Windows libraries are a neat feature. They allow you to centralize what would normally be a ton of shortcuts to folders. Plus, since Libraries show up in all Save/Save As dialogs, it makes accessing those shortcuts very simple. The problem is that if you try and add a UNC that is not indexed by your computer, you’ll get a message that looks like this:
You can get by this by mapping the drives, making them available offline (offline folder files), then adding the folders under that drive to the library. Problem is, if you have a really large share, then the file caching can kill your drive and performance. Plus, it’s a pain to keep the cached files all synced up.
Fixing with a Symbolic Link
So how do you add a network UNC to the Libraries. Easy, trick windows into thinking the location is indexed, then repoint it to the location you want added. To add a network link to your folder of choice:
- Create a folder in the location that you will eventually place the Symbolic Link. Name it whatever you want the symbolic link to be named.
- Link the folder to one of the libraries you’ve created, or a new library if you wish (To link the folder you just created, right click it, and select “Include in Library”, and either pick a folder or “Create New Library
- Delete the folder you created in step 1 (The link will still show up in Libraries)
- Now create a Symbolic Link named the same as the folder you just deleted (Instructions Below)
- That’s it
A symbolic link is simply a reference (A text string actually) that points the operating system to a path or file. They are just like shortcuts, but unlike shortcuts, they can be used as links for Libray’s. To create a Symbolic Link:
1) Open a Command Prompt as Administrator and enter the following command where:
/D forces the creation of a Directory Symbolic link
“FraggleRock’ represents the name you want the “Symbolic Link” called
stw-fs-01…. should be the path you want the Symbolic link pointing to.
That’s it. If you want to play around some more with Symbolic Links, here are the parameters for that command:
MKLINK [[/D] | [/H] | [/J]] Link Target
/D Creates a directory symbolic link. Default is a file symbolic link.
/H Creates a hard link instead of a symbolic link.
/J Creates a Directory Junction.
Link specifies the new symbolic link name.
Target specifies the path (relative or absolute) that the new link refers to.