Mapping drives across domains/forests


I am testing a setup I need to use at one of my sites.

I have two forests, one with an outgoing trust to the other. Users from the trusted forest need to be able to login to PC's in the trusting forest and be presented with their normal mapped network drives etc.

In AD Users and Computers I had the user account configured to map the home drive to \\servername\home\username.

Of course this didn't work when a user logged into the other forest because \\servername is not a FQDN and so could not be resolved. I got round this by entering \\\home\username in the home drive properties and this works OK since the full DNS name of the server is now present.

Is this the "right" way of doing it and normal practice for this kind of scenario, or is there a better way of sorting this out, I've thought of perhaps adding an extra DNS suffix in the client DNS properties but this can't be assigned by DHCP afaik, so how do people work round this?
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Chris DentConnect With a Mentor PowerShell DeveloperCommented:

We use a mixture of the two, if there's a great deal of integration between the two networks then Suffixes are added to the clients. If it's only for a user or two then FQDN's are used instead.

> I've thought of perhaps adding an extra DNS suffix in the client DNS properties but this can't be assigned by
> DHCP afaik, so how do people work round this?

Scripts or Group Policy.

Group Policy only works with Windows XP or Windows 2003 Server so scripts are really common. It's set in Computer Configuration, Administrative Templates, Network and DNS Client. The policy is called "DNS Suffix Search List".

If you prefer the scripting approach this bit of VbScript demonstrates how to set the value using WMI:

Const SEARCH_LIST = ",,"
Const REG_HKLM = &H80000002

Set objShell = CreateObject("WScript.Shell")
Set objRegistry = GetObject("winmgmts:\\.\root\default:StdRegProv")

strKeyPath = "System\CurrentControlSet\Services\TCPIP\Parameters"
objRegistry.SetStringValue REG_HKLM, strKeyPath, "SearchList", SEARCH_LIST

objShell.Run "ipconfig /renew", 7, True


Hi richardwhit,

what happens if you load a secondary zone from the DNS server in the remote domain
richardwhitAuthor Commented:
I'm using a stub zone at the moment. I'm not sure that loading a seconday zone would make any difference -  the client is not querying for a name in the other domain unless the correct suffix is specified. I'll give it a go anyway though.
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fair call - was just a quick thought
richardwhitAuthor Commented:
Excellent answer, thanks for your help!
Chris DentPowerShell DeveloperCommented:

Pleasure :)

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