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Mapping a drive letter with an IP address

Posted on 2006-11-03
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
OK, I give.  I run into this situation now and again and it's got to be due to a hole in my knowledge of Windows Server OS.

I configure a client on a Windows domain (right now the issue is on a W2K3 server but I have run into the issue on a W2K server as well) and map a drive to say N: \\server01\data

Now I need to allow them access remotely to the drive over a PPTP VPN and don't want to mess about with NETBIOS so I just map another drive letter to the same space via the IP address. For example, I: \\192.168.0.10\data where the IP address is the address of the server.

The user has no problems when they are using the netbios drive letter on the network but when they attempt to use the ip addressed drive letter over the PPTP VPN they recieve a message that says the resource is already in use and they cannot login to the same resource more than once.

OK, so I just map the IP address and let them use I: (ip addressed drive letter) when they are locally logged in. This works fine most of the time but the connection (we are still talking about locally logged in clients) to the drive tends to "drop" and the user gets a message indicating that they do not have rights to the drive.

My objective is to get the PPTP VPN to work (without breaking the local login) but the issue seems to involve my ignorance of NETBIOS.

But to second guess your questions, the VPN server is a Netopia R910 and works great for everything else I do with it. From a remote location, the user logs into their notebook using their username, password, and domain of the server01. Once on their notebook, they start the PPTP VPN to the Netopia. Once there, they should be able to access all the drives etc as the Windows Client should hand the user's credetials over to the server as resouces are requested (right?).

So what am I missing about the difference between mapping a drive letter with a netbios name vs mapping a drive letter with an IP address?

Al
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Question by:albevier
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by:marine7275
ID: 17870762
I normally will map by IP address only if I know the client will be remoting in with that PC. I will map desktops by unc name if the will be local
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by:Steve Knight
ID: 17870800
Have you considered the easier option and often used with vpns of just adding a hosts table entry for the server on the laptop.  If you do that you shouldn't need to map a drive using ip.

Steve
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by:neomage23
ID: 17870812
Tell the user to "log off" of thier computer when they are not in the office and you won't have this problem.

-neo

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by:scrathcyboy
ID: 17871993
you can map a PRINTER directly to an IP address, but if you map a HARD DRIVE to an IP address, then the normal windows file and print sharing (i.e. mapping a network drive) often doesnt work right.  SO in general, NO, only map a drive letter on a computer to a windows name, NOT an IP address.
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by:Steve Knight
ID: 17872404
scrathcyboy : I map drives to IPs all the time using net use commands when you can't resolve names of distant servers on customer lans from their admin machines and it works fine.  

It might help to remove the drive mappings from bein persistent using net use /persistent:no at the top of your oogin script that currently maps them, make sure the hosts table contains an entry for each then give the user a batch file on their desktop  to remap the drives in the same way as your login script after they have logged on.
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by:cjtraman
ID: 17872640
you can solve this problem without logging off.
if you open command prompt and type net use, you would see the list of disconnected sessions. By issuing net use /delete command, you can remove the dicconnected session. May be create a batch file and ask the user to run whenever he encounter the problem. The other way is to make user logoff when he leaves the local lan.
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Rob Williams earned 500 total points
ID: 17873032
What are you using for the VPN connection ? I assume Windows.
If so the server is not available at the time of connection so I would add a batch file on the desktop to delete any existing mappings and re-create them such as:
net use * /delete
net use /persistent:no
net use x:  \\192.168.123.1
net use y:  \\192.168.123.2
net use z:  \\192.168.123.3

If you can resolve the NetBIOS names correctly, or want to add them to the LMHosts file as suggested by Steve/dragon-it, you can use the NetBIOS names, however there should be no problem using the IP's.

If using another VPN solution such as hardware to hardware, where the VPN/remote network is available at logon you could add to the start of their existing logon script:
net use * /delete
net use /persistent:no

Tell your users they should restart their laptops when switching networks rather than leaving in hibernate or stand-by mode. They are likely retaining drive mappings, routing tables, and NetBIOS and DNS name caches.
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by:Steve Knight
ID: 17889240
Oh well I suppose a batch file is better than words :-)

"It might help to remove the drive mappings from bein persistent using net use /persistent:no at the top of your oogin script that currently maps them, make sure the hosts table contains an entry for each then give the user a batch file on their desktop  to remap the drives in the same way as your login script after they have logged on."
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Author Comment

by:albevier
ID: 17889311
Thanks Guys, you revived my faith in myself somewhat in that most of what I got here I already knew but just was not putting together right. I gotta go with RobWill as Rob remined me of LMHosts (which I had completely forgotten even existed) and also reminded me that "normal" users tend not to log their notebooks off of a domain but just shut the lid or in some way get it to "go to sleep."

I got the users to log off before leaving with their notebooks and I placed LMHost entries for the required drives on their local notebooks. Problem (so far) has gone away. (I can't believe that I forgot about LMHosts!)

Being a fixit guy, I can't afford to try one thinng at a time to find out the "why", I just have to put as many solutions as possible into play and hope that the problem goes away -- which it did in this case. But the "log off the network before leaving" is likely the problem.

Thanks again.

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by:Rob Williams
ID: 17889347
albevier and Steve/dragon-it I must apologize, I must have missed Steve's post, as mine looks like I read it and wrote it out in different format. Assuming the batch file part of my post was the solution, please ask the moderators to re-open the question and award points to dragon-it, at the very least a point split. Appears like I am guilty of plagiarism :-) but it was just an honest oversight.
Cheers all !
--Rob
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 17889365
Whoops, should have refreshed. albevier  was posting while I was typing.
If other than the batch file commands, I guess it is OK. Regardless, Steve I apologize for duplicating your earlier comments, more or less word for word.
--Rob
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by:Steve Knight
ID: 17889649
Not an issue... somehow I don't think you need to crib from my hurried answer !!

Steve
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by:Rob Williams
ID: 17889766
:-)
Cheers !
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