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Mapped drive "disconnected" problem

Thsi client has a US Robotics network-attached storage device to which they have been backing up. But the backup jobs started to fail intermittently about 4 weeks ago with the NT Backup log claiming "specified media could not be found."

I've been looking into this, trial and error and all with trying this and that to find the culprit, and I just noticed this morning when I remoted into their server (SBS 2003 SP1) and opened Windows Explorer that mapped drive said "Disconnected mapped drive" in the right windowpane but when I clicked on that mapped drive it "woke up" right away and showed me what was on the drive.

I've never noticed that "disconnected mapped drive" message before so it made me think that this might be the problem with the backup failing to find the specified media. I ran a test with NT Backup last night and successfully backed up to a USB-attached hard drive so I'm thinking it's this mapped drive that's falling asleep or something. I also set up a scheduled task to do a simple file copy operation 5 minutes before the backup kicked off to help make sure the mapped drive was "awake" but that doesn't seem to have helped the problem even though the file copy task appears to be sucessfully completing.

So my question: is there a way to flip a switch to make mapped drives not go offline after whatever timeout period they are currently going "disconnected?"
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2 Solutions
map them using the persistent switch:

net use R: \\server\share /persist:yes
or, from the server use

net config server /autodisconnect:-1
to disable it.

Ref: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/138365 for more info
Happy to help - thanx for the grade! :^)
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