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We have a situation where we need to share out a shared folder on a PC running WinXP to more than 10 users. Apparently there is a limit to the number of connections for a shared folder(?).

To add a little complexity, the data can not simply be moved off to a file server, as the software (which we have no control over) which generates the data writes directly to the "c:" drive. This is ultimately the crux of the issue, the software is extremely specialized (controls Liquid Chromatography equipment)- but also unfortunately fragile and not designed to work in a network environment.

We have additional analysis software that can access any "mapped" drive - which works fine - except that we now run out of resources because of the number of users who need to access this data.

We have tried allowing a WEBDAV server act as an intermediary, which works, but is extremely slow because of the number of files in the mapped directory.

We have explored using SAMBA with a Linux server but run into issues sharing out non-local drives.

We have also explored scripting copies of the files to a server, but there are issues with that because the writing software is so fragile, and it is unknown when the file is "closed" (in an automated fashion). This is because the software may appended to the file over an unknown period of time (12-24 hours typically).

Any suggestions?

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can you not move it from XP to Server 2003/2008? – Chopper3 Sep 22 '10 at 16:07
Does it write to the root of the C: drive? – joeqwerty Sep 22 '10 at 16:14
@joeqwerty: No - it writes to a sub folder on the c drive – ChronoFish Sep 22 '10 at 16:28
@Chopper: No - The system is set. We are forced to work in a very controlled environment under some situations (this unfortunately is one of them). – ChronoFish Sep 22 '10 at 16:30
OK, so how about moving it to a file server and creating the subfolder and share on the C: drive? – joeqwerty Sep 22 '10 at 16:43

The SyncToy from the Microsoft powertoys collection might be a potential fix. It will keep files in multiple locations synced up, like say between a file server and a particular folder on your hard drive thus eliminating the need to worry about the connection limit. You shouldn't need to worry about network stability since if there is a hiccup it will just sync up after it reestablishes.

It won't sync up open files but if the program closes the file it should be able to grab and replicate it. The program should handle all the automated detection of closed files for you.

You would need to schedule it to run and the directions are in the Help documentation, just setup a task to run regularly.

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Epic hax, but setup a lightweight linux box. Mount your partition using cifs, and then share it again with samba. It'll be a really kludgy relay and potentially have speed issues, but hey then you can can connect as many users as you want.

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