In Windows can I mount a file system as a directory? Or, What is the Windows equivalent of Unix’s mount command?

Update: People thought the title was a bit confusing, I hope that the change has cleared that up a bit.

What does it mean to mount a file system?

To gain access to files on another device, you must first inform the operating system where in the directory tree you would like those files to appear. This process is called mounting a file system.

Windows has historically lacked the ability to “mount” a file system at any location other than the “drive letters” we all know, C:, D:, etc. This tool will let you mount a file system as a directory within an existing volume. It also allows you to “symlink”.

For example you could mount a CD as C:\mycddrive\ rather than the boring old E:.

This is particularly use for for people who use multiple USB devices on a system. Who has ever run into the problem where they have multiple USB devices plugged into a system and you “forget” which drive letter they showed up as? Well, with junction you could always know that your device is located at c:\devices\redmemorystick or c:\devices\bluememorystick\.

How can you do this though?

Windows 2000 and higher supports directory symbolic links, where a directory serves as a symbolic link to another directory on the computer. For example, if the directory D:\SYMLINK specified C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32 as its target, then an application accessing D:\SYMLINK\DRIVERS would in reality be accessing C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS. Directory symbolic links are known as NTFS junctions in Windows. Unfortunately, Windows comes with no tools for creating junctions - you have to purchase the Win2K Resource Kit, which comes with the linkd program for creating junctions. I therefore decided to write my own junction-creating tool: Junction. Junction not only allows you to create NTFS junctions, it allows you to see if files or directories are actually reparse points.

3 Responses to “In Windows can I mount a file system as a directory? Or, What is the Windows equivalent of Unix’s mount command?”

  1. the title of your article is confusing

  2. There is another way , you can use Microsoft SFU or Cygwin to get a win32 version of mount

  3. [...] [...]

Leave a Reply