As an IT administrator, understanding hard links on Windows can help make your system more efficient and secure. Hard links are a type of file system link that allows multiple files to reference the same data on a hard drive. By creating hard links, you can reduce the amount of space taken up on a drive and make it easier to copy and manage files. In this article, we’ll look at how to find hard links on Windows and how to use them.
What is a Hard Link?
A hard link is a type of file system link that allows multiple files to reference the same data on a hard drive. Hard links are different from symbolic links, which are also known as “soft” links. Symbolic links create a separate link in the file system that points to the original file, while hard links reference the original file directly.
The advantage of hard links is that they can save disk space. When a file is hard-linked, multiple files can share the same data on the disk. This means that if you need to make changes to a file, you only need to make them once. It also means that you can quickly and easily copy and move multiple files at once.
How to Find Hard Links on Windows
Finding hard links on Windows can be done with the help of a command line utility called “fsutil”. The fsutil utility is a built-in Windows command line tool that can be used to perform a variety of tasks. To find hard links on a drive, you’ll need to use the “hardlink” subcommand.
To use this command, open the command prompt and type:
fsutil hardlink list
fsutil hardlink list c:
When you press enter, the command will list all the hard links on the drive. It will also list the size of each hard link and the name of the file it is linked to.
Using Hard Links
Once you’ve found the hard links on a drive, you can use them to save disk space and make it easier to copy and move files. To create a hard link, you can use the “fsutil hardlink create” command. This command takes two parameters: the source file and the hard link you want to create.
For example, if you wanted to create a hard link to a file called “example.txt”, you would type:
fsutil hardlink create c:\\example.txt c:\\example_hardlink.txt
This would create a hard link to the file “example.txt” called “example_hardlink.txt”. The two files would now reference the same data on the disk.
Hard links are a useful tool for IT administrators on Windows. By creating hard links, you can reduce the amount of space taken up on a drive and make it easier to copy and move files. Finding hard links on Windows can be done with the help of the “fsutil” command line utility, and creating hard links is just as easy. Understanding and using hard links can help make your system more efficient and secure.