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Is it possible for a Mac to have a "persistant" connection to a shared drive ?

Posted on 2010-08-26
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I have a user that just received a macbook.  She has been working on a Windows 7 laptop for about 6 months.  As with most companies we store most of our user data up on the network ( i.e. My Documents and other personal folders ).  I know very little about Mac's.  My user wants her Mac to have persistant mappings for her Mac just like she had with her Win 7 laptop.  I reseached the web and discovered that a Command + K would allow me to connect to a server.  However when she reboots the Network drive goes away and she has to do this function again.  I asked around and someone mentioned that I should try an application called Dave Browser.  I purchased the program and it works when the user is at the office.  When she is out of town and using our SSL-VPN the Dave Browser either will not connect the macbook to the network shares or if it does connect it takes forever for her to access a folder/file.  

Does anyone know of an application that works well to connect a mac to network shares ? that will also work with a VPN connection ( we use Sonicwall NSA240 for our routers ).  
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Question by:PCannon
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ews208 earned 500 total points
ID: 33534791
This is possible without using any additional programs. Mount your network drive then go to System Preferences -> Accounts -> (select user) -> Login Items. Select the '+' button in the center pane on the bottom left. A dialog box will pop-up, choose the network drive you mounted from the left-hand pane under 'DEVICES'.

This should enable the network drive to remount every time the computer is rebooted.
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by:PCannon
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Have you ever tried this with a VPN connection ?
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by:markaaa
ID: 33535271
The answer from ews208 is your first step. It may not work flawlessly for the VPN connection though since it is not likely connected at login time. You can also create an alias to the network share on the desktop to assist your user when she needs to connect to the share manually.

1. Mount your network share
2. Open the finder preference pane
3. Make sure the box next to “Connected Servers” under General is checked
4. Right click on the icon on your desktop representing the mounted drive
5. Choose make alias (And optionally rename the drive to something more specific)
6. Go back and uncheck the box next to “Connected Servers”
7. Just double-click on the alias and it will remount

Apple could have made this a lot easier...but they didn't and have actually made it more difficult in the recent versions of OS X.
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by:ews208
ID: 33535319
Does the VPN load on startup? If so it should work. It will at least keep her drives loaded persistently while attached to your LAN.

In addition, you can create a shortcut for the user to mount the drive once the VPN is connected. Mount your network drive -> in the Finder window that pops up, click and hold the icon of the drive located in the title bar -> drag icon to Desktop or wherever is convenient for the user.

Keep in mind network drives will have much slower access when connected via VPN, especially depending on the quality of the user's connection.
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by:PCannon
ID: 33536379
I have the laptop here in the office with me now.  I followed your instructions and mounted the shares per your earlier suggestion.  So, I have to create the shortcuts with the macbook attached to the network via VPN ?

You'd figure with Mac doing their best to be cutting edge and the most "hip" thing to have that they would have put some thought into networking ?  After working with it for a few hours I am still defintely a pc guy.
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by:ews208
ews208 earned 500 total points
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You should be able to create the shortcuts whether connected to the network via LAN or VPN. It is it just an alias to smb://whateveryourshareis.

Once you reboot is when you will have to use the shortcut if you are disconnected from the LAN. Reboot, connect to VPN, then double-click the alias.
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