Soft and Hard links in Windows

Blog Post created by cescamilla on Jan 6, 2011

Ever wondered (like I did) when migrating from Unix and Linux as to what happened to the Soft Links and Hard Links? Those little things were so useful to have the same file copied all over the place without having to sacrifice the space you would otherwise need to keep real copies of that file?


I do miss them, in fact, I miss them quite a lot.


I was sharing some files (from a network share, a simple, samba, windows share) and I wanted a program to be able to access those files as if they were local (think of it kind of what the PI Server needs in order to access the subfolders in its root directory) when I stumbled upon the problem that linking is not available in windows. As such I started experimenting with NTFS and having a blast at the way it is so underused, to my amazement, NTFS does support Linking files!


Afterwards I found a program called "Hardlink Shell Extension" (which you can find here: http://schinagl.priv.at/ *) and I played with it a bit. I realized that you can actually fool the operating system into liking windows shared files as normal files, this is useful for locking mechanisms, sharing media, video and data files, and a pletora of things. I wondered, could this be (mis)used  and fooling the PI Server into thinking that the PI Server is not in a share? Could it be a solution to have a shared folder running a cheap cluster? (note that there is no need for this since the PI Server has HA and it works great!) Could this be a solution to moving the configuration files into a single location in order to make editing easier?


I found a lot of questions but haven't tried everything that came to mind, however I would like to share this little tool with you, perhaps you find an interesting and useful way to use it.


Happy coding!




* please note that this is by no means endorsed by or supported by OSIsoft, Microsoft or any other party and that what is expressed here is the point of view of just one person