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Get Link (.lnk) or Shortcut target *without* COM

I'm looking for a way to determine the properties, particularly the target, of a shortcut or lnk file.

I want to do this without using COM at all. My best lead so far is SHGetNewLinkInfo, but this seems to not do what I want, and I can't find any sibling functions.

Thanks for your time
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BTW, you'll find an unofficial documentation of the file format at
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Thanks for your very detailed response. I was hoping to avoid COM for a couple reasons, but it looks like that's the way to go regardless!

Thanks again
Not a way to go without COM, but a very detailed and accurate response. The link to the lnk file format was instructive (but ultimately not for me)