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exec ("dir") problem on WinXP

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PHP 4.3.11 on WinXP Pro 32bit

I am using [code]exec("dir pictures/$input /b/x",$pic);[/code] and then counting the number of files in $pic. $input = a product id number; this id number corresponds to a directory inside htdocs/pictures. Example, the widget is product numer 4. Pictures of the widget are in htdocs/pictures/4  I need to count the number of files in /4 and this code is returning my else command. Not what I want.

Strangly, I found that if I change code to [code]exec("dir $input /b/x",$pic);[/code] and move all the subdirectories of /pictures up one level to /htdocs (ie. widget pics are now htdocs/4) it frickin works ???

So, how is it that I can use "dir" shell cmd to list the files in a directory, but I CANNOT use dir to list the files inside a directory thats inside a directory? It works fine with ls on the current redhat server .... why not Windows?

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