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When I move or delete the target of a shortcut and click the shortcut afterwards windows kindly starts searching and guessing.

How to disable this on Windows Server 2003? I'd prefer a quick error condition.

How to do the same on windows xp, maybe there is no difference?

Edit: For windows shortcuts see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbolic_link#Microsoft_Windows

Windows shortcuts maintain their connection even when the target is moved, unlike symbolic links. Windows XP will search for a broken link's target before offering to delete it.

Edit2: From the accepted answer:

Quoted from http://www.tomstricks.com/how-to-disable-the-ntfs-file-system-tracking-of-broken-shortcut-links-in-windows/ :

Navigate to this registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Policies\Explorer

Add a new DWORD value and name it NoResolveTrack, set the value to 1.

Will only be effective after the next reboot. Applies only to target files on NTFS partitions. FAT partitions do not have this ID tracking and search capability.

You can also do this for NTFS at a Group Policy level by selecting Do not use the tracking-based method when resolving shell shortcuts in the UserConfiguration\AdministrativeTemplates\Start Menu & Taskbar group policy branch.

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2 Answers 2

up vote 2 down vote accepted

How To: Disable The NTFS File System Tracking Of Broken Shortcut Links In Windows.

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this link is even much better than the ss64.com link from the other answer –  Glen S. Dalton May 22 '10 at 11:54

I found this: http://ss64.com/nt/shortcut.html

Shortcut: NTFS file system tracking

If a shortcut to a file breaks because the destination file has moved, then by default Windows will attempt to automatically locate the shortcut destination by performing a search (this only applies to NTFS partitions). To turn this off - add a DWORD value of 1 to the registry:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer NoResolveTrack=1
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