Names in NAS
By Rick Cook
NAS vendors like to stress how easy it is to install Network Attached Storage on a network. While it is generally easy to add a NAS system, there can also be 'gotchas'. Some are vendor-specific, and some are more general.
One problem that can crop up with a Windows NT network comes from the fact that many pieces of equipment are designed to work with shorter names than NT allows. In NT, a device or a share name can have up to 255 characters. However, some equipment, like Maxtor's MaxAttach NAS systems, only recognizes 12-character share names. When installing MaxAttach -- and some other -- NAS systems, you need to make sure the unit's share name is limited to 12 characters.
No matter how easy the process, it always pays to spend a few minutes reading the documentation of a NAS system before adding it to your network. Maxtor discusses the naming problems and other considerations with Windows NT networks in its Tech Support bulletin 19006, which is available at the
Rick Cook has been writing about mass storage since the days when the term meant an 80K floppy disk. The computers he learned on used ferrite cores and magnetic drums. For the last twenty years, he has been a freelance writer specializing in storage and other computer issues.
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This was first published in May 2001