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I have searched superuser, but couldn't find this question asked, probably because it is a bit inane. I am not an IT professional, so, apologies in advance.

I just started this week at a new company. The IT person is currently away and will be back in a couple of days, so I would like to be prepared to discuss with him implementing UNC paths with our in-house tools and general systems usage.

The company I am working at produces a lot of data. We currently have a file server which all of the users produce and save their work onto. Our entire system is Windows-based and is currently utilizing drive-letter mapping to access the network shares.

I would like to propose that we move to UNC file pathing and do away with drive-letter mapping. Speaking very briefly with another staff-member at the company, he said that UNC was suggested a while ago to the systems admin, but the admin is worried about adding disks to the volume, or perhaps problems resulting in replacing the volume in an emergency. The person I was talking with was not totally clear on these reasons for the sys admin to be against UNC, so I am a bit hazy about it, as well.

With my discussion approaching soon, I am wondering if any IT professionals could give me an idea of any pitfalls to using UNC in our company, especially in regards to our sys admin's worries above?

In my un-trained view, I think that adding a disk to the volume would not affect the UNC path, if the volume name was kept the same. Further, if there was an emergency situation where the entire volume would need to be replaced, wouldn't the UNC path still be valid if the new disk volume was named exactly the same as the old one?

Are there any gotchas when switching to UNC, especially on the server maintenance-side?

Thank you very much for any information.

  • 2
    Mapped drives and UNC do not contradict each other, the mapped drive can be seen as a local add-on to UNC. UNC are universal (independent by OS and protocol) and centrally managed. Mapped drives are Windows-specific, and they (more precisely, the correspondence between them and UNC) are managed locally. Mapped drives and UNC may be used in parallel. – Akina Sep 4 at 13:51
  • One of the reasons why I would like to implement UNC is so that we can share data with other companies using Linux. Good to know that UNC is not an all-or-nothing mechanism. Thank you. – Flipper99 Sep 4 at 14:23
  • On a non technical note: it is exceptionally unlikely you will get an entrenched IT professional to listen to you on a subject they have already discussed and made decisions on. There is not a problem with either method. You're working on a hearsay reason for their having rejected this idea before. Mapped drives are just fine and if they meet the needs of the org then there is little reason to change. – music2myear Sep 5 at 1:52

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