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Corrupted Junction Points Prevent Software from Installing – Windows Problem

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Target Audience: IT Manager
Article #: 12399

Summary

In Windows, a junction point is a pointer to a directory on the local volume. It can be accessed through Windows’ GUI, or through a command line. Some software uses this feature to write files or add folders under C:\Programdata\Documents. An error message reading ‘Error 1320 The specified path is too long’ is usually accompanied by a failure in the software install. This is likely due to the Windows OS having corrupted junction points. These must be corrected in order for the software to successfully install.

Situations and Symptoms

  • Installing software on Windows Vista or Server 2008 (or newer).
  • You get an “Error 1320. The specified path is too long” message.
  • The installation fails.
  • Attempting to access C:\Programdata\Documents results in an access error.
ProgramData\Documents folder is not accessible Windows error.

Explanation

With Vista and Server 2008, Microsoft changed the default storage locations for user and system data. The old location was “C:\Programdata\Documents…” Since Windows Vista, the new location is “C:\Users\Public\Public Documents”. TEKLYNX software, written to install on the older Windows PCs and servers, tries to create a TKI folder in the old location.

In order to ensure backwards compatibility, Microsoft created junction points. As a result, the installer relies on the junction points created by Microsoft to redirect the TKI folder to save in the new location. However, if those junction points get corrupted, installers relying on them will fail.

The older location where the TEKLYNX installer tries to save the TKI folder (top) and the new (Windows Vista and later) location where it will attempt to save the folder.

Solution

The first step to resolving this issue is to check the integrity of the junction points:

  1. Run the CMD prompt.
  2. Enter “dir C:\ProgramData /al
  3. Inspect the junction points.
Administrator Command Prompt showing the directory of c:\ProgramData

If you find a junction point incorrect, it can be fixed:

  1. In the CMD prompt, enter: “rd C:\ProgramData\Documents
  2. Then, enter “mklinnk /j C:\ProgramData\Documents c:\Users\Public\Documents”

Next, try running the installer again.

Microsoft’s App Development Page on Junction Points (opens in new tab)

A good overview of the problem can be found here. (opens in new tab)

Additional Comments

Issue found installing CODESOFT v2015 on Windows 10

If you need further assistance, please contact us.

Updated on December 27, 2021

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