur and ZwCreateFile attempts to directly open the reparse point file. In either case, if the open operation was successful, ZwCreateFile returns STATUS_SUCCESS; otherwise, the routine returns an NTSTATUS error code. ZwCreateFile never returns STATUS_REPARSE.

The CreateOptions FILE_OPEN_REQUIRING_OPLOCK flag eliminates the time between when you open the file and request an oplock that could potentially allow a third party to open the file and get a sharing violation. An application can use the FILE_OPEN_REQUIRING_OPLOCK flag on ZwCreateFile and then request any oplock. This ensures that an oplock owner will be notified of any subsequent open request that causes a sharing violation.

In Windows 7, if other handles exist on the file when an application uses the FILE_OPEN_REQUIRING_OPLOCK flag, the create operation will fail with STATUS_OPLOCK_NOT_GRANTED. This restriction no longer exists starting with Windows 8.

If this create operation would break an oplock that already exists on the file, then setting the FILE_OPEN_REQUIRING_OPLOCK flag will cause the create operation to fail with STATUS_CANNOT_BREAK_OPLOCK. The existing oplock will not be broken by this create operation.

An application that uses the FILE_OPEN_REQUIRING_OPLOCK flag must request an oplock after this call succeeds, or all subsequent attempts to open the file will be blocked without the benefit of normal oplock processing. Similarly, if this call succeeds but the subsequent oplock request fails, an application that uses this flag must close its handle after it detects that the oplock request has failed.

Note  The FILE_OPEN_REQUIRING_OPLOCK flag is available in Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and later Windows operating systems. The Microsoft file systems that implement this flag in Windows 7 are NTFS, FAT, and exFAT.

The CreateOptions flag FILE_RESERVE_OPFILTER allows an application to request a Level 1, Batch, or Filter oplock to prevent other applications from getting share violations. However, FILE_RESERVE_OPFILTER is only practically useful for Filter oplocks. To use it, you must complete the following steps:

  1. Issue a create request with CreateOptions of FILE_RESERVE_OPFILTER, DesiredAccess of exactly FILE_READ_ATTRIBUTES, and ShareAccess of exactly FILE_SHARE_READ | FILE_SHARE_WRITE | FILE_SHARE_DELETE.

    • If there are already open handles, the create request fails with STATUS_OPLOCK_NOT_GRANTED, and the next requested oplock also fails.

    • If you open with more access or less sharing will also cause a failure of STATUS_OPLOCK_NOT_GRANTED.

  2. If the create request succeeds, request an oplock.

  3. Open another handle to the file to do I/O.

Step three makes this practical only for Filter oplocks. The handle opened in step 3 can have a DesiredAccess that contains a maximum of FILE_READ_ATTRIBUTES | FILE_WRITE_ATTRIBUTES | FILE_READ_DATA | FILE_READ_EA | FILE_EXECUTE | SYNCHRONIZE | READ_CONTROL and still not break a Filter oplock. However, any DesiredAccess greater than FILE_READ_ATTRIBUTES | FILE_WRITE_ATTRIBUTES | SYNCHRONIZE will break a Level 1 or Batch oplock and make the FILE_RESERVE_OPFILTER flag useless for those oplock types.

NTFS is the only Microsoft file system that implements FILE_RESERVE_OPFILTER.

Callers of ZwCreateFile must be running at IRQL = PASSIVE_LEVEL and with special kernel APCs enabled.

Note  If the call to this function occurs in user mode, you should use the name "NtCreateFile" instead of "ZwCreateFile".

Requirements

Version

Available starting with Windows 2000.

Header

Wdm.h (include Wdm.h, Ntddk.h, or Ntifs.h)

Library

Ntoskrnl.lib

IRQL

PASSIVE_LEVEL (see Remarks section)

DDI compliance rules

PowerIrpDDis, HwStorPortProhibitedDDIs

See also

ACCESS_MASK
DEVICE_OBJECT
IO_STATUS_BLOCK
InitializeObjectAttributes
ZwOpenFile
ZwClose
ZwReadFile
ZwQueryInformationFile
ZwSetInformationFile
ZwWriteFile

 

 

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