Last Updated May 2, 2014
It all started 15 years ago with a small project, just to play a bit with explorer and hardlinks. Over the years it grew
into a project which reassembles a
NTFS swiss army knife.
It handles not just Hardlinks, but Junctions, Symbolic Links and Mountpoints
and all the usecases one can do.
Unfortunatley Microsoft put Hardlinks, Junction and Symbolic Links primitives into the operating system but completley forgot the things which can be done with these primitives. As soon as you have used hardlinks, and e.g. wanted to copy them with Windows-means to a different drive, the mess would begin, because one would break all hardlinks during the copy. There are many other issues like this, and this is the point where LinkShellExtension and its commandline sibling ln.exe jump in.
But not only jump in, but also go ahead and implement uses cases, like the famous delorean copy, which is an incremental hardlink based backup solution. Some other vendors call very similar functionality Time Machine.... BTW: Have you ever guessed why it is called Delorean Copy? Knowing that a Delorean and a Flux Compensator was the first working time machine should give you a hint;-)
In the meantime I jumped deep into the Win32 filesystem API, sometimes deeper than it is allowed. LSE and ln.exe bypass the Kernel32 API in wide ranges and rely on Ntdll.dll to improve speed and do things which can't be done that easy otherwise.
I don't know how many times my tools have been downloaded, but Link Shell Extension and ln.exe are quite popular on many free/shareware download sites, like heise, CNet .... Both tools found its way also into many small articles of magazines and accompanying DVDs.
From the feedback and questions I received, I know that those two beasts are heavily used, even in semi-professional use cases and for sure hobbiest areas.
So .... enough said, use it have fun, be happy that these beasts save your time and celebrate!
Link Shell Extension
Creating and keeping many Delorean Copies in a Delorean Set is something which is fairly simple, and even when it comes
to deleting a specific Delorean Copy from a Delorean Set it is easy. Simply press delete in Explorer, or use the --deeppathdelete
option from ln.exe:
Wait! It is easy if a Delorean Copy contains not files with ReadOnly attributes. Otherwise it's getting sophisticated:
(Management summary: ln.exe --deeppathdelete can do it from 2.873 on)