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I'm using Windows, and I want to use Dropbox to back up a folder outside my Dropbox directory. So I want to create a junction point from my target directory to my Dropbox folder. According to the NTFS Junction Point article on Wikipedia, also linked from the Dropbox answer:

Junction points can only link to directories on a local volume; junction points to remote shares are unsupported.

I am looking to link to a directory on networked attached storage, which would not be a local volume, I believe. What should I do?

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Adding it as a drive letter is not an option? – surfasb Sep 22 '11 at 23:40

2 Answers 2

The only thing you can do is create a symbolic link.

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I think Symbolic Links only work on Vista+, and I think the target system also needs to support them. – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Sep 22 '11 at 20:00
Ah, didn't notice he had specified the OS in the tag. AFAIK, there is no possible solution on Windows XP. – Zoredache Sep 22 '11 at 20:38
Also, symbolic links casn't be made to network drives, even if they have a local drive letter. – Hand-E-Food Sep 23 '11 at 0:31
@Zoredache, I gave it another go. I can't create a Junction to a network path. I can create a Symbolic Link to a network path or mapped drive, but I can only navigate it in Explorer. I can't use cd or dir on the link. It may work for Dropbox, I'm not sure. – Hand-E-Food Sep 23 '11 at 1:14
@Hand-E-Food: The reason you can't use cd or dir on a networked drive is because a symlink contain, literally, a path to its target. Since the cmd interpreter cannot handle UNC paths, it will fail. Try pushd \\UNCpath. – surfasb Sep 24 '11 at 22:32

You may be able to fake it with a combination of symbolic links and networking mapping with the subst and mklink tools, though obviously mklink is unavailable on Windows XP. This will work for user navigation purposes, but if software explicitly blocks network paths and checks for maps directing to them, it probably will detect this workaround and fail to traverse the directory in question.

mklink /D C:\Users\John\Dropbox\MyFakeFolder\ M:\

Since the symbolic link itself does not contain a UNC path, you will be able to navigate to this folder in the command line without any problems, etc.

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