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Windows 7: Junction Points - Restore to Default in Windows

Junction Points - Restore to Default in Windows

How to Restore Default Junction Points in Windows
Published by Pyprohly
12 Apr 2016
Published by

How to Restore Default Junction Points in Windows

information   Information
Reparse points are linking mechanisms, comparable to shortcuts, that may be encountered fortuitously throughout the Windows 7 file system. They come in two main varieties: junction points and symbolic links. Although they share superficial characteristics, one key difference is the way NTFS permissions are handled for each. For junctions, permission configurations on the junction are combined with the permissions of its target item, while permissions on symbolic links are not processed at all. Intended mainly for software applications’ use, junctions are more common on a fresh install (partly because they represent an older technology). By default, these objects are typically inaccessible by regular users and Windows will produce a “Location not found” error upon the user attempting to open one.

The C:\Documents and Settings resource is a classic example of a junction point in Windows 7. Since Windows Vista, Documents and Settings is no longer a true directory and its path has been replaced by a junction which links to the C:\Users directory. Ostensibly, these links exist for the purposes of backwards compatibility with programs that try and access those former locations.

While shortcut files are simply ordinary files that Windows Explorer treats specially, reparse points are designed to operate transparently to most applications, effectively imitating the target object itself. As such, when unwarranted access to these devices are gained the advanced links may induce some badly written programs (especially those that scan the file system) into a directory searching loop known as a cyclic reference. Specifically, this occurs when a reparse point links to some location above itself in the folder hierarchy. For this reason, the permission settings of Windows’ default reparse points should never be altered by the user.

If you are having problems with backup software not completing it may be caused by erroneous NTFS permissions on a specific junction.

This tutorial will enable you to quickly repair Windows’ default reparse points.
Note   Note
Almost all reparse points encountered in Windows are junctions. This is a consequence of their ability to be secured by NTFS permissions, unlike symbolic links where permissions are ignored. This is by design.

The default reparse points are not inherently required for a stable Windows install and may be safely deleted at any time.

This tutorial supports Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, though note well that some junctions are not available by default in these newer platforms. The scripts in this tutorial do not check your version of Windows check before applying their fixes.

As of later revisions of Windows 10, a large number of default junction points have been depreciated and are absent from a fresh install. Two junctions remain in Windows 10, C:\Users\All Users and C:\Users\Default User.

The C:\ProgramData\Favorites junction is notably absent from both Windows 8.1 and Window 10 operating systems.

You must have local administrative rights in order to execute the repair scripts featured in this tutorial.


Junction Points - Restore to Default in Windows OPTION ONE Junction Points - Restore to Default in Windows
View the Current Status of Junction Points

Note   Note
If you are unsure of which junction points, if any, have been modified, try the below batch file. This will list out each of the known default junction points and display their current security settings.

This will not alter any permissions, change security settings, or modify your files in any way.

Junction Points - Restore to Default in Windows OPTION TWO Junction Points - Restore to Default in Windows
Restore Default Junction Points

Note   Note
1. Locate and click the ‘Download’ button below for the zip that corresponds with the reparse point you’d like to repair.

2. Save the downloaded file to your Desktop, and unblock it.

3. If you would like a full restoration of the junction, run only the “RepairJunction_<junctionname>.bat” script, otherwise,

4. If you wish to just repair the permissions for the junction, run only the “PermissionPackage_<junctionname>.bat” file.

5. After the program is complete you may delete the files.

1. Restore the Default Documents and Settings Junction
Junction at “C:\Documents and Settings” linking to “C:\Users
2. Restore the Default ProgramData\Application Data Junction
Junction at “C:\ProgramData\Application Data” linking to “C:\ProgramData
3. Restore the Default ProgramData\Desktop Junction
Junction at “C:\ProgramData\Desktop” linking to “C:\Users\Public\Desktop
4. Restore the Default ProgramData\Documents Junction
Junction at “C:\ProgramData\Documents” linking to “C:\Users\Public\Documents
5. Restore the Default ProgramData\Favorites Junction
Junction at C:\ProgramData\Favorites” linking to “C:\Users\Public\Favorites
6. Restore the Default ProgramData\Start Menu Junction
Junction at “C:\ProgramData\Start Menu” linking to “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu
7. Restore the Default ProgramData\Templates Junction
Junction at “C:\ProgramData\Templates” linking to “C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Templates
8. Restore the Default Users\All Users Junction
Junction at “C:\Users\All Users” linking to “C:\ProgramData
9. Restore the Default Users\Default User Junction
Junction at “C:\Users\Default User” linking to “C:\Users\Default

That’s all. Got a question, query, suggestion, or recommendation? Please let me know in the section below right away. Enjoy,

08 Oct 2016   #1
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1

HI Pyprohly.

Is Option 1 only a look and see.
If I understand correctly, it does not change anything.
Is that correct??

Another way to say my desire.
I would like to see what my permission are set at, compared to what Default setting are.
I'm not having any problems; I'm just curious.

Thank you for the long and hard work you are doing. Reading through many threads on this forum I have noticed that many do have problems permission.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Oct 2016   #2

Windows 10, Windows 8.1 Pro, Windows 7 Professional, OS X El Capitan

Yeah, Option One just enables you to view the security settings for the junctions, doesn’t change anything.

Decided to add it last second. I had used it to identify the junctions I had ruined after doing extensive testing of the batch work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Junction Points - Restore to Default in Windows

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