Windows 10: Are Hardlinks Always Better than Shortcuts? If so, why use shortcuts?

  1.    30 Jun 2018 #1

    Are Hardlinks Always Better than Shortcuts? If so, why use shortcuts?


    This question must have been answered already but I couldn't seem to find it. Maybe it's just too simple of a question. Sorry if this is the case because I'm not an IT guy and some of my questions seems very newbish.

    Should I always use hardlinks instead of shortcuts?

    If I use shortcuts, if the target folder or file is moved, the shortcut gets busted and I don't know where the new target went.

    However, if I use hardlinks, even if I move the target folder or file, the link still remains intact.

    So, is there a reason why I should never use hardlinks all the time?
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  2.    30 Jun 2018 #2

    Shortcuts can do things that hard links cannot.

    Hard links only work within a physical volume. You can make a shortcut to another local drive, to an external drive, or even to a network location.

    In Windows, hard links only work with an NTFS volume. Shortcuts work with any file system.

    Shortcuts provide further options. Look in the shortcut properties for the details.
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  3. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 5,403
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       30 Jun 2018 #3

    What I saw on a Search of the Internet about hard links was more references to Linux and Unix than Windows.
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  4. lehnerus2000's Avatar
    Posts : 1,781
    W7 Ultimate SP1 (64 bit), LM 18.3 MATE (64 bit), W10 Home 1703 (64 bit), W10 Pro 1703 (64 bit) VM
       30 Jun 2018 #4

    Berton said: View Post
    What I saw on a Search of the Internet about hard links was more references to Linux and Unix than Windows.
    Linux Distros tend to use a lot of Hard Links.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    22 Jul 2018 #5

    But if I keep the hard links within one physical volume, would hard links always be "better". I hate shortcuts because when you move a folder, you always get these busted shortcuts and have to figure out where the original file or folder was moved to. AND, then make a new shortcut for it. It take a lot of time.

    What if you copy a volume that has hard links to another local drive, would the new copied hard links now point to the file or folder that has been copied to the new local drive?

    Thank you for any info you can provide. I just want to do something to save myself time. I get so many busted shortcuts all the time because I use shortcuts all the time.

    LMiller7 said: View Post
    Shortcuts can do things that hard links cannot.

    Hard links only work within a physical volume. You can make a shortcut to another local drive, to an external drive, or even to a network location.

    In Windows, hard links only work with an NTFS volume. Shortcuts work with any file system.

    Shortcuts provide further options. Look in the shortcut properties for the details.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6. Berton's Avatar
    Posts : 5,403
    Win10 Home and Pro, Win10 Insider Preview, WinXP Home Premium, Linux Mint
       22 Jul 2018 #6

    The issue usually is in the Properties of a Shortcut, example of a simple shortcut for checking the version of Win10:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    It has to do with the 'path' to the file involved, usually an .exe/Executable that runs the program. Break that path such as in moving the Folder containing the .exe file will result in a generic icon usually unclickable. The shortcut has to either be recreated or have the Properties edited to show the new location for that .exe file.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 

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