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I am supporting the installation of a CCTV system from the Windows 2003 R2 Standard side of the equation, the intention was to use use a NAS for long term storage (quite a lot of data is generated in a fairly short time). The one snag we have run into is the CCTV software can only point to local drives and folders for its archival location.

I have looked at Junction Points (which are not supported on remote file systems), Symbolic Links (which are not available on Windows 2003) and Remote Storage Services (which is not available in Windows 2003 Standard).

Because the CCTV software runs as a Windows Service (4 of them to be exact), it is not immediately obvious how to do this, my current solution is as follows:

  1. Create a new local account for the services
  2. Add this account to the local Administrator Group
  3. Login using this account
  4. Setup the mapped network drive through
    net use z: \nas\share /savecred
  5. Switch the four services to use the local account
  6. Restart the services

Surprisingly this worked, it feels like a horrible cludgy way to solve a problem. Is there a better way?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Windows occasionally "loses" mapped drives. You might want to run a periodic job to check for the existence of "Z:" and remount it if it's not there.

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This would be best served with a scheduled task executing as the local user to delete and re-create the mapping? – Richard Slater Jun 13 '09 at 9:48
Yes, that's what I was thinking. – Jim Blizard Jun 15 '09 at 13:20

Unfortunately, that is probably your only option if the CCTV software cannot use UNC paths.

If your NAS supports iSCSI, you could instead use the Microsoft iSCSI Initiator to attach the server to a LUN which will show as a local drive.

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The NAS appears to be a PC running XP, it even has VGA, PS2 and USB output with "(not recommended)" printed below. Unfortunately it doesn't support iSCSI. For future projects, I would am going to recommend direct attach rather than NAS. – Richard Slater Jun 12 '09 at 20:43
That's too bad. I think the Windows Storage Server can operate as an iSCSI target, but I highly doubt XP has that capability unless the NAS OEM included something extra. – Doug Luxem Jun 12 '09 at 20:58

Could you use a symbolic link?

Update: I don't think that symbolic links are available in Server 2003. Oh well.

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Look up "NTFS junction points". – crb Jun 12 '09 at 23:06
I indeed did take a look at both SymLinks and NTFS Junction points. As you pointed out SymLinks were introduced in the 6.0 Kernel and are only available on Windows Vista and Windows 2008 Server. Junction points are "local only", i.e. they are not supported between local resources and remote shares. – Richard Slater Jun 13 '09 at 9:47

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