Mapping network drives without using logon, startup scripts

Posted on 2007-07-23
Last Modified: 2010-05-18
I was wondering if there was a way to map network drives during an active session.  Here is my scenario, our network drives map from a login script, but our laptop users, when out of the office, connect through VPN and because they aren't connected to the network at the time of logon the network drives aren't mapped.  For some users I have hard mapped, through My Computer, these drives so they are always there, but I would like to find a way for Active Directory to see these computers are connected, check to see if the drives are mapped and if not map them.
Question by:Bob_Longmire
    LVL 10

    Expert Comment

    create a batch file that maps their drives.  So when they connect via VPN, tell them to double-click the batch file.

    Author Comment

    That is something we have done in the past.  I am really looking for a way to have Active Directory do this automatically.  Maybe this isn't possible, but I thought I would ask.
    LVL 3

    Accepted Solution

    Cisco VPN client has an application launcher option that you could use after the tunnel has been established.
    LVL 2

    Expert Comment

    We made it using a mixed approach:

    1. Setup the Cisco VPN as described in the previous post
    2. For laptop users, we configured "folder redirection" on GPO to redirect their My Documents, etc to a shared folder, configured "Offline folders" via GPO, forcing their home drive (where we redirected the my docs, desktop, etc) to be synchronized
    3. We teach users how to use offline folders and let the users to make offline copies of folders that they want to have while offline.

    This way users always see their folders content, and when connected to the network the content is synchronized automatically and when do a VPN connection they just right-click the folder they want to sync and click on "Synchornize".

    That's it...

    Author Comment

    That would also fix the problem, but I think it would have to been done on every client.  I am looking for a way to have this done for everyone that connects to our network ... automatically.  (Even those connecting without using VPN)
    LVL 3

    Expert Comment

    if your user is on a LAN and a standard login script isn't working to map drives, there's an underlying network issue, I think.  If you're wanting to make everyone use the same method for ease of administration, I sympathize.  Apart from writing a 'check drive mappings' service and install it on the clients, I don't know of a tool that will do what you need when you take into account VPNs and such.

    Author Comment

    This is really only a problem with VPN, but I thought it would be a good check for all network users, in case a logon script happened to fail, which doesn't normally happen.  I was looking for a way to do this once that affected everyone so it was an ease of administration issue.  Now that I know this isn't possible in Active Directory I will concentrate on your other solution which exists in the VPN Client.  I thought there might be a way to execute a script after a certain amount of time say 5 minutes after someone connects to the network, which would ensure that the VPN users, although they didn't log on, would still get their network drives mapped.  Thanks for the ideas.

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