Previously when talking about mapped drives I mentioned that SDIO doesn’t handle UNC paths. Well, while fiddling with the code today I discovered that’s not entirely correct.

SDIO works quite respectably over a network share using UNC paths. The trick is, because paths are saved in the indexes, you need to create the indexes while running it over the network share on which you intend to run it. This makes it save the UNC path in the index rather than the path local to the server PC. If you try to use it with locally created indexes it all goes horribly wrong.

Here’s how I approached the setup.

1) I’ve got my SDIO installation on my server, downloaded all the drivers and run it to create the indexes in the normal fashion. So far it’s standard stuff.

2) Close SDIO and create a new indexes directory. Your default indexes directory is “indexes\SDI”. The new one will be “indexes\SDI Shared”. So now your “indexes” directory contains “SDI” and “SDI Shared”.

3) Now create a Windows share of the base SDIO directory with “Full Control” for Everyone (you could probably fine tune the permissions later on).

4) Modify the paths in sdi.cfg to be the network UNC paths. For example:

“-drp_dir:\\Server\sdio\drivers”
“-index_dir:\\Server\sdio\indexes\SDI Shared”
“-output_dir:\\Server\sdio\indexes\SDI Shared\txt”
“-data_dir:\\Server\sdio\tools\SDI”
“-log_dir:\\Server\sdio\logs”

Where “Server” is the name of your server and “sdio” is the name of the share.

5) In Windows Explorer, navigate to the Network node and find your server and the SDIO share you’ve just created and run SDIO. If everything is configured correctly, it will recreate the indexes in the new “indexes\SDI Shared” directory.

6) When this is done you can now sit down at any computer on the network and run SDIO on the server.
This will allow you to keep SDIO up to date on a server and access it from any computer on the network and as an added bonus all the log files for each computer on your network are together in the one directory.

You might still see SDIO complain with a “mkdir_r” error. You can safely ignore this for now.

And one big “gotchya” in all of this is you shouldn’t try to install network drivers while running SDIO over the network. You can be sure bad things will happen and you’ll end up having to use “sneaker-net” anyway.

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