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Mapping a local folder to a drive letter in Server 2008

Posted on 2011-09-06
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I would like to know if it is possible to take a local folder such as e:\development (local on server 2008) and assign a drive letter to it, so all clients see the e:\development folder as g:?

For example:
orginal path -> e:\development

Clients (scripts) that connect to the server see the above path as g: locally.  

I am asking since we have an in-house app that will only recognize a hard coded drive letter not a UNC path or share.  I know, I know.. not the best practice however I am not the developer, I just need to know if this is possible and if so, how to do it.

subst g: e:\development will not work in this case since it is user based and we do not want to keep a user logged into the server at all times.

Please shoot me any ideas you may have.  Thanks!
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Question by:TCLiven
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16 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 36489808
You say "All Clients"(Scripts)  Where are these running? On the server as services?
Cause you also say Clients (Scripts) That "Connect" to the server?

Some more info please.
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Expert Comment

by:MAdS
ID: 36489828
Use SUBST on the server. Command SUBST associates a drive letter to a local path.
Example: SUBST G: E:\DEVELOPMENT.
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Author Comment

by:TCLiven
ID: 36489954
Good catch..
The developer states locally run scripts as well linked server activities.  I asked for more detail but have not heard back as of now.  Didn't know if this was enough to put you in the right direction.
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Author Comment

by:TCLiven
ID: 36489959
@MAds:  Please see my comment above...

subst g: e:\development will not work in this case since it is user based and we do not want to keep a user logged into the server at all times.

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Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 36490048
Yeah you said Subst wouldnt work in your question.

IF you talking about local on the server running as a service then I am not sure how you can do it.
Is the software developed IN-House?
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Author Comment

by:TCLiven
ID: 36490059
Yes, the app is a home grown one. :(
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Expert Comment

by:Neil Russell
ID: 36490201
Then tell your developer to Write code that works in a real world :D
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Author Comment

by:TCLiven
ID: 36494947
:o)  He actually is stating that the obstacle is getting SSAS for the storagelocation setting to accept it in SSMS and BIDS.  I guess it expects a drive letter...  Anyone got any insight in that?  I will continue to research...
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Expert Comment

by:OriNetworks
ID: 36495001
I don't understand, why can't you have a startup script with the subst command to map the folder to a drive letter? That way it will map for each user that logs onto the machine.
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Author Comment

by:TCLiven
ID: 36495056
Hi OriNetworks -
Users are not specifically logging into the machine.  Scripts are being run via SSAS and BIDS per a SQL job.  Is there a way for a script to kick off with the SQL job that will perform the subst command w/o an actual login?  
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Expert Comment

by:MAdS
ID: 36497480
What you are trying to accomplish, literally, doesn't make sense:
"Clients (scripts) that connect to the server see the path e:\development as g: locally."

Local folder OR drives in Windows servers are perceived remotelly through shares. Drives has default administrative SHARES as  C$, D$, etc. In order to map a server drive, you have to map that SHARE as "\\servername\driveletter$".

If there is a client that expects to use server drive G as a "local" drive G, it must map that administrative SHARE as a "local" drive letter as in "NET USE G: \\servername\G$". After that, further references to server data is done through client drive letter G:.

So, if you have a script that has that NET USE command, just change that command to "NET USE G: \\servername\DEVELOPMENT", where DEVELOPMENT is a share to server folder E:\DEVELOPMENT. After that, further references to server data is done through client drive letter G: as it was before.

Please clarify why that is not a solution.
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Author Comment

by:TCLiven
ID: 36498076
Unfortunately I cannot explain why this is not a solution.  I have to rely on the developer stating if it will work or not and I am told that it does not work.  We have decided to rebuild the server (thank goodness, it is not production) to what will work with the developers/SSAS coding... Thanks anyways.
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Accepted Solution

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OriNetworks earned 250 total points
ID: 36499078
The experts have proposed several solutions but you are unable to communicate why this does not work which doesn't seem fair. I recommend getting your developer to better communicate the issues with these solutions and I am especially worried for you because I can't seem to figure out how a rebuild of the server will help your situation.

If you wanted to redistribute drive space to create a new partition there are utilities to help you do this without such a drastic change, even built into windows.

Another possible option would be to mount an iso image as read/write.

Yet another, albeit costly, the possibility of adding a physical drive, or using iscsi technology to mount space from a different server or the same server as its own drive letter.

I'm sorry your choice was to rebuild the server with my final advice being, don't accept "it just won't work" as an answer.
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Expert Comment

by:MAdS
ID: 36505956
Maybe the script can not work directly with a share as "\\server\share\somefile", but once a share is mapped to a drive, the file will be seen as "X:\somefile", and applications will not be aware that a share was involved. There is no way for a client to access a server drive/folder that is not through a share and rebuilding the server will not change that.
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Assisted Solution

by:TCLiven
TCLiven earned 0 total points
ID: 36560747
All - thank you for your advice and help however I do not have time or the convenience to second guess my programmers abilities to get something to work within his code.  Yes, I know this was something that should have been an easy fix with shares and yes, I too do not understand why it will not work...

I push as far as I can and then a decision must be made with the talents available.  I did not have to rebuild but I did add additional larger drives to accomodate the task at hand, which then I was able to parition the new drives and give them the drive letter the developer needed for his code to work.  It was not the quick fix I was looking for with my initial question, but the end goal is accomplished.  I understood the 'work arounds' that everyone gave and I appreciate them however they would not work with what the developer was trying to accomplish per the developer.    
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Author Closing Comment

by:TCLiven
ID: 36591675
Please see comments above.  Even though I added the add'l drives prior to OriNetworks suggestion, it was the same thing we came up with.  So I gave him the points.
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