How Windows 95 Resolves Shortcut Links

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Article ID: 128932 - View products that this article applies to.
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Summary

A shortcut is a link to a Windows Explorer shell object that is used to access that shell object without creating an actual copy of the object. You can create shortcuts for any items that you use often, including files, folders, disk drives, other computers, or printers.

If you create a shortcut to an object and the name or location of that object then changes, Windows 95 automatically attempts to update, or resolve, the shortcut the next time you try to use it. The process of resolving a shortcut works for shortcuts that reference an object on your local computer, as well as for shortcuts that reference an object on another computer on the network, although resolution of a network shortcut may be restricted by the access rights that you have on the remote computer.

This article describes the process that Windows 95 uses to resolve local and network shortcuts.

More information

Local Shortcuts

Windows 95 uses the following process to resolve local shortcuts:
  1. Windows 95 looks for the object in the static location specified in the shortcut. This location, along with all the other properties for that shortcut, are stored in a corresponding .LNK file and can be viewed by using the right mouse button to click the shortcut and then clicking Properties on the menu that appears.

    The static location is specified using the standard drive and directory path naming convention. For example,
    C:\WINDOWS\FILENAME.EXT
  2. If the object is not found in the static location, Windows 95 looks in the same target directory for an object that has the same creation time and attributes as the original object, but a different name. This logic allows Windows 95 to find the object if it is in the same location as it was originally, but has been renamed.
  3. Windows 95 then searches the subdirectories of the original target directory for an object with the same name or creation time as the original object. If no such object is found, Windows 95 proceeds with a recursive search of the original target drive for an object that meets one of these criteria. If a matching object is found, a dialog box is displayed, allowing you to verify that the found object is in fact the correct object.

    NOTE: Only the original target drive is searched. For example, if the shortcut originally referenced an object on local drive C, only drive C is searched for an object with the same name or creation time as the original object. No other local drives are searched.
  4. Finally, if Windows 95 is unable to find the object using the methods described above, a dialog box is displayed in which you must enter the correct location and name of the object.

Network Shortcuts

If you attempt to open a shortcut that references an object on another computer on the network, and that object cannot be found at the static location specified in the shortcut, Windows 95 attempts to resolve that shortcut using a process similar to that described above. However, the following additional considerations should be taken into account when Windows 95 attempts to resolve a network shortcut:
  • For network shortcuts, the static location may be specified using a Universal Naming Convention (UNC) name, rather than the standard drive and directory path naming convention. For example, the location might look like "\\REMOTE_COMPUTER\WINDOWS\FILENAME.EXT."
  • Windows 95 searches the subdirectories of the original target directory only if you have access to those subdirectories. If the target computer uses share-level security, you have access to all the subdirectories of the target directory, assuming that you have access to the target directory itself. If the target computer uses user-level security, you may not have access to subdirectories of the target directory.
  • When it is performing a recursive search of the original target drive, Windows 95 starts from the original target directory and moves up the directory tree to the highest parent directory that it has access to. This parent directory essentially becomes the root directory of the recursive search, as Windows 95 searches all subdirectories of this directory that you have access to.

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Article ID: 128932 - Last Review: October 24, 2013 - Revision: 3.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Windows 95
Keywords: 
kbnosurvey kbarchive KB128932

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