Why do my drive mappings disappear?

Posted on 2007-10-10
Last Modified: 2011-02-15
I am running a Windows Server 2003 domain on a large 600+ workstation network.  Just recently I have been getting complaints from random users around the campus that when they log on in the morning all of their drive mappings are there and functional.  When they leave their workstations and come back some time later, some of their drive mappings are completely gone.

Here is some back information that might help.

1)  There is only one login script running and it maps the drives as persistent.
2)  There are no virus or spyware detected on the network.
3)  There have been no recent network infrastructure changes.
4)  The problem is not isolated to just one part of the campus. It's completely random.
5)  There is nothing in group policy that runs any sort of script after the login script.
6)  The login script is not calling any other script.
7)  DNS has been tested and is running fine.

I have noticed that a couple of the users that reported the issue had lost network connectivity at the time the issue was reported.  However, it is my understanding that even if network connectivity was lost, the drive letter would still be there being it was mapped as persistent.

If anyone has any ideas or has encountered this issue before, I would appreciate the help.

Question by:turnkeysol

    Accepted Solution

    We had a problem at my work with the same issue.

    We isolated it to one particular make of PC. For us it was Dell GX270 workstations. The NIC card on those devices just seemed to drop mapped drives from the domain login script.

    This started happenign after we changed the switches from 100/Full Duplex to Auto/Auto and also changed the NIC cards to Auto/Auto. We did this to improve conectivity and reduce colisions that were causing some network slowdowns.

    However with the GX270 NIC's we had to set the cards back to 100/Full rather than Auto/Auto. This causes them to run slightly slower as the switches in our Comm closets are set to Auto/Auto detect but it did resolve the connectivity issues and network drive dropping issues.

    Hope that helps, let me know if you need any details on checking your network interface card speed and duplicity settings.


    Author Comment

    Thanks.  I will investigate the solution in more detail.  It does seem the the workstations in question are all GX270s.  Thanks for the tip

    Expert Comment

    Ahh yeah those GX270's are junk. I can't wait until the last of them goes out of warranty and are replaced here.

    We tried updating the drivers and even replacing the NIC's but that did not resolve the issue.

    Dell even came and replaced the system board and power supply on every GX270 we have ( Which was around 250 out of 1500 workstations at the time) for an unrelated issue.

    Until the replacement cycle gets rid of them we just have those users set to 100/Full, which causes more negotiations for their connection but at least they don't drop all there drives any longer.

    Good luck!
    LVL 6

    Expert Comment

    May I suggest that you set the switch port for those PC to 100/Full too so there will be no negociation at all and you know that it is correct (so no errors)

    Just a suggestion :-)

    Expert Comment

    To netnounours,

    I agree with you! But I am not in charge of infrastructure here and the people who are want them all set to auto/auto. They don't want to manage the switches at a one port level. (we have a LOT of devices)

    It's ok for now we have a pretty aggresive replacement cycle for our PC's and most of the GX 270's will be gone before the end of the year.  :)

    Author Comment

    I have changed the duplex settings on the computers in question.  The interesting thing is that some of the computers were not GX270's.  With that said the majority of the computers had Intel Pro NICs.  I have monitored the the situation and it seems that this just might have solved my problem.  I want to continue to monitor the situation, but I will go ahead and submit this ticket as closed and resolved.


    Expert Comment

    Glad I could help!

    Expert Comment

    Possibly related solution.  I had a more recent dell tower in which this happened and the solution was to unplug it before a reboot thus getting rid of the parasite power.

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