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We have some servers which will move to a new Windows 2008 domain, and some Windows 2000 servers which I would prefer to keep in their current domain for a while (until we have the resources to test and reinstall them as Windows 2008 systems in the new domain too).

Can UNC still be used to connect to file server resources on the new system from the old servers? Or is UNC limited to work only within one domain? I'll do tests on Monday but every feedback would be very welcome.

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

UNC path connections will work between 2 windows computers regardless of domain with the following caveats:

  1. The computers must have a viable connection between them that isn't filtering out the windows file sharing protocols
  2. If the two computers are not part of the same forest (e.g. one or more of them are standalone, or they are both domain members but the domains themselves are not 'related') then the connecting user will have to supply username and password credentials that the box they are connecting to will understand (e.g. an account that is on that computer or a domain account from the domain that computer is in).

So you shouldn't have any real problems, other than possibly having to make sure you have an account set aside on the sharing computer that the user on the requesting computer can use to authenticate.

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Perfect! I had the feeling that things started getting too complicated - and feel much better now :) – mjn Jan 8 '11 at 10:23
Happy to help, if you have a home network (like I do because I'm a geek) its fundamentally no different to sharing files there, the only complexity the domains add is where the authentication accounts can come from but its all the same at the point where someone sits down and actually tries mapping a drive. – RobM Jan 8 '11 at 10:29
text book answer. Just like to add that its ok to do this for sysadmin purposes i.e. migrating files, but not something that you want your users to be doing. best to setup domain trusts for that – Nick Kavadias Jan 8 '11 at 11:16

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