Strange strings in GCC compiled code

Russ Allbery
Tue Sep 7 16:21:00 GMT 1999

Nimar Arora <> writes:

> I recently downloaded and installed GCC-2.95 on Win95 and compiled the
> standard Hello World program. The program runs fine but after running
> 'strings' on the executable, a.exe, I found the following HTML tags
> which include private information like login name on Web mail servers.

I've not personally verified the following, but I've heard it a sufficient
number of times from sources I trust that I'm pretty confident it's the

Windows doesn't clear out blocks used by old files; it happily reuses them
with their data intact, just puts an end of file marker before the old
junk.  So it's quite common to see all sorts of random old data off your
disk end up at the end of various files.

If the above guess is right, it's a file system property, and there isn't
much gcc can do about it.  gcc isn't doing this intentionally.

Russ Allbery (         <URL: >

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