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Is there a way to "spoof" a UNC path on a local Win 8 workstation?

Posted on 2014-07-18
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2014-07-23
A client has a custom application that uses a lot references to files using UNC paths on their file server (i.e. \\server1\data).
He wants to run a copy of this application on his local WIn8 workstation separate from the server. (completely separate and independent from the server version)   He's copied all the applicable files to an identical file structure on his C: drive.  It is not feasible to change all the references to the UNC server path in the code and data.  Is there a way to convince the Win8 workstation that \\server1\data = c:\data?
Question by:sctowne
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LVL 29

Assisted Solution

becraig earned 372 total points
ID: 40204927
Yes simply edit the host file and point server1 to
Then create a share named data that points to that folder.

However bear in mind that means all communication to server1 will go to the local machine.

Instructions on editing the host file:

Expert Comment

by:Mitchell Milligan
ID: 40204971
I don't recommend editing the host file, as this is not best practice.  However if you share the root of that file out and then use the unc path of the same computer name they are on they can then access those resources.  The problem with editing the host file here is that no resources from server1 will be available for other purposes as the local workstation will always be looking at itself for any resource on server1.  Also, be careful of the licensing requirements of the software, they may not be permitted by the software eula to run multiple copies like that.

Assisted Solution

sctowne earned 0 total points
ID: 40204980
Thanks for the prompt reply, but so far it's not working.  Here's what I did ...
I edited c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts as admin, adding the line      SERVER1

I then created a share for C:\data named data.

an attempt to do a dir on that directory via the new UNC path fails...
C:\>dir \\server1\data
Logon failure: unknown user name or bad password.

What did I miss?
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LVL 36

Expert Comment

by:Seth Simmons
ID: 40204982
there are also security features in place (since XP SP2/2003 SP1) for running services on the loopback adapter
i tested a share by connecting to and it rejects any local or domain credentials i put
using the regular name works fine.  primarily related to spoofing of names was the security issue mitigated

Author Comment

ID: 40205001
Generally I would agree.  Licensing isn't an issue in this case, as the software was written in-house and he has permission to use the app locally.  In this case the PC in question is his home PC, and will never be connected to the domain that Server1 belongs to.
Your solution does seem to work, provided that the user will permit me to change the name of his workstation to Server1.  (changing all the references to Sever1 in the data and code is not feasible, nor desirable)
If there is a solution that doesn't require re-naming the PC that would be preferable

LVL 36

Accepted Solution

Seth Simmons earned 368 total points
ID: 40205020
try this...

go in the registry to HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\LSA
right click LSA and select new dword
name it DisableLoopbackCheck with a value of 1
reboot and see if the UNC path to works

Author Closing Comment

ID: 40213727
Both the edit of the hosts file, and the addition of the registry key are necessary for the solution to work.  With both in place, it works perfectly.

Expert Comment

by:Mitchell Milligan
ID: 40214259
If the software was written in house, then I would challenge the idea of making unsupported and unrecommended changes to windows to make a custom software work.  Best practice would be to adjust the software so that you can utilize a variable for the UNC path, then in a basic config, set the variable and you will find that the software is now much more flexible.  This seems like a much better and safer practice to me.  Now, with this accepted fix, Windows will not loopback properly, and this may cause significant issues in the future.

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