Saturday, August 22, 2015

Including a Network Drive in a Library on Windows 7/8/10

Hi all,

Long time since I wrote something here. Hopefully this post will help wake things up a bit :)

Recently I got a new home NAS server (actually it is was a gift) - a 4 TB WD My Cloud, which i'm very impressed with by now (But that's a topic for a different post ;))
So... the first thing a did after setting this cute NAS up, was start moving stuff to it from my computer's local HD.

Problem started when the libraries I configured on my machine were no longer pointing the right place, so I tried adding the folder on the NAS's network share, and I was surprised with this message:
After googling for a bit I found that people say that you can map a network drive if it marked as available offline. You can click on the network drive (after mapping it), and click "Always Available Offline", like this:

But this will automatically create a local copy of your stuff... and I don't want that, right? :)

So, the next option is a bit of a hack... you will have to "trick" the library to think that your network folder is actually local, and i will show you how to, using the mklink command.

These are the steps:
  1. Create a folder on your local machine. Let's say - "C:\Users\Leeran\WdMyCloud".
  2. In that folder, create a "dummy" folder like "Videos":
  3. Go to the Videos library and add that dummy folder to you lib, you should see something like this:
  4. Delete the dummy folder!
  5. Pop up cmd, and make a symbolic link instead of the dummy folder (same name), to the remote folder, using the mklink command:
  6. DONE! If you'll take a look at the library, you'll see that the "test.txt" file from before, was magically replaced by you real (non-indexed, non-synced) files from your network folder:

Hope it helps!

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