Shortcuts inside shared folder don't work

By MetalX
Nov 20, 2012
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  1. Hey everyone,

    It's been years since I posted here but I'm back with a problem. I have recently set up a media server in my basement which houses all the movies, TV shows, etc that my housemates and I have collectively downloaded/ripped in the last several years. On the 2 TB drive inside this server, most of the movies are in one folder (D:\Movies) but a few movies are in another folder (D:\Other) for various reasons (mostly sorting). Using another compter on the network, in D:\Movies, we had created shortcuts to the movies in D:\Other so that they all appear in the same list despite being in different folders. These shortcuts used the following information:

    Target: "\\BJMServ-PC\2TB\Other\<movie file>"

    Start in: \\"BJMServ-PC\2TB\Other"

    Some computers (Win 7 and Win XP) on the network can use these shortcuts properly, and the movies open up without a hitch, while others (all Win 7/8, not sure if that's relevant) cannot use the shortcuts. On the machines where the shortcuts don't work, for some reason their "Target" line is BLANK and greyed out to prevent editing. My question is why do these shortcuts work on some machines (both the Win 7 used to create them, as well as another Win XP machine) with the target line reading "\\BJMServ-PC\2TB\Other\<movie file>", while on other machines the shortcuts don't work? Is there any way to fix them or should I just put all my movies in one folder to avoid needing shortcuts?

    I wanted to avoid putting all the movies in one folder because we have them separated by HD/SD among other things. Any response would be greatly appreciated and if any more information is required, please let me know and I will happily provide screenshots or other info.
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,026   +221

    this form requires that all systems resolve the BIOS names for all others on your LAN.

    try this:
    find the IP address of one target and create the link "\\theIPaddress\2TB\Other\<movie file>"

    if that's satisfactory, then you can create fixed addresses for any system that contains shared media
    by using the router Address Reservation; the tartget MAC address of the tcp nic is used to reserve a constant IP address for it.

    That then allows you to create shortcuts like \\theIPaddress\2TB\Other\<movie file>
  3. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 13,026   +221

    Another solution relies upon address reservation too but allows your existing links to be saved;

    go to \windows\system32\drivers\host
    use ATTRIB -R HOSTS to make the file editable
    run NOTEPAD HOSTS

    add a line for each system hosting media shares like
    IP.ADDRESS <space> BJMServ-PC​

    save & quit notepad
    COPY the HOSTS file to every system(a) wishing to access the media shares


    issue these on the (a) systems noted above (or just reboot) ;
    • ipconfig /flushdns
    • net stop "dns client"
    • net start "dns client"
    \\BJMServ-PC will now be found using the new content in the HOSTS file.

    (ps: this solution works on PCs, Macs & Linux)
  4. MetalX

    MetalX TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 1,909

    Thanks so much for your responses jobeard. I was hoping for a way to preserve the current shortcuts because there are over 100 of them so far. Modifying the HOSTS file is something I've not had a great deal of experience with thus far so thank for for making your instructions so detailed. As soon as I get home today I'll set it up and update my post with the results.


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