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Disconnected Network Drives

Posted on 2011-05-03
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Hello,

Our payroll manager is in the midst of a frustrating problem. She logs off every night before she leaves. Every morning, she comes back to her computer, logs in, and discovers that she has about 20 disconnected drives that have been mapped to her computer.

It resembles:

Disconnected Network Drive (E:)
Disconnected Network Drive (F:)
Disconnected Network Drive (G:)
Disconnected Network Drive (H:)
hr records on 'svsr1\hr' (I:) <----an actual desired mapping
Disconnected Network Drive (J:)
Disconnected Network Drive (K:)

etc...all the way to Z.

A reboot will cause all of the disconnected drives to disappear and the correct mappings to re-establish. I have turned off auto-disconnect (from the command prompt) and I will be running a malware bytes scan and checking the power settings. I am hoping that others have input...I do not want to re-install operating system / profile.

She is running XP and we use a file redirect system on a Windows Server 03 OS.

Thank you.



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Question by:ecshelpdesk
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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 35514199
Is there a reason that she isn't turning her computer off instead of just logging out?
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by:Paul MacDonald
ID: 35514208
There are no batch files - either locally or part of a login script - that might be responsible for this?
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by:ecshelpdesk
ID: 35514272
@Dave: Our users log off and leave computers on for maintenance purposes. Although, in her case we may be changing this.

@Paul: We do use scripts. However, it happens every night. After she reboots, and logs in, the problem disappears. If the login script was the problem, would a reboot help? Wouldn't the problem recur every login if it was the script?
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Paul MacDonald earned 1000 total points
ID: 35514386
It could be a script that only works at a certain time of day.

If someone else logs into the computer first thing, does the same problem happen?
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by:Kenneth Brown
Kenneth Brown earned 1000 total points
ID: 35516446
Test: Get her to unplug nwk cable after logging off, & reinsert before logging on. Does problem persist?
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by:ChiefIT
ID: 35551652
Sounds like a simple bug to me. Looks like someone took a useful script and created a bug with it.
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by:ocanada_techguy
ID: 35689239
Could the servers she's connected mapped drive letters to, or the routers betwixt, be rebooted overnight while her computer sits on and detects the connections lost?

Another possibility, depending what machines these mapped letters are connecting to, the file servers themselves may be running non-server editions of windows or server editions that have only so many seat or server based client access licences (CALs), such that when backup routines or other scripts run overnight, they connect, and your payroll manager's connections get pushed off.  For instance, XP Professional would allow 10 connections, let's say payroll manager is one of them, but overnight many other connections are made to said XP Pro box, well, the 11th connection makes the 1st disconnect, if the 1st tries refreshing, that could push the 2nd off, the 12th connection push off the 3rd, and so forth, limiting to 10 clients (a single client can have multiple connections that count as only 1 client access)

In any event seems like the simplest solution, and from a save-the-planet go-green perspective, I would recommend, that users be in the habit of shutting down except for a certain designated night of the week.  For instance we have support leave on Tuesdays and Administration leave on Wednesdays so their systems can be updated or backed up on that night, otherwise they turn off.  Another option you might consider is wake-on-lan, whereby you could send a signal to the machines to wake-up if you needed to do something to them, otherwise they're off.
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by:ecshelpdesk
ID: 35690900
@Paul: Yes, any user that logs in will get a display of those disconnected drives.

@Ken: Yes, the problem persists. Even if I log in with the cable unplugged, it displays the disconnected drives.

@ocanada: I do like the idea of having users shut down every night. I would have to run it through my boss. Any useful websites with stats on power consumption w/ computer on overnight? I'll need evidence.

Because this problem occurs with any user login, it seems there is a good news. A reinstall should fix the problem, right? I uninstalled a tune up program, I will be checking her group policies, and, while she is at lunch, I'll try an XP repair. If this all fails, we'll probably perform a full rebuild soon. Does this seem like a good plan?



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by:Paul MacDonald
ID: 35690931
Well, it certainly seems machine-specific.  Have you looked at the machine for any local policies that might try to connect network drives (or run scripts that do)?

Since it seems machine-specific, a rebuild would probably resolve the issue.  Before you rebuild, you could try dis-joining and re-joining it to the domain to see if that has any effect.
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by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 35691871
I have cured some odd startup problems by having people shutdown their computers at the end of the day.  When they would come back in the morning after leaving them on, they wouldn't work right and they wouldn't reboot right.  Rebooting a second time would usually bring them back.

My guess is that leaving them on in whatever mode with background program running leads to memory corruption in these cases.  A number of common programs seem to have memory leaks and/or continuously increase their memory usage as they sit in memory.  Just logging out doesn't necessarily remove them from memory.  Shutting them down while they still running correctly let's Windows go through it's shutdown process correctly.
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by:Kenneth Brown
ID: 35702787
Before you rebuild, what about trying to find when (during the eve/night presumably) the problem manifests itself? That might hint as to whats causing it? Do you think theres a way say a batch file or other script you're familiar with can somehow query drive 'existance' even if disconnected, at periodic intervals and log it? ...And have you checked the administrative logs anyway? (im sure you have!)
Mind you if she logs off then might be difficult to keep such a script running? You might know more about this than me anyway. Out of interest if she doesnt log off at all what happens? Sorry for the rambling post but i hate the idea of an unnecc reinstall unless all 'easy' measures have been tried first.
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by:bobnla
ID: 35702834
Weird possibility.
This is unaffected by the control panel power management.

Go in to the properties of the network card
Choose the Configure button
On the Power Management tab,
Uncheck the box that says Allow the computer to turn off this device to save power.
It stopped a lot of disconnections from the server on my computers.
Good luck.
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by:ecshelpdesk
ID: 35707110
Thank you for all the help. I hope that this proves to be a valuable post for people suffering from similar problems. After two successful days of logins, I'll call the problem fixed (for now). On Wednesday, the only change I made was to uninstall Tune Up 2011. She was too busy for me to work extensively. When she logged in successfully on Thursday, I didn't make any more changes (heck, I even tried to avoid looking at the thing). She logged in successfully today also. Sooo...Tune Up was the problem..? Maybe..?
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Author Comment

by:ecshelpdesk
ID: 35707327
I just heard that Tune Up Utilities has an option to Disconnect Network Drives to optimize performance. Yikes. We've had that program for a while now (since before my time) and it seems to cause a lot of headaches. Anyone have similar issues? Or anyone really happy with it?
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by:Paul MacDonald
ID: 35708662
Thanks for sharing your solution.  That's certainly not something I would have thought to look for.
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