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UNC Path not opening in explorer (Windows 2003 server)

Posted on 2010-11-23
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
When running to a UNC path (e.g. \\server1\c$) the "Open With" window opens prompting for a program to be selected to open the location. It is possible to browse to explorer.exe but the option to always use selected program is greyed out.  

When I try to open a UNC path through run I want explorer to be the default application to open the location. Is this set somewhere in the registry?

Thanks for any advice.
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Question by:RTSL
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13 Comments
 
LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:DrUltima
ID: 34200015
Go to a command prompt and type PATH.

Paste the results here for us.
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:ChiefIT
ID: 34202104
Also check the RSOP. Greyed out usually means a policy to prevent.
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Author Comment

by:RTSL
ID: 34203469
Hi, PATH result below:

Microsoft Windows [Version 5.2.3790]
(C) Copyright 1985-2003 Microsoft Corp.

C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools>PATH
PATH=C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools\;C:\WINDOWS\system32;C:\WINDOW
S;C:\WINDOWS\System32\Wbem;C:\Program Files\Citrix\System32\Citrix\IMA;C:\Progra
m Files\Citrix\System32\Citrix\IMA\Subsystems;C:\WINDOWS\System32\Citrix\IMA;C:\
Program Files\Citrix\system32;C:\Program Files\Common Files\Citrix\System32\;C:\
Program Files\Common Files\Citrix\System32;C:\Program Files\Windows Imaging\;C:\
Program Files\Microsoft Application Virtualization Client

C:\Program Files\Windows Resource Kits\Tools>

Thanks
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:DrUltima
ID: 34205831
Your path appears correct.  What are the results of your RSoP, as ChiefIT suggested?
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Author Comment

by:RTSL
ID: 34206741
Here is the policy section of the RSOP

RSOP.txt
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:DrUltima
ID: 34206805
Policies look OK, but I am curious about the script error.  Do you have login scripts running against this machine?  Also, is this one machine or all machines on your domain or in an OU?
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Author Comment

by:RTSL
ID: 34207087
I don't think it is group policy related as all other servers in the OU are fine. Is there a reg setting to associate UNC paths from the run command to open in Explorer by default?
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LVL 38

Expert Comment

by:ChiefIT
ID: 34207284

So, these files will not open in explorer, like you ask.

.PDF files will open with adobe
.Doc and DOCX will open with word
.xls and .xlsx will open with excell.

File types can be found under:
Right click "My computer">>Select Explore>>Select "View" menu>> and choose "folder options">>click on the file types tab.

Since you are unable to select different programs to open a file, you might check out what MSDN says about this.
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc144148(VS.85).aspx

The shell extensions should go with the correct program shell. So, explorer is not a good option to open up any file types except Internet Explorer to a Web page.

Now, if you want to make Internet Explorer as your default browser, let us know.
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Expert Comment

by:DrUltima
ID: 34207880
Chief,

I think the issue is that when a UNC path (\\servername\sharename), it will not open the Windows Explorer and browse to that location.  

RTSL,

Please correct if my above statement to ChiefIT is not correct.  Explorer.exe should be the default app for UNC path type run command, and I am honestly not sure where in the registry that might be found.  I will do some digging, but I am not optimistic about results.  If you open the Windows Explorer from an icon (My Computer, for example), can you then type a UNC path and browse to the desired location?

Justin
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Author Comment

by:RTSL
ID: 34208024
can you then type a UNC path and browse to the desired location?

Answer: Yes I can type the UNC path into Windows Explorer and it goes the location successfully.

The issue is as DrUltima says, If I open the 'Run' box (Start>>Run) then type in the UNC path eg \\server\share, instead of Windows Explorer opening at that location I get the 'Open With' window. It is as if Windows doesn't associate any application when trying to access UNC paths from the Run box.
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LVL 31

Expert Comment

by:DrUltima
ID: 34208084
In your server, if you Click, from an Explorer Window:

Tools --> Folder Options --> File Types

Toward the top of the list are (NONE) under "Extensions".  You should have two entries (among others) which are labeled (NONE) File Folder and (NONE) Folder.  If you click "Advanced" for File Folder, the only action should be Find.  If you click "Advanced" for Folder, you should have two actions: explore and open, in that order.

Is this what you are seeing?

Justin
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Accepted Solution

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DrUltima earned 500 total points
ID: 34208216
RTSL,

I mentioned this issue to our onsite MS PFE, and his eyes got big and his first response was, "Oh, crap."  He then said it was caused by either a MUP (Multiple UNC Provider) corruption or a registry corruption, but in either case, it would be easier to wipe and reload the machine than it would to actually find the cause of the problem and fix it.  He also indicated that fixing it would not fix the underlying cause of the corruption to begin with.  I don't know if that is an option for you, but that is what my MS PFE suggests. :)

More info on MUP:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff556761%28VS.85%29.aspx

Do you see anything at all in the event viewer about MUP.sys?

Justin
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Author Closing Comment

by:RTSL
ID: 34211432
Thanks for your help guys. DrUltima, I have decided to rebuild the server. Thanks again.
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