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Article ID: 195887 - Last Review: October 26, 2013 - Revision: 3.0

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IMPORTANT: This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
256986  ( ) Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry


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 created.


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:
152734  ( ) 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 Terminal Server.

WARNING: 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 risk.

To change the registry parameters, use the following procedure:

  1. Run Registry Editor (Regedt32.exe).
  2. From the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE subtree, go to the following key:
    NOTE: Add the Explorer subkey, if it does not exist.
  3. Click Add Value on the Edit menu.
  4. Add the following value:
    Value Name: LinkResolveIgnoreLinkInfo
    Data Type: REG_DWORD
    Data: 1 (enable)
  5. Click OK.
  6. Exit Registry Editor.
  7. 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.

More information

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 displayed:
The file or folder "<filename>" that this shortcut refers to cannot be found.
For additional information about the issue resolved by this update to this component, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
ARTICLE-ID: 158682  ( )
TITLE: Shortcuts Created Under Windows NT 4.0 Resolve to UNC Paths
kbnosurvey kbarchive kbhotfixserver kbqfe kbbug kbfix KB195887
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