Using Symbolic Links in Windows 7

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Using the mklink Command in Windows

The command that you need to use is mklink, which you’ll use from the command line. Just type it on the command line to see the options:
C:UsersJas>mklink
Creates a symbolic link.

MKLINK [[/D] | [/H] | [/J]] Link Target

        /D      Creates a directory symbolic link.  Default is a file
                symbolic link.
        /H      Creates a hard link instead of a symbolic link.
        /J      Creates a Directory Junction.
        Link    specifies the new symbolic link name.
        Target  specifies the path (relative or absolute) that the new link
                refers to.

For instance, if you wanted to make the folder C:UsersJasTest available from C:Test as well, you could use the following command.

C:mklink /D C:Test C:UsersJasTest
symbolic link created for C:Test <<===>> C:UsersJasTest

Now if you look in C:Test directory, you’ll see whatever files were in the other directory.

Understanding the Options.

MKLINK link target

Using the command without any extra options creates a soft link to a file.

/D creates a symbolic link, or a soft link.

This essentially acts like a shortcut to a folder in prior versions of Windows, except you don’t have to use an actual shortcut.

/H creates a hard link, which points directly to the file.

This option can’t be used for folders directly for some reason, you’ll have to use the next option.

/J creates a “Directory Junction”

A Directory Junction is actually just a hard link to a directory. This is a feature that existed prior to Vista as well. If you are trying to symlink to a directory using a hard link, then you should use this option.
Understanding Hard vs Soft Links

Hard Link

A hard link directly points to the file, and acts to the operating system as if it is the file itself. You’ll want to use this option the majority of the time if you are trying to fake an application’s directory.

Soft Link

A soft link is essentially a shortcut to a file or folder – if you are using Windows explorer, you’ll be redirected to the directory if you double-click on a shortcut, it won’t pretend its part of the filesystem. You can still directly reference or open a file with the symlinked path, and it mostly works.
Using Symlinks from a Network Share

One of the things that’s been extensively discussed is that you cannot use the Vista symlinks from another operating system (not surprising), but you cannot use them from a network share either. This is troublesome if you expect to use this feature on a web server or a file server.
Deleting Symlinks

To delete a symlink, you can just delete the link. Just make sure you don’t delete the original file.

How to upgrade Windows 7 Enterprise to Windows 7 Ultimate

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There is a way to upgrade Windows 7 Enterprise to Ultimate

Go to, Start, Run: and type: regedit.exe
Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindows NTCurrentVersion
Change the key : ProductName from "Windows 7 Enterprise” to “Windows Vista 7 Business”
Change the key: EditionID from "Enterprise" to “Business”
Do not restart
Now insert Windows 7 Ultimate CD and start upgrading (the option Upgrade will not be graded out anymore)

The same rule would also apply to Windows Vista too

How to install any version of Windows 7

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All DVD versions of Windows 7 contain the possibility to install all and any version of Windows 7, from Windows 7 Starter, Home Basic, Home Premium, Professional to Ultimate edition. Actually, the ability to select the version or edition of Windows 7 during setup installation, lies with a small configuration file named ei.cfg on the Windows 7 DVD, disc media or ISO image.

The content of the ei.cfg file, inside the “sources” folder of the DVD looks like below:

[EditionID]
Ultimate
[Channel]
Retail
[VL]
0

When ei.cfg does not exist, Windows 7 setup process will display a screen during Install Windows wizard to ask user to select the operating system (edition) to install. The selection of OS includes Windows 7 Starter, Windows 7 Home Basic, Windows 7 Home Premium, Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate. Thus, in order to be able to install any editions or install another different edition of Windows 7 without having to download ISO image or order a new DVD of Windows 7 with all SKUs enabled (allSKU version), use the following hack to delete or modify ei.cfg file.

  1. Download and install an disc image utility such as PowerISO or UltraISO to open the ISO image of Windows 7 DVD. If you own a physical DVD disc media, the similar tool allows you to rip the DVD to ISO or other image format too.Another alternative for user with Windows 7 DVD ISO image downloaded via torrent or from Internet is to extract all contents of the ISO image by using extraction tool such as WinRAR or 7-zip, or mount the ISO and copy contents to a folder.
  2. Browse to /sources/ folder.
  3. Locate ei.cfg file.
  4. Depending on preference, it’s possible to modify/edit or simply delete ei.cfg file, as explained below.

    Choice 1: Delete ei.cfg

    When ei.cfg is deleted, Windows 7 setup wizard will give user an option to select and choose which version (SKU) of operating system user wants to install during installation.

    Choice 2: Edit and Modify ei.cfg

    By modifying the EditionID section of ei.cfg by replacing Ultimate (or other edition specified there) with another edition, user can preset another edition SKU of Windows 7 that user want setup to install automatically. The Edition ID available for installation are as follow:
    Ultimate
    Professional
    Home Premium
    Home Basic
    Starter

    Save the ei.cfg after editing.

Hack to Upgrade Windows 7 From Beta or RC to RTM

cversion.ini

According to Microsoft, it is not possible to directly or in-place upgrade from Windows 7 Beta or RC build versions.  A few tweaks and enhancements have been introduced during the development process, which can enhance support of Windows Vista to Windows 7 build-to-build upgrade.

Download the Windows 7 ISO.

  1. Burn the Windows 7 ISO image to a DVD, and then copy and whole image to a storage location that you wish to run the upgrade from (can be either any directory/folder on any partition/drive on the machine running the pre-release build, or a bootable USB/FireWire flash drive).Alternatively, it’s possible to directly extract the content of the ISO to a desired folder using file extraction tool such as WinRAR.
  2. Browse to the sources directory.
  3. Open the file cversion.ini in a text editor such as Notepad.
  4. Modify the MinClient build number to a value lower than the down-level build. For example, change 7xxx to 7100.
  5. Save the file in original place and original name.
  6. Start the setup process of Windows 7 as per normal from the modified copy of the installation files, and the version check will be bypassed.

Install Windows 7 from a USB Drive

The steps for preparing the USB Disk. Launch Command Prompt with Administrator privileges. Next follow the steps below:

1. Run Diskpart
2. List Disk
3. Select Disk 1 (Replace 1 with number reflecting your USB Drive)
4. clean
5. create partition primary
6. active
7. format fs=fat32 quick
8. assign
Now, a drive letter reflecting the drive should appear.

Copy the bits from the DVD to the USB Stick.
If you get errors along the way, simply remove the drive and repeat the process.

Windows Home Server 120 day evaluation version

I have been using WHS while it was in beta and I have to say I love this product. On a technical perspective, there’s nothing new here. A trimmed version of Windows Server 2003 that you would find on a Windows Powered NAS. However, the interface is designed for home users. As we all know, backups are boring. WHS helps to take the pain away of manual backups. If you have a lot of digital data that you need to backup. I suggest you evaluate WHS.

 

Microsoft offers up a free eval version of Windows Home Server:

Can’t wait to centralise and showcase your family’s memories and media? Order the Windows Home Server 120-Day Evaluation Kit today. You’re just a few clicks away from a new digital life.
What will you receive?

  • Windows Home Server Installation DVD
  • Windows Home Server Connector CD
  • Home Computer Restore CD

Are you ready?
This software is intended for evaluation purposes only. In order to preserve your existing data, you must backup prior to installation. The setup process for server installation will erase any existing data.
To install the Windows Home Server 120-Day Evaluation Kit, you need:

  • Computer with 1 GHz Pentium III (or equivalent) or faster processor
  • 512 MB of RAM or more
  • 70 GB or larger ATA, SATA, or SCSI hard drive as the primary hard drive and any number of additional hard drives of any size
  • DVD drive—your home server must be capable of booting from this drive
  • VGA or higher-resolution monitor for software installation
  • Keyboard and Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device (needed only during initial home server software installation)
  • 100 Mbps or faster Ethernet network interface card

To run Windows Home Server, your home network must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Internet broadband router/firewall device with a 100 Mbps or faster wired Ethernet connection for your home server
  • Windows Home Server assumes that your home computers get their IP address from the router/firewall device on your home network
  • Broadband connection (fees may apply)

Notes:
A wireless connection between Windows Home Server and your network is not supported. You must have a wired Ethernet port available on your router/firewall device for your Home Server. However, home computers connected wirelessly to a wireless router/firewall device in your home can access your Home Server.
Order your 120-day trial.
Why wait? Order the Windows Home Server 120-Day Evaluation Kit now to protect, connect, and organize your photos, videos, music and more.