I am running Drupal 7 on a Windows using IIS 7.5. This is not something I can change and is required by my company. Everything has been running great which is awesome.

I would like to setup the environment so that the "sites" folder is outside of Drupal Core so upgrading core will only require changing the application's Physical Path and not require copying the "sites" folder between versions. I have been doing some reading and this seems like a very easy thing to do using a Symlink for any Linux Machine.

So I have been trying a couple different configurations and have had no luck. I tried moving the "sites" folder out of the Drupal Folder and creating a Virtual Directory for the "sites" folder in IIS. This did not work, Drupal does not seem to respect the virtual directory and when Browsing the site I am asked to install. This should not be the case since I have sites that are running and working when the "sites" folder is placed inside the folder.

The second method was to use Windows and not the Web Server. I kept the "sites" folder outside of core where I had moved it and created a Shortcut. The same way you would create any shortcut on Windows OS. I took the shortcut which was named "sites" and put it in the Drupal Core folder. This will not work either and returns the same results by asking me to install.

If anyone has experience working with Drupal and IIS and has an answer it would be greatly appreciated.

2 Answers 2


After some research and some help from a co-worker the answer has been discovered. It looks like Windows actually lets you create Symlinks, it is just not obvious.


  • Just an FYI : you can also use linkd.exe from win 2000 tools which doenst require any admin privilege.
    – GoodSp33d
    Commented Aug 16, 2012 at 6:06

A great explanation on symlinks in windows + a gui tool can be found here: http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/16226/complete-guide-to-symbolic-links-symlinks-on-windows-or-linux/

Be careful to test your backups after using this setup.

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