A Windows NT Terminal Server user may click a program's shortcut and be
prompted to "Enter Network Password," yet the properties of the shortcut
indicate a relative path to the local computer.
This problem may become evident where server-based profiles are used and
the user logs on to a computer other than the one where the shortcut was
Shortcuts created on a computer automatically embed a Universal Naming
Convention (UNC) path such as \\<computer>\admin$ in the .lnk file. The default shortcut resolution method is to resolve the link to the original location of the file (the "absolute" path) before looking at another path of where that file may or may not exist (the secondary or "relative" path). In this case the UNC path to the original file is always reachable, which prevents the link from being resolved through a local path. As a result, the user who tries to use the shortcut is prompted for the administrator's password of the computer that created the link.
To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in the
Microsoft Knowledge Base:
How to Obtain the Latest Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack
Apply the updated Shell32.dll from the hotfix package and then change the
registry setting following the method described below. This registry change
must be made on the terminal server computer. This will change all existing
shortcuts that are showing the UNC path to the local relative path, and
will affect all terminal server clients that connect to the Windows
: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may
require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve
problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own
To change the registry parameters, use the following procedure:
- Run Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
- From the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE subtree, go to the following key:
NOTE: Add the Explorer subkey, if it does not exist.
- Click Add Value on the Edit menu.
- Add the following value:
Value Name: LinkResolveIgnoreLinkInfo
Data Type: REG_DWORD
Data: 1 (enable)
- Click OK.
- Exit Registry Editor.
- The user must log off and log on before the change takes place.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition. This problem was first corrected in Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition Service Pack 4.
After the Shell32.dll file has been applied, the system resolves the
relative path to the shortcut as expected. If the shortcut does not have a
relative path and contains the UNC name to the executable or file to which
the user does not have rights or cannot connect, the following message is
The file or folder "<filename>" that this shortcut refers to cannot
For additional information about the issue resolved by this update to this
component, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge
TITLE: Shortcuts Created Under Windows NT 4.0 Resolve to UNC