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Network Share Shortcut Changes to Folder

Posted on 2006-06-30
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Last Modified: 2011-09-20
Under "My Network Places" in the Windows XP file explorer I have many network share shortcuts.  These are great and I use them all the time.  They save time in many areas over having to map a drive.  However, it seems that over time these shortcuts turn into folders with the same name and a "target" shortcut to the share inside of the folder.  This is very annoying because I have to delete the folder and recreate the share.

Is there any way to prevent this behavior?

Also, in order to create the shortcut you have to actually open a file on the share.  Is there a way to create a network shortcut under My Network Places manually?

Darryl Allen
PayTech, Inc.
Greenwood Village CO
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Question by:Darryl Allen
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Expert Comment

by:Kenneniah
ID: 17018432
You can hit "Add a network place" then when it asks for the address use the UNC path.

You also don't even need to use Network Locations. You can make a folder anywhere you want, right-click in the empty space and go to New->Shortcut and type in the UNC path (\\server\share).
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Author Comment

by:Darryl Allen
ID: 17022661
Thank you, but why does it seem that an existing link times out or changes to a folder with the link inside?
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Expert Comment

by:javeedabdul
ID: 17026956
hmm
strange for me

but if you right click on the folder and go to properities and then change icon you can put what ever icon you want to it


but changing it self is strange.
i could or couldnt be virus. see when excatly is changing. just try find out what  are the changes  you did before after the icon had changed to folder

hope this get you an idea what u doing

cheers

javeedabdul
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Kenneniah
ID: 17027795
Because My Network Places isn't aren't standard folders. The automatically created shortcuts are based on how often you access different network resources. Windows creates, changes, and deletes these shortcuts at will. If you don't want them to change, you have to make the shortcuts yoruself.
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Author Comment

by:Darryl Allen
ID: 17031312
I figured it had something to do with not being used for a period of time, but the result is strange.  I can see it just going away, but to change into a folder with the link inside?  Very strange.  It doesn't just change the icon to a folder, it BECOMES a folder.  The behavior changes.

Anyhow, I'll try some of these tips.  Thank you.
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Expert Comment

by:Kenneniah
ID: 17042788
Ahh ok, I think I know what you are referring to now.
What you are seeing is how it is actually set up. Network Places is a special folder that Windows treats differently. Every single link to a network location, really is a folder with that target shortcut inside. What happens, is Windows translates this information, and presents you with what you are used to seeing. When you actually do see the folder with the shortcut inside, most likely Windows has tried to access that network location and couldn't. Ocassionally, even after the network connection is back, it stays in that form.
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Author Comment

by:Darryl Allen
ID: 17042803
Is there any way to change it back, or do you just have to delete it and recreate it?
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Expert Comment

by:Kenneniah
ID: 17043090
Probably delete and recreate. I've never liked the way My Network Places works, so I just use normal shortcuts and mapped drives.
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Expert Comment

by:Kenneniah
ID: 17043309
Right now I'm trying to figure out how exactly Windows treats those folders differently. If I can figure that out, I might be able to figure out a way of fixing them.
BTW, if you go to command prompt in C:\Documents and Settings\Username\NetHood
Then change directory into one of your shortcuts, you'll see what I mean about them all actually being folders with the shortcut inside.
Now to just find out why Windows translates some and not others. I'm trying to break one so I can play around with it at the moment.
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Accepted Solution

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Kenneniah earned 500 total points
ID: 17043532
Ok, figured it out LOL.
It's when the folder loses it's read-only attribute.
Go to a command prompt (Start|Run->cmd).
Then type....
cd \Documents and settings\yourusername\nethood
Then to fix a single folder....
attrib +R "folder name"
Where folder name is the name of the network location (c$ on pc15788) for example.

To fix them all....

attrib +R *.  /s /d
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Author Comment

by:Darryl Allen
ID: 17043672
I'll give that a try.  Any reason it loses its read-only attribute?
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Expert Comment

by:Kenneniah
ID: 17043830
No clue why unfortunately. It has to be some kind of bug with how Windows is accessing those folders. I can't think of any reason for Windows to mess around with the attribute. Wish I had a better answer, but I have no idea what's resetting the attribute.

I can tell you why the attribute matters though. Folders marked read-only (actually marked read-only using attrib etc, not the right-click, properties in exlplorer) are treated differently by Windows. It uses the registry info from HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Folder (which uses Idlist among other things to read the info from target.lnk) to determine how to open and explorer read-only folders. Normal non-read only folders use the info from HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Directory instead.
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Author Comment

by:Darryl Allen
ID: 17043862
Thanks for the info.  You have been very helpful.
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