Knowledgebase: Tips and tricks
How to back up a network drive on Windows
Posted by Sven Koester, Last modified by Andre Kuehnemund on 21 December 2017 17:28

When accessing drives in P5 on Windows, Network drives via SMB, Samba or CIFS are usually not visible in P5.

The reason is that P5 runs as a service, but network drives are mounted in the context of user processes and are thus not visible to the P5 service.

In order to make a network drive accessible in P5 , it must be mounted in the context of the Windows built-in local SYSTEM account. That can be achieved with the Windows Sysinternals tool 'psexec'. Here is how:

Download sysinternals tools from
Create an elevated shell by running cmd.exe as Administrator
Within that shell, call psexec -i -s net use s: \\server\share /persistent:yes

This will mount the drive in the true root environment and makes it available to P5.


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Comments (17)
erik akershoek
02 July 2014 10:21
Does this work for UNC mounted drives as well?
27 March 2015 0:00
The tips are really helpful!!
How about MAC, can we apply this method on MAC? Or is there any other way to apply it on MAC?

Andre Kuehnemund
07 April 2015 12:37
UNC paths are not currently supported. It's on our to-do list.
Andre Kuehnemund
07 April 2015 16:30
In Windows, volumes are being mounted in the context of the logged in user AFTER he/she logs in. Macs and Linux mount volumes at boot time and root account automatically has access to those volume. Therefore, the method described above is not necessary with Macs, Linux and other *NIX type operating systems.
17 March 2016 17:58
Thanks for the tip... but in which file do you recommend to add this command so that the mount survives to a machine reboot? and what about login and password which are then requested to mount the SMB volume?

Andre Kuehnemund
09 May 2016 17:05
Please see the KB article titled "HOWTO Automount AFP or SMB Volumes on Mac via fstab" for one example.
Christophe Rémond
12 June 2016 22:57
I reply to me:
Here is the script I use to mount the smb vol on the windows P5 server:

@echo on
set "svrname=mmi5"
set "share=heliosdemo"
set "usr=demouser"
set "pwd=xxxpassword"
for /f "tokens=2" %%# in ('net use^|find /i "\\%svrname%"') do net use %%# /delete
net use f: \\%svrname%\%share% %pwd% /user:workgroup\%usr% /persistent:yes

Then to call the script at Windows host boot, I used the "Group policy editor" as described in:
Cory Monden
12 August 2016 19:30
The command is actually psexec -i -s net use s: \\server\share /PERSISTENT:YES
Daniel Richter
16 August 2016 11:29
Guten Tag,
warum kann ich nicht einfach das Mapping mit einem User durchführen und mit diesem User den Dienst P5 starten?
Andre Kuehnemund
31 August 2016 18:40
In order to be able to do its job, P5 must have full permissions to all mounted filesystems. By default, the built-in SYSTEM account Windows, and the root account in UNIX type operating systems, have those permissions - which is why it makes sense to have P5 running as SYSTEM or root respectively.
Daniel Richter
07 September 2016 14:35
Und wann wird P5 UNC-Pfade mit einem User unterstützen? Sollte doch für eine Backup-Software wohl Standard sein oder muss ich mir Sorgen um P5 machen? Für mich zählt das zu Basics einer Software.
Andre Kuehnemund
28 December 2016 17:44
We have only had a few requests for this and, like everyone else, need to prioritize our resources. It is, however, on our to-do list.
13 December 2017 22:38
For a non-Windows Server 2012R2 user there isn't enough detail here to complete this task.
13 December 2017 23:27
Finally figured out how to install PSTools. I have a share mounted, but it's missing the share name and has a big red X on the mounted share. Where the name of the share should be it says Disconnected Network Drive. Yet I can make a new folder there and delete. What gives and how to I make this share report that it is mounted?
Andre Kuehnemund
21 December 2017 17:34
@Mike: Every new Windows version seems to be different from the last one. That makes it difficult to write one article for all Windows versions that would explain in detail how to do this. Alternatively, we would have to create separate KB articles for each Windows version. So, what we're doing with this KB article is to give someone a general guideline on how to achieve this and leave it up to the Windows admin to adjust the instructions to their installed Windows version.

As far as the mounted network share goes, my suggestion would be to run a P5 backup job and see if it backs up the data from that mounted share. If it doesn't work, please open a support ticket, provide a detailed description of what you tried to do, download and attach the the P5 support data package from your server and attach one or more screenshots if you think those would illustrate the issue.
Wylie Earnhart
05 March 2018 22:11
Hello everyone. I'm super new to all of this stuff, so bear with me... but this thread sounds close to what I'm trying to achieve. I'm running archiware on a mac mini and am trying to add a network attached storage volume as a source to backup from. I am not currently able to see the volumes when I go through the setup. Is it possible to select a network attached storage as a source volume on mac?


Andre Kuehnemund
07 March 2018 11:43
@Wylie: Backing up from network attached storage volumes on a Mac works differently from Windows. Under Windows, a remote volume needs to be mounted using the psexec tools. With Macs, it should basically work out of the box. If the network storage volume is mounted on the machine, P5 should be able to access it. In case you're having problem with getting this working on your Mac, I recommend opening a support ticket with us. When you do, please include the P5 support data package from your Mac. You can download it from your P5 server by clicking on the P5 icon in the upper right corner, then 'Download support data...'. Please attach the resulting .zip file to your ticket message. Thx!
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