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BC and Hardlinks, Junctions, Reparse Points etc.

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  • BC and Hardlinks, Junctions, Reparse Points etc.

    Hallo everyone!

    I am currently setting my system from scratch on new hardware. (WinXpPro)
    I have always made heavy use of links since it helps not having to navigate folder trees all the time.
    With the new huge harddisk drives, however, even small lnk files take up space (sector size).
    So I am planning to use hardlinks and junctions this time -- all partitions are NTFS anyway.
    The very limited experience that I already have with this seems to indicate that BC (ver2 in my case) can perfectly handle the trick and shows those hardlinks as non-existent.

    So here is my question:
    Is there anything concerning BC that would speak against the use of hardlinks and junctions?
    Any potential risks involved?
    Since Windows7 RC seems to use these features internally, it may be worthwhile to comment on this topic in principle with a sticky note.

    thanks for your answers
    Wolf

  • #2
    Not an answer to your question, I know, but thought I'd mention it. Sometimes I create a small patition with a tiny sector size specifically for collections of small files I may have. It can sometimes free up gigs of space for use in your main partition. A free partitioning tool is available here:

    http://www.partition-tool.com/personal.htm
    BC v4.0.7 build 19761
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    • #3
      Hello,

      BC3 will use the same copy method as Windows Explorer / My Computer. This will copy what the Junctions/Hard Links point to, and not just the link file. Please keep this in mind and test when using Junctions.
      Aaron P Scooter Software

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      • #4
        @Aaron: You are speaking about BC3 specifically - is BC2 different in that respect?
        Is there no one who has actually done this on a large scale (hardlinking etc.) and can share his experience?
        If so, I think, I am going to try. Will come back and report about possible pitfalls when I find the time.

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        • #5
          Hi Wolf,

          As long as you're using the latest release of BC2, version 2.53, it will just copy what the junction point links to. We don't use junction points on a large scale ourselves.
          Chris K Scooter Software

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          • #6
            Request for option to ignore junctions

            Please consider an option to ignore junctions globally.

            I have a 40GB hard disk (it's actually a virtual HDD, but that's not relevant here) that I use to store files that rarely change (e.g., fonts, clipart, data files for reference programs such as encyclopedias and dictionaries). I back up this disk less frequently than my main 100GB work disk (also a virtual HDD). However, so that I can seamlessly work off of my main HDD, I've created a junction under C:\Program Files (x86) [I use Win7] to the directories on the "static" disk. I'd like to be able to various create BC3 comparisons between my main HDD and its backup drive (I do file backups as well as backing up the VHD's) without having to remember to always exclude the static HDD junctions -- otherwise I may inadvertently copy (or worse, delete) many gigabytes of data (over a LAN no less).

            John Land

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            • #7
              Thanks, John. I've added your suggestion to our Customer Wishlist entry on symlink handling ideas.
              Aaron P Scooter Software

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              • #8
                Can you please bump "ignore symlinks" to a high priority? I just found out that under Windows 7 (x64), the OS created directory "ProgramData" has an OS created symlink at "C:\Users\All Users" -- I've been comparing and syncing about 1.3GB of data unnecessarily.

                It *does* appear that at least *some* junctions are ignored by BC3; for example, "C:\Users\Default User" is a junction to "C:\Users\Default", but only the target of the junction is copied to my backup.

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                • #9
                  Hello John,

                  Please use Filters to exclude those folders to prevent them from syncing. Symlink handling is on our wishlist, but the schedule for 3.2 is pretty full and it is not a scheduled enhancement.

                  For the junctions that are ignored, that is because it is denying access. Some folders, such as Default User, will let you navigate in them if you specify a specific path, but if you simply try to transfer the root folder itself, it'll reject that action.

                  Update: to clarify, we are not doing anything special for the symlinks that are not transferring. We are probably getting Access Denied errors preventing the copy.
                  Last edited by Aaron; 03-Dec-2009, 02:22 PM. Reason: Update
                  Aaron P Scooter Software

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                  • #10
                    I understand that your plate is full, but please consider this a priorty for the next rev after 3.2 -- because Win7 uses junctions a LOT, plus symlinks. Having to manually filter out symlinks and junctions for all ad hoc comparisons and syncs is tedious and error prone.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by JohnFLand View Post
                      I understand that your plate is full, but please consider this a priorty for the next rev after 3.2 -- because Win7 uses junctions a LOT, plus symlinks. Having to manually filter out symlinks and junctions for all ad hoc comparisons and syncs is tedious and error prone.
                      I am having the same concern on linux. Filtering would be fine if we could filter on all symlinks (hard or soft).

                      We certainly need a way to keep BC3 from following links. If there was any painless way to make links = files with no particular significance, wow, that would be a big, great improvement. Please.

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                      • #12
                        I too would urge putting "ignore junction points" high on the list of features to add.

                        Not being able to ignore symlinks causes looping e.g.:
                        05/12/2010 12:30:05 Unable to load C:\Windows.old\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Application Data\Favorites: The name of the file cannot be resolved by the system

                        Aaron said to use filters. How do you use filters to filter out Junctions? I couldn't find out how.

                        TIA

                        Brian

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                        • #13
                          Hello Brian,

                          You can use file name filters to filter out specific locations. We also have an option in the BC3.2 beta called "Follow symbolic links" which should help avoid the loop you are running into. You can install the beta as an upgrade, or as a Portable Install to your desktop.
                          http://www.scootersoftware.com/download.php?zz=beta32

                          How does that work for you?
                          Aaron P Scooter Software

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