Hacking at Windows


Windows has some nice features, but it really annoys the crap out of me when it comes to network folders. A little background. I have a small machine with a lot of disk space on it that I use to store all of my music, movies, photos, and other documents. Basically, it's a NAS. In general, it's great. My Roku talks to it just fine (via Plex), Windows doesn't have any problem accessing it, and it's regularly backed up offsite (via CrashPlan). So, what's the problem?

Windows gets persnickety with very specific things you want it to do. For instance, I have a "Wallpapers" folder on my little NAS. Windows has this feature that lets you cycle through wallpapers. But, it doesn't work on a network share (or a mapped drive) unless you're running Windows on the other side. There are a number of features that pointlessly have this sort of requirement.

Here's my solution (assuming you mapped your network drive to Z:):

  1. Create a folder somewhere (e.g. C:\TrickWindows\WallpaperRotation)
  2. Set up the feature you want with the new empty folder.
  3. Delete the folder.
  4. Open up an administrative command window and make a directory link to your mapped drive. (e.g. mklink /D C:\TrickWindows\WallpaperRotation Z:\Images\Wallpapers)

Tada! It works! Unlike Windows by default. The operating system that apparently has to be tricked into doing things it can already perfectly well do!