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Network drive mapping SBS2008

Posted on 2011-05-02
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I have a client that is using batch scripts to map network drives for users when they log in. I seem to recall that there was an issue using batch scripts with Server 2008 rather than using GP to map network drive. Is there any compelling reason to pick one method over the other?
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Question by:pmckenna11
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by:Philip Elder
Philip Elder earned 664 total points
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For earlier than Windows 7 make sure Group Policy Client Side Extensions are installed:

http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/en/details.aspx?familyid=E60B5C8F-D7DC-4B27-A261-247CE3F6C4F8&displaylang=en

From there, set up Group Policy Preferences to configure those mapped drives.

http://blog.mpecsinc.ca/2009/01/sbs-2008-and-group-policy-preferences.html

Philip
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by:Philip Elder
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To answer your question specifically, GPPrefs have almost _all_ of the settings one would have scripted in the past. By eliminating scripts we eliminate one possible vector for compromise.

Philip
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dmessman earned 668 total points
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Personally, I use scripts also.  The reason is that I had trouble mapping drives with group policy the first time I tried it and since then - it's just doing what I already know works.

The real advantage with group policy is that it's more quickly and easily applied to groups.  Let's say you've got three different offices separated into three separate OUs in active directory, NewYork, Chicago, SanFrancisco.  Each has their own mappings based on where they are.  Instead of editing 100 different users' settings for a script, you would make three changes to the scripts based on group policy membership.  As I describe it, it makes no sense that I'm still using batch scripts, perhaps I need to get over it and start using group policy.

But as far as which one is better, minus the administrative overhead in batch scripts, I think they are equivalent.
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by:Cliff Galiher
Cliff Galiher earned 668 total points
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To clarify Philip's response, the problem isn't SBS 2008. A script with SBS 2008 and XP clients works fine. Vista and Windows 7 can have issues with scripts because of UAC, however, and would have issues with SBS 2003 as well.

Since IT budgets oftem mean upgrades are rolled out in bulk, you often see SBS 2008 and Win7 upgrades happening together. Thus the recommendation is to use Preferences with SBS 2008/2011. XP supports preferences as well, so using Preferences with SBS 2008, even with XP, means you'll have a smoother transition to current of future Windows client upgrades as well. The only time to use a script is if you still have SBS 2003 where creating/editing preferences aren't supported or if you still have Windows 2000 clients that cannot support reading preferences and acting on them.

-Cliff
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