Finding an Invisible NAS on a Network

Over the weekend I decided to migrate data from an older NAS (Network Attached Storage) device to a newer device. So I plugged in the new NAS and set it up with two brand new HDDs. Provisioned a RAID 1 (Mirror) and finally I secured the device with a better password than “blank“.

Plugging in the older device, I expected that it would show up in Windows Explorer, but it did not. I spent the next couple hours trying to figure out why I could not find the device’s IP. I connected to my router, looked at the DHCP map and it wasn’t showing up.

Obviously, I hadn’t used the device for some time and had forgotten the devices name. So here I was, with no IP or Name for the device. The RJ45 plugged in and the flashing lights telling me that something was going on…

In trying to find the device, I started to set up meaningful DHCP Reservations for all known devices my network. Surprisingly, I found myself adding more devices than I was expecting. This was an eye opener, but left me in the cold. The NAS was still invisible.

Having spent about an hour creating DHCP Reservations by finding the MAC Address of each device, I went ahead and created a new reservation for the NAS device. Fortunately, most network devices like routers, have a hard copy of their MAC Address printed on a label. The new reservation assigned as the IP Address for my NAS device.

I proceeded by rebooting both my router and the NAS device. Then I executed the following in a Command Prompt.


Seeing the following output put a huge smile on my face, because I finally had a known IP for my NAS device.

Shared resources at


Share name  Type   Used as  Comment

lp          Print           USB Printer
Volume_1    Disk
The command completed successfully.

I was then able to map the network drive by using this new address \\\Volume_1. Then using the same IP Address, I browsed to the device’s admin website. Out of curiosity I tried to find the cause and this is when I realized that I had previously configured the device with a Static IP. I had forgotten the device’s name and IP.

The lesson I’m pulling from this adventure, is that using DHCP Reservations easier to diagnose than forgotten Static IPs.

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