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I am sitting in front of a Windows 7 machine that has no drive Q:.

Is it possible to arrange for accesses to Q:\somedir to be redirected to an arbitrary location on the existing filesystems (for example, C:\Windows)? I would especially like a "set it and forget it" option, if one exists.

I am assuming (although I have not tried it) that it is possible to use SUBST to mount an existing (empty, created for this purpose) folder as drive Q: and then MKLINK /J to create a directory symbolic link from Q:\somedir to wherever I want. However, this approach has a couple of drawbacks that I would like to avoid if possible:

  1. The drive Q: will be visible in the system.
  2. It is not as clean as I would like (removing the mounted folder will break it; a batch script needs to be manually added to the system startup).

Is there a better option? If there is none and I am forced to make compromises, what is the closest I could get to the ideal solution? Assume anything is up for discussion.

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I don't understand why you want Q:\somedir to be visible, yet don't want Q:\ to be visible. – rob Jun 29 '13 at 19:58
I tried what you said with SUBST and I could not CD through the symbolic link, but was able to from the SUBST'ed drive directly. – LawrenceC Jun 29 '13 at 20:05
@rob: I would be fine with none of them being visible. My aim is to arrange for a suite of programs to look in Q:\somedir (which is possible but tedious) and allow the user to easily configure what the programs really look at by redirecting Q:\somedir (which will hopefully be much easier). I would prefer to redirect through something like Q:\{insert-guid-here} so that I have a very good chance of not stepping on any existing filesystem's toes. – Jon Jun 29 '13 at 21:02
@Jon I'm still not sure I understand. it sounds like you expect it to be accessible by your program without being visible on the filesystem. Is there a filesystem on some other platform which does what you want? – rob Jun 30 '13 at 22:03
@rob: Not really, which is why I am OK with something "close enough". Although to be frank by now I have turned towards other types of solution to my original problem. – Jon Jun 30 '13 at 23:33

Would fsutil hardlink do what you need?

Not sure if you make a hardlink from a SUBST'ed drive but you might be able to use an empty folder elsewhere in the filesystem.

A shame Windows doesn't have mount --bind like Linux.

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I have not used fsutil hardlink in the past, but AFAIK hardlinks are only possible on files, not directories (the closest equivalent for directories being reparse points, mklink /j). – Jon Jun 29 '13 at 21:07

You can't mount Q:\Somedir to a location, but it is possible to mount Q:\ somewhere such that it is accessible but does not show up as Q:\, like C:\mysecret.

You need to open Disk Management and Change the Drive Letters and Paths. You'd want to select your Q:\ drive, unassign Q:\, and then assign it a path instead. This will cause the partition to be mounted at the path you designate instead of at the Q:\ drive.

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Unfortunately that's not what I am looking for, what I want to mount is not a partition but a directory. – Jon Jun 29 '13 at 22:09

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