Will the annoyances never end?
Caution: This tip involves manipulation of the file system. While not inherently dangerous, care should be taken when dealing with the file system.
This little trick utilizes a little known feature of the NTFS file system. Users of Unix-like systems will be more familiar with it, but us Windows folk are just cluing into it.
Whenever you see a file in Windows Explorer, you're not actually looking at the file. You're looking at a little stub that points to where the file data is physically stored on the hard drive. That is called a hard link.
It's possible for a particular file to have many hard links pointing at it, that is to say: more than one hard link can point to the same spot on your hard drive.
Trouble is, there is no way to make new hard links through the Windows GUI. One must use the command line (though I'm working on a little tool that will allow creation through a friendlier GUI. Check back to see if I finished it.)
Here's what you do:
1. Open up the command shell (Start->Run type cmd then enter)
2. At the command line, type fsutil hardlink create NewFilename ExistingFilename (where NewFilename is the name of the new hard link and ExistingFilename is the name of the file that you want to point to)
fsutil hardlink create MyNewLink.txt MyExistingLink.txt
A few caveats:
1. Hard links cannot span volumes. That means that they can only point to files on the same drive or partition.
2. If you create a hardlink to a file and then delete the original file, the file still exists. In order to delete a file you must delete all hardlinks that point to it.