Use a network mapped drive (or redirected folders) with SugarSync

First and foremost, apply for a SugarSync account using this link! Smile

I was looking for a service to store my data (documents and photo’s) in the cloud. A replacement for Dropbox actually. In the end I made a selection of two services, that was Amazon Cloud Drive and SugarSync. As I needed an easy, transparent way of syncing, SugarSync was the way to go. They have a software called SugarSync File Manager that keeps folders of your choice synced to the cloud. Also the huge amount of 10GB extra storage for refering a paid customer gets me to SugarSync!

A bummer for me is that there is no support for network mapped drives. As I’m in an Active Directory environment with redirected folders, this is a must! (My Documents are redirected to \\FileServerName\sharename for example).

To get around this shortcoming with Dropbox, you could use a link or a junction to the network folder with mklink. But this workaround doesn’t worked with SugarSync! So I started searching for a solution, and found it!

With the Windows 7 feature to attach a VHD it is possible to use SugarSync with network mapped drives (Windows 7/2008R2 only!). Here is how to make this happen:

Create a VHD file

First create a new VHD disk with Disk Manager (diskmgmt.msc). Open Disk Manager and choose Action > Create VHD.

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Choose a location where to store the .vhd file, I choose x:\sugarsync.vhd in this example.

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Initiate and create a volume

Now initiate the new disk by right clicking the disk and select Initiate Disk and click OK.

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Create a new volume on the disk:

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..and follow the wizard:

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Assign a drive letter to the VHD:

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Give the disk a fancy name:

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And we’re done:

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Start Windows Explorer or your favorite alternative and browse to the new disk:

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Link your networked mapped drive into the VHD

Last step to perform is to make a symbolic link to the network mapped drive. Or in my case to the fileserver where my redirected (documents) folder is located.

Open a command prompt (as admin) and make a link to your network mapped drive. As explain in a previous post (for Dropbox).

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Create permanently attached VHD

After a reboot the VHD will disappear and SugarSync Manager will disconnect the folders in the VHD. Use the program VHD Attach 2.01 to create a permanently attached VHD:

Create a permanently attached VHD with VhdAttach

 

If you appreciate this post please apply for SugarSync using this link. This way I earn some extra storage! Thanks!

7 thoughts on “Use a network mapped drive (or redirected folders) with SugarSync

  1. I’ve wanted a simple drag and drop through Windows Explorer too w/o running S2 manager. This VHD approach is great, but instead, I created a new folder under Win7 in the Docs library (e.g., Sugarsync Docs), made it a Favorite in Win Explorer, added it as a sync folder in S2 and anything that I drop in it automatically replicates in S2. This seems to work.

  2. 1. The instructions are incomplete. Which folder is shared within SugarSync? A screenshot or two would help make that step clear, too.
    2. When adding a new folder within SugarSync, I can browse to “Docs” (using the example folder names from your instructions as an explanaiton), but “Documents” does not appear as a folder that I can select.
    3. When SugarSync is synchronising the “Docs” folder, it is not synchonising the symbolic link item “Documents”, nor any data behind that link.

  3. I thought this initially worked, but now i question it. Once I got it to sync, I was excited as I was able to sync the files from my workstation to my server. I have a Windows 7 workstation, a network server and a remote macbook pro. the sync from the server to the workstation works fine. I add or edit a file on either and they show up fine. I snyced this same folder to my remote macbook pro, all seemed fine. the files were there. I created a new file on my macbook and it showed up on the server! I thought all was fine. Next I tried to create a file on the server and see if it showed up on my workstaion, yes, but it failed to show up on the mac. (One way sync???). Next i tried to edit the file that initially worked, but found two versions. The edited version on the server and the unedited version on my mac.

    Be careful. I’ll play some more, but it does not look promising.

  4. I have been using this method for several months now and today it stopped working. Today, however, when I was connecting another machine which has a VHD created exactly the same way, Sugarsync says that it won’t sync to a network drive. It is like it now knows that the symbolic link is pointing to a network drive. Is this new intelligence that was added to sugarsync or am I doing something wrong?

    I’m running sugarsync version 1.9.79.98570.20120913.

    Are others experiencing this?

    Thanks for your help.

    George

  5. this does not work anymore, as george states Sugarsync now knows its a network drive and refuses to use that location.

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