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QuickTip: Mapping your GAC folder in Windows with Subst

December 30th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

Here’s a quick tip if you want to browse the files in your GAC easily without messing about with commands all the time. Map the folder  containing the assemblies with the Subst command.

To do that, bring up a console window (Windows Key + R or Start > Run), then:

subst G: C:\windows\Assembly

This will map the Global Assembly Cache folder to your G drive in Windows Explorer. You can also peek around and see how the GAC works.

The folders you’ll find in the mapped drive include – on a 64bit system *:

  • GAC – Non-native assemblies used by .NET 1.x
  • GAC_32 – Non-native 32bit assemblies
  • *GAC_64 – Non-native 64bit assemblies visible only on 64bit Windows.
  • GAC_MSIL – Non-native MSIL (AnyCPU) assemblies.
  • NativeImages_v* – Native assemblies for the framework version and the architecture (Eg. NativeImages_v4.0.30319_64 is for the .NET 4.0 64bit native Assemblies)
  • temp / tmp – Temporary directories (duh!)

To remove the binding, use the Subst command with the -D option.

subst G: /D

That’s it! Have a safe & happy New Year!

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  1. JJ
    January 7th, 2011 at 10:09 | #1

    Thanks so much, I was having a hard time using gacutil to move things in and out of the GAC :(

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