Post by Fokke Nauta
I have several pc's in our LAN, under which W7 pro 64b. On all pc's I
installed an application to play music. The music files are located on
the server, but each application has its own data catalogue files,
located in C:\Program Files (x86)\xxxxxxxx\Userdata. It has always costs
me some effort to synchronize all the data files.
Recently I discovered the symbolic link. The data files are now stored
on the server in E:\Files\xxxxxxxx\Userdata. The directories in all
other pc's, C:\Program Files (x86)\xxxxxxxx\Userdata, are replaced by a
symbolic link to the Userdata directory on the server.
All applications still think they have their own directory, but they now
share a common directory on the server. All works well and I was
pleasantly surprised by this possibility. Never used it before.
It's easy to create symbolic links and junctions with the utility called
Link Shellextension. You can find it on
Windows 7 comes with its own symlink tool: mklink.exe. It is a console
mode program, so no fancy GUI. Use "mklink /?" to get help. See:
Junction (aka reparse points) have been in Windows ever since the NTFS
file system was introduced. However, it was not until Windows 7 when
Microsoft finally added a user-mode tool to manage them. Before that
you had to do it programmatically, or use 3rd party tools, like Juntion
Link Magic by Rekenwonder (pretty old but then so are junction
definitions in NTFS). There are TONS of similar tools.
I'm not sure that Microsoft has yet provided a tool to *find* ALL
junctions. I don't know of one they included in a standard distro of
Windows (but I don't use server editions). Most 3rd party hard/soft
link tools don't scan, either, including your suggestion. For that I
use Nirsoft's NTFSLinksView. Windows itself had made use of junctions
and reparse points for a long time, so there are probably a lot more of
them than you know about. When I scan my Win 7 Home x64 system,
NTFSLinksView found 66429 of which a vast majority were for hard links
(where if you delete the link then you delete the file). When I
disabled the option to include hard links, it found 101 junctions
(directory links) and symbolic links (files). Only 1 is my definition.