I recently upgraded from Windows 7 Professional to Windows 8 Pro, and had some problems reconnecting CrashPlan to the shared network drive for backup on my D-Link DNS-320. (More info on how to get that working at the end of this document.) Other machines on the same network that hadn't been upgraded to Windows 8 could still access the network share via CrashPlan as they always had, via the NAS's UNC path name using the device's name, but for some reason, the new Windows 8 installation couldn't. The newly-upgraded Windows 8 machine could see the share using the NAS's IP address, but the CrashPlan profile was already looking for a folder path that contained the device's name, not its IP address.



Problem

Windows 8 can't find the D-Link NAS on the network when the server portion of the UNC path is the NAS's device name.

That is, the shared network drive at \\DLINK-NAS\Volume_1\ can't be accessed in File Explorer, but using \\192.168.0.100\Volume_1\ works correctly, even though they both point to the exact same destination.

Solution

Create a hosts file entry mapping the device name to its IP address.

What You'll Need

The actual name of the network device (to find it, login to the ShareCenter web admin interface, and go to Management > System Management > Device > Device Settings > Name), and its IP address on your network.

This will only work reliably when your NAS has a static IP address, which can be set in the web admin interface of your router. If the NAS is setup to use DHCP, then its IP address can change at any time, and the link to the device using this method will be lost until you update the hosts file to reflect the IP address change.

Steps

  1. From the Windows 8 Start screen, start typing "notepad" (without the quotes, of course) to start searching for the Notepad application. As you type, a list of matching applications will be shown. Notepad will likely be first in the search results list, but don't open it quite yet.
  2. In the search results list, right-click Notepad to check it, and to reveal additional options at the bottom of the screen.
  3. Click on Run as administrator.
  4. User Account Control (UAC) may prompt you for permission to run with elevated privileges. Click the Yes button to proceed.
  5. When Notepad opens, go to File > Open… and navigate to C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\etc. There probably won't be any files shown, and Windows will let you know that with a message "No items match your search."
  6. Choose All Files (*.*) from the menu in the lower right-hand corner of the Open… dialog. You should see the list of files update.
  7. Double-click on "hosts" to open it.
  8. Scroll down to the bottom of the file, past all of the lines starting with #. These lines are all comments, and are ignored.
  9. Create a new line containing the IP address of your device, a space or tab, and the name of the device. You can add a comment at the end of the line, as well, to remind you what the entry is for. So, for the example given above, the new line would look like:
    192.168.0.100   DLINK-NAS   # Identifies NAS by device name for backup
  10. Save the file, and close Notepad.
  11. Test that your new entry worked by first going to \\{device IP address}\Volume_1\ in a new File Explorer window. Nothing should have changed here; you should still be able to see the contents of the Volume_1 share on your NAS.
  12. Now try going to \\{device name}\Volume_1\. Instead of Windows not being able to find the device, you should now see the contents of the Volume_1 share, same as if you used the IP address!

Finally…

If you haven't yet created a backup destination in CrashPlan, when you go to do so, you'll notice that it doesn't natively support network shares as backup destinations. (At least not as of version 3.4.1.) You can get around this by following these instructions.



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