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Hard Drive Mapped Twice on Windows Image made from Dell OS Media

Posted on 2012-03-30
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Last Modified: 2016-11-23
Hello Experts,

I've got an interesting situation I'm trying to work out.
I recently made a deployable Windows 7 pro system image using WinPE, Sysprep, and Answer files.  Everything has worked as expected but I'm running into one problem.  Once the system is deployed, the main hard drive maps itself twice, once as C: and once as Z:.  They are not separate partitions, and both point to the same directories and files.

Z: does not show up as a drive in disk manager, and can be removed with CMD tools, but usually reappears on a reboot.  The problem is that User's folders are mapped to Z: through GPO, so I can't have this ghost drive showing up and intruding.  

I've had this problem once before on a system installed from scratch using Dell re-installation media so I'm thinking that is related to the problem.  I've noticed that the system keeps the Dell theme as the default even when a new default profile is created, so perhaps there are some hidden policies or scripts running that are trying to map Dell recovery partitions or keep the system as "Dell-like" as possible.  Also, it seems to be hardware non-dependent, showing up on several different models of system.

Hopefully I've given you all information you'll need.  Let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks!
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Question by:ravib123
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Miners
ID: 37789706
Drop to a command prompt and type in subst

if you see something similar to this Z:\: => D:\alltext

type in subst Z: /d
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Author Comment

by:ravib123
ID: 37789721
I've used this approach before but it seems to me that the drive re-maps itself on reboot, so this is not a permanent solution.  In one case, the re-map was not right away, but it did eventually re-occur.  

I can try this when I again have access to the solution, but I need to know how to prevent this from occurring at all either in my master image or once the system is deployed.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Miners
ID: 37789763
check out ManiacMan's suggestions for removing phantom drives

http://techrepublic.com.com/5206-6230-0.html?forumID=101&threadID=246831&start=0
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Miners
ID: 37789944
Also check out this Registry setting and if it exists delete the Z key

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Network\Z
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Author Comment

by:ravib123
ID: 37796878
Update:

Thanks for all of the input so far.  I was able to sit back down with a deployed system again this morning and I've tried all of these suggestions and various combinations therof.  So far nothing works past a reboot.  Every time I restart the computer the hard drive is again mapped to both C: and Z:  

...Any other thoughts?
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Author Comment

by:ravib123
ID: 37796944
Another update:

I joined the system to the domain, and then cleared the Z: drive with subst.  After that, I mapped two network folders, one of which is mapped to Z:.  After a restarted, the hard drive is now being mapped to C: and Y:.

This is certainly strange behavior...  It sounds very similar to the situation posted by ManiacMan but is with a local drive, not a network drive.
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Expert Comment

by:Rob Miners
ID: 37798689
Dell are propriatory Systems and arn't designed to be manipulated as they have already been manipulated to suit the environment that they have been designed for. Maybe you should consider looking at Windows 7 Enterprise. You could then use that media to create your deployment solution. That way you will have complete control of the environment.

http://www.microsoft.com/en-au/windows/enterprise/products-and-technologies/windows-7/default.aspx
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Accepted Solution

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ravib123 earned 0 total points
ID: 37829104
Well, since no one was able to provide me an answer, and instead decided to write it off as a Dell problem, I thought I would post the actual solution.

UniPrint.

The latest version of Uniprint causes the drive mapping problem.
I created a new image, and installed software one by one until the problem appeared.

Reference this link for a similar situation with the same solution.

http://superuser.com/questions/317928/phantom-hard-drive-after-deploying-latest-windows-7-image-from-wds
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Author Comment

by:ravib123
ID: 37829118
Here is the solution, as listed in that post

"to stop the automatic mapping we had to add "DriveMapping"="0" into [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\UniPrint\Client"

Much Credit to user Windos at SuperUser.com
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Author Closing Comment

by:ravib123
ID: 37848004
No one was able to provide a real solution and I poured many more hours into testing and research until I found a solution that worked.
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