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NTFS Links

NTFS links — reparse, symbolic, hard, junction

http://waynes-world-it.blogspot.com/2008/06/ntfs-links-reparse-symbolic-hard.html

Reading through various Microsoft documents, it seems several terms have been adopted to describe methods of linking one NTFS object to another in different scenarios. I tried and couldn’t find a single description of the different methods; therefore below you’ll find my interpretation, mostly describing how they link to each other, and the tools available to manage the links.

Reparse Point File — user-defined data, interpreted by a file sytem filter, eg. RIS SIS, Microsoft RSS
Reparse Point Directory — Map a local folder to any other local folder on or across local volumes, eg c:\windows\temp mapped to c:\temp
Hard Link File — filesystem link linking one file to another, linking a file object to one or more directory entries.
NTFS Junction Point Directory -> Reparse Point Directory
Directory Symbolic Link -> NTFS Junction Point Directory
Volume Mount point -> Directory Symbolic Link mapping the root of one local volume to a folder in another local volume
Soft Link Directory -> NTFS Junction Point Directory -> Reparse Point Directory
NTFS Junction Point Files -> Reparse Point File
Symbolic Directory Links -> NTFS Junction Point Directory
Symbolic File Links Matching Unix symbolic link (soft link) functionality with absolute file, relative file in local -> local, local -> remote, remote -> local and remote -> remote combinations, available in Vista and 2008.
Tools to manage links:

linkd.exe (2000 resource kit) — Create NTFS Junction Points (the source directory must be empty)
mountvol.exe (2000 CD-rom) — Manage directory symbolic links deisnged to mount a volume (which may or may not have a drive letter already associated) bypassing 26 drive letter limitations
delrp.exe (2000 resource kit) — Delete NTFS junction points and other types of reparse points
junction.exe (sysinternals) — Create or delete NTFS Junction points (reparse points). Note that you can create a junction that maps a directory to a file target, it just doesn’t achieve much.
fsutil.exe hardlink (oem with XP/2003) — Create hard file links
fsutil.exe reparsepoint (oem with XP/2003) — Query or delete reparse points
mklink — Vista/2008 utility to create symbolic directory and file links, hard links and directory junctions
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