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Mapped network drive won't reconnect at logon

Posted on 2006-11-30
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I have a Windows 2003 Server box that I am using as a terminal server.  Because of a "unique" licensing scheme a particular piece of software uses, I need different users to see different drives.  The "keys" that allow the software to work reside in the root directory of the drive.  Different keys unlock different features so each user needs to be able to only "see" his own key and none of the others.  I tried to solve this by creating diffent folders with different shares and permissions on the local C: drive.  I then map network drives for each user to the different shares.  I put the "key" for each user in his own mapped network drive - no keys will go in the root of the C: drive.  This works fine for the Administrator account, but certain other accounts won't keep the drive mapping.  I can map the network drive, making sure to check the "Reconnect at logon" box and use it.  I can copy files into and out of it.  However, when I log off and back on, the network drive is gone.  Any files I put in the shared folder are still there, but the drive mapping is gone.  This problem occurs with accounts that I have "locked down" as much as possible.  I assume I turned off some kind of permission that was needed, but I have no idea which one it was.

Any ideas?
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Question by:cbanzet
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by:Hypercat (Deb)
ID: 18049325
Not an answer to your specific question, but a suggestion for a different approach.  How about putting the key folder in the user's home directory or in their profile?  If this would be feasible with the program they are running, it would avoid any potential permissions issues on the terminal server C: drive.  I have a similar situation with a program that has to be run using an .ini file that needs to have custom settings for each user.  I solved the issue by putting a folder in each user's profile with the required .exe and .ini files and a shortcut on each user's individual desktop pointing to that location for running the program.

Hope this helps!
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zephyr_hex earned 250 total points
ID: 18049481
are you mapping the network drive in a logon script that runs each time the user logs in to the domain?  if so, make sure you unmount the drive before your command to mount.  i once encountered an issue where a mapping would not consistently work, and it was resolved by deleting the network map just before adding the network map.

if the network map is done as a logon script, it will mount the network drive every time the user logs on.
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by:cbanzet
ID: 18049580
Well, the way this key thing works is that when the software starts, it starts looking in the root directory of all of the drives on the PC for a key file.  If there is a key file and the key file contains a key that will work with that software, the software stops looking for keys and uses the one it just found.  The problem is that different keys enable different features.  If the software finds the "wrong" key for a given user first, then its going to use it.  I'm trying to prevent that.

I don't THINK your suggestion would work for me (if I understand your suggestion correctly) because of the root directory issue.  This software will ONLY look in the root directory of the hard drives it can see.

Thanks for the suggestion though and if I misunderstand it, please let me know.
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by:cbanzet
ID: 18049614
Thanks zephyr.  That's next thing I was was going to try if I couldn't get the mapping through Explorer to "stick".

I wasn't sure how well that would work because:   A)  A given user will be logged in multiple times at once  and  B) I didn't know how the login script would handle mapping a network drive on the server for a remote user.

Something I guess I should mention is that users use a Remote Desktop Connection to connect (although I'm sure everyone reading this assumed that anyway).
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by:zephyr_hex
ID: 18049710
it's ok if you're using RDP.  it will still map the network drive with the logon script.  

is a user logged in to the same machine multiple times at once?  if so, what kind of active directory structure are you using?
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by:cbanzet
ID: 18049752
Yes, the same user is logged in to the W2K3 Server box multiple times at once.  The reason for this is that different "classes" of user all log in as the same user.  For example, all supervisors log into the machine as "Operator".  Therefore "Operator" can be logged in several times at once.

As to the active directory structure, I can't answer that.  This is my first time trying to use W2K3 server and terminal services.  The active directory was "default" everything and I just added users to it.
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by:Hypercat (Deb)
Hypercat (Deb) earned 250 total points
ID: 18050737
You didn't misunderstand - after reading your more detailed explanation, I can see why my suggestion wouldn't work for you.

I think you need to use a login script, or manually run script of some kind.  Your drive mappings aren't persisting probably because of the security settings inherent in setting up a terminal server.  If you set up a login script or a batch file that they run each time they log on (i.e., in their Startup folder), you can be assured that the drives will always be mapped properly.  Personally, I prefer login scripts, but since you seem to have a situation where each user will have different drive mappings, a batch file in the startup folder might work just as well.  Either way, you want to start the login script with a "net use * /delete /y" command (to be sure that you're starting clean), and then follow it with the drive mapping commands, i.e., "net use F: \\server\share /persistent:yes," etc.  Even though I delete all mappings at the beginning of the script, I also always use the "persistent:yes" switch just to make sure the mapping doesn't get dropped if they get disconnected inadvertently.

Hope this helps!
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by:cbanzet
ID: 18109287
Well I've got my drive consistently mapping.  I still have other problems with my software that requires the "keys".  Splitting points because zephyr was the first to suggest that the mapping should be done each time the user logs on, but hyper filled in with the important /delete switch.

BTW, since I am deleting the map every time I decided not to use the /persistent:yes switch.  Once the S/W in question finds the key, it doesn't check again.


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