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I'm trying to create an NTFS hardlink over a network drive:

  • I'm using Windows an XP SP3 workstation
  • mapped drive F: over a Windows 7 Server with

    net use f: \\server\shared_folder

  • then I try

    fsutil hardlink create new_entry existing_file

That works locally on the server, but not when I try to do it over the network using the mapped drive (F:). The error shown is:

The FSUTIL utility needs a local NTFS drive

(or somewhat like that, my error message is in Spanish)

Is there any way to create the hardlink from the network share or should I access the physical server remotely every time I need to create a hardlink?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

You cannot create a hardlink to a remote drive, or even between two local drives. A hardlink must point from one point in a filesystem to another point in that exact same filesystem.

What you want is a symbolic link, which acts more like a shortcut, and can point to remote files or shares.

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yes, I'm aware that hardlinks only works over the same filesystem, but I wanted to create that hardlink over the same network filesystem. Symbolics links doesn't work for me, because the application program that uses the files apparently checks the directory entry of each linked file and reports them as "corrupt". – PabloG Oct 18 '12 at 14:45
@PabloG Ah, then no, you must simply create them remotely. Windows shares use a protocol called CIFS, which doesn't expose the ability to create hardlinks. Creating hardlinks requires knowing intimate data about the destination filesystem, and that could create security issues. – Darth Android Oct 18 '12 at 15:23
ok then, I'm going to use PsExec from SysInternals to run the fsutil command from any machine from the network, thx – PabloG Oct 18 '12 at 16:05
That article is wrong, although my previous comment wasn't quite right either. See… – Harry Johnston Oct 18 '12 at 21:36
See also and for examples that the distinction between SMB and CIFS is not entirely theoretical. – Harry Johnston Oct 18 '12 at 23:11

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