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When a backup completes, you may receive a notification similar to the following:

 Files under 114 junction point directories are not backed up. 

The actual number will vary from system to system, based upon the actual number of junction point directories that exist. The notification will appear under the Details column on the Report page of ZCB. It will also appear in the body of email notifications, if email notifications are configured on your system.

This message is not an error. It is a notification about potentially important information.

What is a junction point directory?

In short, a junction point directory is a directory that points to another directory.

Junction points were introduced in Windows Vista, and are a part of every version of Windows since. Vista changed the location of a number of standard directories used by most applications.

For example, \Documents and Settings\<user>\My Documents\, which was used in Windows XP, has become \Users\<user>\Documents\ in Windows Vista. Junction points were created to link one to the other, seamlessly, to make the change easier on application developers and users alike.

In this specific example, \My Documents\ is the junction point that links to \Documents\.

You can read more about Junction points in this Microsoft article.

Why doesn't ZCB back up junction point directories?

ZCB does not back up junction points, so that the same data is not backed up twice.

To ZCB, a file in \My Documents\ is not the same as a file in \Documents\. Because they have different paths, they are therefore believed to be different directories containing different files. ZCB detects if the directory is a junction point. If it is, its contents are not backed up.

However, files in the source directory (which is the directory that the junction point links to), are not skipped. They are backed up as usual, so long as they are part of the backup set.

This behavior prevents files from being backed up twice.

Let's use \My Documents\ and \Documents\ as our example again. Backups will skip \My Documents\ because it is a junction point. Files in \Documents\ will be backed up because it is not a junction point. This way, files are not backed up twice.

What is the recommended course of action?

If you choose to backup the entire system drive (usually C:\), all standard Windows-created junction points and their source directories will be included. Junctions will be skipped and you will be notified. Sources will be backed up as normal. No further action is needed.

If you choose to back up specific directories on the system drive, you must take care to include source directories. It is possible to obtain a list of all junctions on a disk volume from the command prompt.

  1. Open an elevated command prompt by right-clicking and selecting "Run As Administrator".
  2. Enter the following command
    1. dir /aL /s C:\
      1. You can replace C:\ with other volumes such as D:\ to get a listing of those other volumes.
  3. A listing of all junction points on the volume specified will be generated.