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I'm trying to create a directory symbolic link under Windows Server 2003 but I'm not having any luck.

I've tried junction.exe (Sysinternals), ln.exe, and linkd.exe (Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit).

I'd like c:\folder\subfolder to link to \fileserver\realSubfolder

This works perfectly fine under Windows 7 (using mklink.exe) but I can't get this to work under Windows Server 2003.

Can anybody help me out?

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Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP are very similar, so maybe some of these will help: stackoverflow.com/questions/90121/symlink-in-windows-xp –  RobinJ Nov 8 '11 at 18:19

3 Answers 3

You can't. Directory symlinks were introduced in Windows Vista. The closest analog is directory reparse points (aka junctions), which the Systinternals Junction tool you referenced can create.

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Are you sure? I'm looking at the Sysinternals page for Junction.exe (technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896768) and it says that "Windows 2000 and higher supports directory symbolic links"? –  SofaKng Nov 8 '11 at 20:18
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I think that's just a conflict in terminology. Reparse points used to be the closest thing Windows had to symbolic links, until they added a new feature actually called symbolic links in Vista. See en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Symbolic_link#Microsoft_Windows –  Chris Smith Nov 9 '11 at 14:09

Junctions won't support UNC paths. It only resolves for local paths.

Junctions are a subset of reparse points, so the same restriction applies also.

Starting with Vista, you can create symlinks, which will resolve to a remote path. They will even let you daisy chain symlinks with remote paths.

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Maybe the problem is that the group policy doesn't allow you to use directory symbolic links on network paths, for security reasons.

Check it here: Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\NTFS File System\Selectively Allow The Evaluation Of A SymbolicLink

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