Windows Server 2008 R2 & Windows 7 – Adding network share to library

Ok, so you got Windows server 2008 R2 having some shares you want to add to your Windows 7 library. Here’s the guide to make it to work (without having the files available offline) [from here]:

  1. On Windows 2008 R2 server, do NOT install the indexing service! It’s a Server 2003 version that is not recognized by Windows 7 clients. Instead, install the ”Windows Search Service” – you can only pick one or the other so make sure you select Windows Search Service – it’s one of the roles under File Services.
  2. The install wizard should ask you which folders/drives you want to index – choose any data drive (recommend NOT selecting the system/boot drives) that contains files you want to include in your Windows 7 library on the workstations. If you missed this during the install, you can go back to CONTROL PANEL and type ”indexing” into the search box to find the indexing options and customize it there (exactly the same way you do with Windows 7).
  3. As soon as the drives have been added, you can now include any locations on those drives in your Windows 7 workstation libraries (even before the server finishes indexing). You will no longer get any warnings that ”some locations are not indexed”…everything works as it should!
  4. Make sure the SYSTEM account has full access to the folder you are trying to index

I noticed that the above steps might not be enough. If you are trying to add the network share to library using the computers smb name (e.g. someserver) it should work. Also the ip address should work all right according to my tests (I’ve read somewhere that it might cause problems…). However, In my case I have a dynamic dns service (dyndns.com) set up. Using that domain name (e.g. someserver.ath.cx) does not work when adding share to Windows 7 library. So always use the ip address or smb-name (not the domain name) when adding share to Windows 7 library.

Note that you can find some symbolic link trickery to fool windows to add unindexed folders to library. However, that just adds the folders to the library, but the searches will be slow!

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