Programming Considerations (Local File Systems)

Keep the following programming considerations in mind when working with symbolic links:

  • Symbolic links can point to a non-existent target.

  • When creating a symbolic link, the operating system does not check to see if the target exists.

  • If an application tries to open a non-existent target, ERROR_FILE_NOT_FOUND is returned.

  • Symbolic links are reparse points. For more information, see Determining Whether a Directory Is a Mounted Folder.

  • There is a maximum of 63 reparse points (and therefore symbolic links) allowed in a particular path.

    Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP: There is a limit of 31 reparse points on any given path.

Hard Links and Junctions