Updates from QA Training

Creating Mount Points and Links in Windows 2012

Do you find that you don’t have enough drive letters to connect to all your disks? Then creating mount points to those disks maybe your answer. Also Links allow you yo hide the identity and location of files.


Bryan O'Connor | 18 April 2013

Do you find that you don’t have enough drive letters to connect to all your disks? Then creating mount points to those disks maybe your answer. Also Links allow you yo hide the identity and location of files.

One of the courses I teach is the Microsoft Windows 2012 Installing and Configuring course, the Microsoft designation is the 20410B .

In the presentation, we look at configuring Mount Points and Links.

Mount Points

Mount points are used in Windows operating systems to make a portion of a disk or the entire disk useable by the operating system. Most commonly, mount points are associated with drive-letter mappings so that the operating system can gain access to the disk through the drive letter.

Since the Windows 2000 Server was first introduced, you have been able to enable volume mount points, which you can then use to mount a hard disk to an empty folder that is located on another drive. For example, if you add a new hard disk to a server, rather than mounting the drive using a drive letter, you can assign a folder name such as C:\datadrive to the drive. When you do this, any time you access the C:\datadrive folder, you are actually accessing the new hard disk.

Volume mount points can be useful in the following scenarios:

If you are running out of drive space on a server and you want to add disk space without modifying the folder structure. You can add the hard disk, and configure a folder to point to the hard disk.

If you are running out of available letters to assign to partitions or volumes. If you have several hard disks that are attached to the server, you may run out of available letters in the alphabet to which to assign drive letters. By using a volume mount point, you can add additional partitions or volumes without using more drive letters.

If you need to separate disk input/output (I/O) within a folder structure. For example, if you are using an application that requires a specific file structure, but which uses the hard disks extensively, you can separate the disk I/O by creating a volume mount point within the folder structure.

Links

Alinkis a special type of file that contains a reference to another file or directory in the form of an absolute or relative path. Windows supports the following two types of links:

A symbolic file link (also known as asoft link)

A symbolic directory link (also known as adirectory junction)

A link that is stored on a server share could refer back to a directory on a client that is not actually accessible from the server where the link is stored. Because the link processing is done from the client, the link would work correctly to access the client, even though the server cannot access the client.

Links operate transparently. Applications that read or write to files that are named by a link behave as if they are operating directly on the target file. For example, you can use a symbolic link to link to a Hyper-V parent virtual hard disk file (.vhd) from another location. Hyper-V uses the link to work with the parent virtual hard disk (VHD) as it would the original file. The benefit of using symbolic links is that you do not need to modify the properties of your differencing VHD.

Links are sometimes easier to manage than mount points. Mount points force you to place the files on the root of the volumes, whereas with links you can be more flexible with where you save files.

You can create links by using the mklink.exe command-line tool.

The demonstration is available at the BryanQA Youtube site

Bryan O'Connor

Senior Technical Instructor

Bryan O’Connor is a Senior Technical Instructor at QA, teaching VMware, Microsoft and CompTIA courses. In the past, Bryan has also been certified by Novell as a MCNI (Master Certified Novell Instructor). Bryan started in the world of IT in 1986 and has worked in a variety of roles ranging from PC support technician to Network design and consultancy, to Virtualisation consultant. At last count, Bryan held over 40 professional VMware, Microsoft, Novell and CompTIA certifications. Bryan has advised many large organisations on their IT and project management needs to allow them to benefit from the increase in productivity provided by computer systems. In addition to teaching, Bryan does a variety of jobs in QA, including supporting the sales staff and setting up the classrooms. Outside of QA, Bryan enjoys spending time with his wife Tracey and their two daughters Meagan and Jessica, unless there’s a grand prix on the TV when he enjoys paying Tracey, Meagan and Jessica to disappear for the day.
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