Shortcut "Target" and "Start in" strings CHANGED?!

Posted on 2006-07-01
Last Modified: 2013-11-15

I copied a customized Start Menu heirarchy from one XP Pro computer to another.  And was I surprised to see the following change:

Original "Target"
"C:\Program Files\Commence\commence.exe"

"Target" after copied to second computer
"\\Zd8000\c$\Program Files\Commence\commence.exe"

The original computer's Name is ZD8000-  However, WHAT is happening here?  What causes it to change "C:\" to "\\zd8000\c$"??  I can see what it is trying to do - I just don't get HOW or WHY it is doing this.  

1) What mechanism is causing this to happen?
2) How can I prevent this - or
3) How can I globally replace  "\\zd8000\c$" on the new computer for all occurences in the Start Menu path?

Supporting links explaining this would be appreciated.

With Regards-
Question by:SAbboushi
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 17024270
Have you tried:
- Rar the files using Then unrar to other computer.
- or xxcopy the files instead of using Windows Explorer er copy command which may change the shortcut properties to point to the ORIGINAL LOCATION (that's why you're getting the network path instead of C:\)
LVL 85

Accepted Solution

oBdA earned 300 total points
ID: 17024355
That happens because a shortcut always contains the original location (you can open them in notepad; it's a binary file, but you'll still see the computer name in it).
To disable the search for the original, start gpedit.msc (or create a GPO in an AD environment), go to User Configuraton\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Windows Explorer, and enable "Do not track Shell shortcuts during roaming".
There are two more policies under User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Start Menu and Taskbar, "Do not use the search-based method when resolving shell shortcuts" and "Do not use the tracking-based method when resolving shell shortcuts"; if the first policy isn't enough, enable those two as well.

Author Comment

ID: 17024511
Thanks for the posts-

It strikes me as odd that the shortcut displays "C:\" instead of some environment variable in the shortcut.  How am I supposed to know which shortcuts are not "hardcoded" to a specific location?  I ask this because most of my shortcuts seem to be hardcoded (they came across to the other computer as "C:\").  So it seems that when creating shortcuts, there must be a CHOICE that I am unaware of for creating "hardcoded" shortcuts, or shortcuts that are setup for roaming?
I am in a workgroup and thought roaming is not an option outside of a domain environment - so this confuses me further.

oBdA: If I understood the Group Policy extended tab for "Do not track Shell shortcuts during roaming", it says that shortcuts "typically" contain the absolute path to the original target file as well as the relative path to the current target file.  It is unclear to me which is which in my case - because it seems the strings displayed in the "Target" and "Start in" fields do not tell me this / differ from what is contained in the .lnk file (i.e. I cannot tell if that C: is hardcoded or is a reference to the orginal target file).  Can you shed some more light on this for me?
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LVL 85

Expert Comment

ID: 17024541
I'm afraid I can't shed any more light on this, I only know the general behaviour and what to do against it, but I never bothered to look into the details.
When copying shortcuts under XP, and the target exists locally, usually the local path is used; could it be that the application on the target machine is not where it was on the source machine?
LVL 30

Assisted Solution

callrs earned 125 total points
ID: 17024552
SAbboushi: The rar worked. It only took a minute & the paths are as on the other computer: C:\
Try it.
LVL 30

Expert Comment

ID: 17024557
C:\ I believe is hard coded in to the shortcut file. But I suspect that when you use Windows to move the shortcut to a network drive, Windows has to tell the network drive shortcut exactly where the file that the shortcut points to IS. & so it changes the path to point to the network share.

But rar the Start Menu, and there's no altering the shortcuts -- you get duplicates, instead of changed.

Assisted Solution

engineer_dell earned 75 total points
ID: 17024716
Hi Sam,
When the system cannot find the file in the current target path, then, by default, it searches for the target in the original path. If the shortcut has been copied to a different computer, the original path might lead to a network computer, including external resources, such as an Internet server.

If you enable this policy, Windows only searches the current target path (in your case it is C:\Program Files\Commence\commence.exe). It does not search for the original path (in your case it is \\Zd8000\c$\Program Files\Commence\commence.exe) even when it cannot find the target file in the current target path.

Note: it means only when system can not find the file in current path then it searches original path.

how to create shell shortcuts
Create shortcuts as you want,

Hope this helps,

Author Comment

ID: 17024758
Thanks everyone - much appreciated.

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