The Distributed Link Tracking Client (TrkWks) service maintains links between the NTFS file system files within the computer or across computers in the network domain. This service ensures that shortcut links and Object Linking and Embedding (OLE) links continue to work after the target file is renamed or moved.
When you create a shortcut to a file on an NTFS volume, distributed link tracking inserts a unique object identifier (ID) into the target file, which is known as the link source. The file that refers to the target file (known as the link client) also internally stores information about the object ID. Distributed link tracking can use this object ID to locate the link source file in the following scenarios:
- When the link source file is renamed.
- When the link source file is moved to another folder on the same volume or a different volume of the same computer.
- When the link source file is moved to another computer in the network.
Note: Unless the computer is in a domain where the Distributed Link Tracking Server service is available, this form of link tracking is less reliable over time.
- When the shared network folder that contains the link source file is renamed.
- When the computer that contains the link source file is renamed.
For all of the preceding scenarios, the link source file must be located on a fixed NTFS volume. The NTFS volumes cannot be located on removable media.
Note: The Distributed Link Tracking Client service monitors activity on NTFS volumes and stores maintenance information in a file called Tracking.log, which is located in a hidden folder called System Volume Information at the root of each volume. This folder is protected by permissions that allow only the computer to access it. The folder is also used by other Windows services, such as the Indexing Service.
If the Distributed Link Tracking Client service stops links to content on that computer are not maintained or tracked.
This service is installed by default and its startup type is Automatic. When the Distributed Link Tracking Client service is started in its default configuration, it logs by on using the Local System account.
The Distributed Link Tracking Client service is dependent upon the following system components:
- Remote Procedure Call
- DCOM Server Process Launcher
- RPC Endpoint Mapper