Windows 7 Windows 7 Libraries and network storage


New Member
Jan 10, 2009

I would like to add a share from my NAS to a Windows 7 library, specifally the picture library. My NAS runs a set of mirrored drives where I store pictures, documents etc.. Stuff I really don't want to lose.

Anyway, when I try and add a share from the NAS to the library I am told it can not be added to the list of folders for the library because it's not an indexed location. Interestingly if I add a share from a computer running Windows 2003 where my movies are installed then this works fine.

Am I missing something?

Has your computer been completely indexed already because if not that is the most likely culprit??
The folders in question do not reside on my computer but on a NAS sitting in the loft. I don't see how indexing my machine will help. (Although it is fully indexed)

Anyone else? I can't believe Microsoft would have created something as useful as Libraries and Homegroup and not allowed you to use a network storage device as the source!
That is odd. I have added network drives to my library, but not a NAS. I don't see why it would make a difference though.
I have the same problem. Can't add in my NAS folders into a library. My NAS is running FreeNas.

I had the same issue trying to map my dns-323 in windows 7. I changed the workgroup names to all the same thing ie 'bobsgroup' and the issue went away.

I found in a little bit of my searching that apparently the NAS has to have Windows Search 4.0 installed on it. That "solution" comes from this thread:

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I dont know if it is the only way, but it would be super annoying if it was, as that would eliminate pretty much any linuz based server from the library function.
A couple of fixes...Sort of....

I did find a couple of ways of adding my Music and Pictures which are all stored on a NAS. All you need to do is add them to Media Player as watch folders or add them via Media Center. This has the affect of adding them to the Music and Picture libraries. One other less promising fix is to make the NAS folders available OffLine which then allows them to be added to the libraries.

Not ideal by any means! :confused:

Yes you can do it.

Yes you can use Windows 7 libraries with network drives. It's too much to explain it, but you can download a video of it here.

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Hi Guys,

Came across this thread trying to find a solution to the same issue - accessing NAS drives through Windows 7 Libraries.

I seem to have come across a partial solution to this while tinkering, I am at least able to link the 4 default libraries to NAS locations - these are "Documents", "Music", "Pictures" and "Videos".
Basically, when these default libraries are created, they appear to get their default Library Locations from your user folders, which skips whatever verification is done to check for indexing.
To do this follow these steps (I have tested this on Win7 Ultimate x64 and x86, so can't say if it works in non ultimate versions, but I can't see any reason why it wouldnt):

* Go to your user page (ie, if your username is "bob", just load up an explorer window and type in "bob".
* You should now see a list of default folders, including a few of interest to us right now ("Documents", "Music", "Pictures", "Videos").
* For each of these 4 folders in turn, right click and go to properties. Go to the "Location" tab and enter in your NAS/network share location (ie, "\\NAS\Stuff\Videos"). This will go through fine as it doesn't seem to care about wether or not the folder is indexed here.
*Now click on the "Libraries" link in the panel on the right of the explorer window. Select all of the libraries and just hit delete, leaving you with an empty Libraries directory.
* Right click on the "Libraries" link in the panel on the right of the explorer window and select "Restore default libraries".
* The 4 defaults as mentioned above will be created. If you check the settings for each of these libraries now, you will see it has automatically been created with the locations taken from your user folders, which in this case is your NAS/network share locations.

You can now add additional local locations on top of the NAS/network share location to leverage the usefulness of libraries.

Its not an ideal situation by any means as it gives you no flexibility to add your own folders, but hopefully it helps people who just want the basics - I have only just discovered this, but so far everything seems to be working correctly. Have tested links from windows explorer and from within the start menu, all going through fine.


Bootnote: I had my NAS locations added as "Network Drives" when I did this, but I don't think this will have an effect. Just mentioning it for completeness.
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Best way to do this

Is to use this utility:

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It allows you to add network locations from non-indexed locations (e.g. samba / NAS / linux boxes).
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