Another Random "Quirk" in Windows 10 - No NAS Access when using PIN - July 8th, 2016

4:19 PM

So my new school gave me a brand-spanking-new Microsoft Surface Pro 4 (i5, 8gb, 256gb ssd) to use! Thank you! It's pretty nice, but I am not much of a tablet/touchscreen-laptop type of a person.  The potential of the stylus in a classroom is pretty exciting though!  Anyway, I'll post about the success (or failure) of that later, I am sure.  Back to my love poem for Windows 10...

So I used to use Microsoft's Live Mesh (which has since been discountinued).  It was great because I could choose to sync specific folders across any or all of my Windows machines (without having to have a "Onedrive" folder, which is what I didn't like about Dropbox).  I never could figure out how to share Lightroom catalog files, since they cannot reside on the network, so I used this as a workaround.  Sure, there were duplicate copies every once in a while, but it worked pretty well, all things considered.  Once Microsoft discontinued Live Mesh, I just stopped using any syncing service altogether.  However, with the Surface and our intention to use OneNote and share documents among the Geometry teachers, etc., I have, once again, started using Microsoft's sync/cloud service.

But prior to giving in, I had actually set up a dynamic dns for my home router and a vpn so that I could access my NAS from anywhere with an internet connection.  I thought this worked well enough since it gave me access to all of my school documents (mostly old worksheets I've made).  And this is the setup for how I ran into this weird bug.

First, the IT department set up a bunch of stuff for the authentication and login and all that, Azure, whatever (and then there's Microsoft Hello, and you can use a phone to sign-in instead, and a PIN, or your face, blah blah blah).  I have no idea...but anyway, it was fine.  I take the Surface home and everything seems to be working fine.  The next day, I noticed that I can no longer access my NAS, both through Windows Explorer as well as the direct ip method using two \ and its ip address.  Mind you, I couldn't access the NAT both on my home network as well as through a vpn somewhere else.  These are the errors I was getting (in seemingly random order):

I then looked up the problem and tried everything I could - turned off and on wifi, rebooted, turned off network sharing, created a local account, etc.  Nothing realy worked, but I stumbled upon one time when it worked again.  It seems to have been a combination of creating and deleting a Microsoft Account as well using a local account.

EVENTUALLY, I figured out the culprit.  Apparently, if I log in using a PIN, then I will not be able to access my NAS.  Once I used a password again instead, it was totally.  I can't say this will be the same behavior on your computer/network, but it may be a solution if you run into the same, strange problem.  Such an odd bug.

Recap: Don't use a PIN to log in if you're having problems with accessing network drives.  It might solve your problem!  =)

Completely unrelated to bug but still relevant due to VPN rant:
It was so quick and easy to choose and connect to different VPNs you have set up.  Now (in Windows 10)?  Not so much.  This post explains and explores the issue in more detail.  They also have a couple of work-arounds (best shortcut method in comments), but only if you don't mind having a shortcut for each VPN.

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