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Mapping network drivers usign Group Policy

Posted on 2004-09-06
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Last Modified: 2006-11-17
Hello,
We are planning the migration to windows 2003.

Currently we have twenty differents nt 4.0 domains. The thing is that we are using .bat files to map the network drivers to Domain users. Our idea is to use Group Policy to Map the Network drivers for each user and if possible to avoid to use .bat files. We know that is possible to achieve this using Visual basic scripts. But we have the doubt if it is possible to map usign Group Policy. Obviosly it will be necessary to take in account the site where the user is logging in, in order to map the drivers to the file server in the site where the user is.
Is there any way to map the NetWork drivers usign Group Policy ?
Based in your experience, do you advice to use this method to map drives ?
What it will happend with the users with portables computers ?

Thanks in advance
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Question by:intentalo69
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by:adamdrayer
ID: 11990855
In group policy, you can specify login/logoff scripts as well as startup/startdown scripts.  You can use batchfiles, vbscript, javascript, etc..
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Sembee earned 750 total points
ID: 11991373
Users with portable computers will only get the login script when they actually login to the network from the CTRL-ALT-DEL prompt. So if they come in remotely after logging in, or bring their machines in on suspend then the script will not run.
With some coaching you can get them to login at the CTRL-ALT-DEL prompt from remote when available via dial up or VPN.

You can only map network drives by GP calling another script. You will either be stuck with batch files or have to move on to another technology. It depends where your skills are.
With a properly crafted batch file (s) you can have a single file or files that take in to account location, groups etc and map drives accordingly. Microsoft have provided a large amount of command line tools for tasks like these.
If users are moving around, then controlling the mapping from GP isn't practical, unless you are placing the laptop users in to a special group that runs a different script that identifies where they are first and acts accordingly.

For example you could have three scripts...

New York
London
Mobile

New York runs for all users in New York static (desktops - perhaps allocated per machine instead of user).
London runs for all users in London (as per New York)
Mobile first identifies where the user is then calls either the New York or London script as required.

If you and your colleagues have built up a skill level with batch files then don't throw it away. While GP can do many things, there is still a place for command line tools in network management.

Simon.
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Author Comment

by:intentalo69
ID: 11995825
Hello Simon,
However, It is possible to create a Script usign Visual basic, kix, etc.,using variables referencing to differents groups. For example It is possible to create an script, using IF
command in order to assign the Name Server string to a variable in order to map
the server, etc.

In NT 4.0 domains, I think It is possible to assign a .bat fle to an user usign USER MANAGER console. but I think It is only possible to assign one. If want to run more than one script file for user, It is necessary to include the reference to that other script inside the main .bat file . Isn´t it?

In Windows 2000/windows 2003 domains. It it possible to apoly log in/log off scripts usign group Policy. I have these questions:

-  We create a generic script (with variables, IF, etc) to be able to assign server,printers,
depending where the user are (I am talking about the users with desktops, who are always in the same site) and apply this script to High Level OU (for example business unit OU). I am worry because with 7000 users, if I need to assign the servers, printers using IF, variables. Will it not happen that the logon process will be slow (Imagine 7.000 users, and grouping for users (using Security groups) in the same site in order to be able to use "IF"  and assign file servers names to map network drives, and a lot of sites with files servers). In your experience, do you think this a correct way?

- In windows 2003 if there are several .bat files in SYSVOL folders. does the user who log in process all script in this folder or only the scripts who are assigned through Group Policy or User properties?










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