I found myself in need of a SMB share as appearing to be a local, directly-attached disk recently. After stumbling around a few Reddit posts talking about setting up a "storage pool" in FlexRAID, I found Dokany.

It's essentially a file system in user space (FUSE) application for Windows. I installed the non-debug, redistributable latest version (1.0.5 of this writing) on Windows 10.

After installing, there is a command shell wrapper, mirror.exe, for ad-hoc playing around with the Dokany libraries. Pulling up its -help we see:

> cd "C:\Program Files\Dokan\Dokan Library-1.0.5\sample\"
> mirror.exe -h
  /r RootDirectory (ex. /r c:\test)              Directory source to mirror.
  /l MountPoint (ex. /l m)                       Mount point. Can be M:\ (drive letter) or empty NTFS folder C:\mount\dokan .
  /t ThreadCount (ex. /t 5)                      Number of threads to be used internally by Dokan library.
                                                 More threads will handle more event at the same time.
  /d (enable debug output)                       Enable debug output to an attached debugger.
  /s (use stderr for output)                     Enable debug output to stderr.
  /n (use network drive)                         Show device as network device.
  /m (use removable drive)                       Show device as removable media.
  /w (write-protect drive)                       Read only filesystem.
  /o (use mount manager)                         Register device to Windows mount manager.
                                                 This enables advanced Windows features like recycle bin and more...
  /c (mount for current session only)            Device only visible for current user session.
  /u (UNC provider name ex. \localhost\myfs)     UNC name used for network volume.
  /a Allocation unit size (ex. /a 512)           Allocation Unit Size of the volume. This will behave on the disk file size.
  /k Sector size (ex. /k 512)                    Sector Size of the volume. This will behave on the disk file size.
  /f User mode Lock                              Enable Lockfile/Unlockfile operations. Otherwise Dokan will take care of it.
  /i (Timeout in Milliseconds ex. /i 30000)      Timeout until a running operation is aborted and the device is unmounted.

        mirror.exe /r C:\Users /l M:                    # Mirror C:\Users as RootDirectory into a drive of letter M:\.
        mirror.exe /r C:\Users /l C:\mount\dokan        # Mirror C:\Users as RootDirectory into NTFS folder C:\mount\dokan.
        mirror.exe /r C:\Users /l M: /n /u \myfs\myfs1  # Mirror C:\Users as RootDirectory into a network drive M:\. with UNC \\myfs\myfs1

Unmount the drive with CTRL + C in the console or alternatively via "dokanctl /u MountPoint".  

Which results in a command along the lines of:

> mirror.exe /r \\servername\share /l N /s /d /w

If your SMB share requires authentication, manually connect to \\servername\share first and tell Windows to save the credentials.

  • mirror.exe - Wrapper around Dokany libraries
  • /r \\servername\share - Specifies the source or where existing data lives
    • (My example uses a SMB share but this could have been another directory on C: or even another drive like D:)
  • /l N - "Mounts" the existing data as the N drive
    • (Can be any of N, N:, or N:\)
  • /s /d - Prints debug information to stdout (the Command Prompt)
  • /w - I don't want my Windows 10 machine to write to this network share, so it's "mounted" as read-only

/s /d tends to cause a lot of output in the Command Prompt, so I only use them to visually inspect the processes debug information.

Also, this is something that I run manually. I'll have to edit this post when I decide how I want to automate this command at boot, as well as enforcing it to be running for the duration of the Windows machine running.