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Add A Network Place in Windows Server 2008 R2

Posted on 2013-11-01
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Last Modified: 2014-10-05
In preparing to migrate from Windows Server 2003 to 2008 R2, I've noticed that I'm not able to setup a Network Place. In 2003, I had setup my website by simply entering http://www.website.com and then could open any shortcut to it (usually from within Microsoft Office Word or Excel by clicking Open, Recent Places).
It was an effective bypass of using an FTP program to edit HTML files, XLS files and paste JPG files to the website.

When I attempt this in Server 2008 it tells me "the folder that you entered is not valid".

I'm hoping that there is a simple solution.
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Question by:slamond
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by:Eric Flamm
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Is this what you had in mind?



"http://headadmin.net/?p=308"
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by:slamond
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I had Googled that page. But it doesn't go the next step further in telling me how to link to a website.
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by:slamond
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I'm still seeking an answer.

We need a death penalty for hackers, the cause of the Windows 2008 security lock downs. But then again, we'd need an International police force to enforce it.
:)
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by:Eric Flamm
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Wizards in Windows Server 2008 Related to Connecting to the Internet

This Technet URL provides the following guidance:

Note that for a Web-based shortcut to be created through the Add Network Location Wizard, the Web server specified in the shortcut must support the Web Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) protocol and Internet Information Services (IIS). Applications on the computer, for example, word processing or spreadsheet software, can provide support for network places, in which case the Web server specified in the shortcut will also work if it supports the Web Extender Client (WEC) protocol and Microsoft FrontPage® Server Extensions. In any case, you must also have read and write access to the Web server.

Assuming your site meets these requirements, you can add the Network Place by right-clicking the Network node in Windows Explorer, selecting Map Netowrk Drive, and clicking the link labelled "Connect to a Web site...".

I tried this on my own site (hosted on a shared IIS server) - I set it up for anonymous login and could not see any files, but when I right-clicked on the node, I was able to choose Login As... and enter my credentials, at which point I could see all the files and folders on my site.
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by:slamond
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Thanks, but when I type the URL of my website and click Next I get the error "The folder you entered does not appear to be valid." I retried to rule out typos, using the syntax: http://www.mywebsite.com

Since your suggestion didn't refer to any local system settings but only to those of the remote webserver, I have sent a message to my ISP to see if they have any issues on their end or suggestions for me.

I'm also open to other ideas.
Scott
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by:slamond
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More information on this topic that I'm still awaiting a reply from my ISP on. A print-screen of the error.
NetworkLocation.jpg
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by:Eric Flamm
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Try using the ftp protocol rather than http:
Image of location properties
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by:slamond
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Now I get this FTP error.
FTPerror.jpg
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by:Eric Flamm
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Right click the network node to get the context menu: Select Login As...Brings up the login dialog to enter your credentials
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by:slamond
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I get this FTP Folder Error...
FTPfolderError.jpg
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by:Eric Flamm
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Does the url you are trying to connect to exist? Can you ping it from the command line? In my case, I have my DNS set to redirect any unspecified subdomain (*.flammconsulting.com) back to the main site; so, I can connect with ftp://anyoldsubdomain.flammconsulting.com and I'll get an ftp handshake. But, depending on how your DNS is setup, you need to make sure you're using a findable URL with the FTP protocol.

Can you connect to your site using an FTP client like Filezilla? If so, the settings there should point you in the right direction to configuring the network node. However, Filezilla may not be as dependent on the webserver configuration as Windows Explorer seems to be.

One other thought: can you set up another node with the IP address of your site, rather than the domain name? If there's a problem resolving the domain name (ftp.yoursite.com) to an IP address, using the IP address directly should solve the problem and point you in the right direction.
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by:slamond
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I can ping mywebsite.com but not ftp.mywebsite.com.

Filezilla will connect and list files for www.mywebsite.com but not for ftp.mywebsite.com.
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by:Eric Flamm
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Try using ftp://www.mywebsite.com for your node Location in Windows server, and see if the Logon As... dialog works with your website FTP credentials.
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by:slamond
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That worked, thanks.

But now I face a minor annoyance that every time I click Recent Places and then the shortcut to the website the system asks for my credentials. It already has my local domain so I have to add a backslash to my username to eliminate that.

I tried adding the website and credentials to the Control Panel's Credential Manager but it stills asks every time.
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by:Eric Flamm
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Checking the Save password box at the bottom of the Log On As dialog should save your credentials in the Windows password cache - I'm not sure if there's an issue because the FTP  protocol doesn't support encryption (the cache is encrypted, and decrypts the password as part of the login process, but Windows may not let that happen if the password will then be transmitted in plain text). There's also a note on the dialog that you can add the server to your Favorites (in Windows Explorer), but I doubt that has any impact on credential storage.
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by:slamond
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I remembered that in the past I had solved password-saving issues by adding the website to Internet Explorer's Trusted Sites and also selecting the Custom Setting to store passwords in that same Security tab.

Now it's not working at all.
:(

It keeps prompting for my FTP username and password and then rejecting them.
I have sent an email to my ISP to confirm the credentials but I'm sure they are correct.

I'm beginning to sympathize with those people that reject Change,
:)
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by:Eric Flamm
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Well, it's not really an IE password issue - IE really just handle browsing (I think when it simulates FTP it's really doing it via http, although I could be wrong). You might be better off sticking with FileZilla - it really does let you do more than Windows Explorer when it comes to FTP (and, you might want to move to SFTP, which isn't supported at all by Windows Explorer, as far as I know). You might also look at some shell replacement apps - I'm sure there are some that come equipped for FTP.
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by:slamond
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Maybe I just don't understand how Filezilla works but it seems too time-consuming to upload and download files. It's much easier to open a file directly within Word or Excel. Unless there is a method I'm not familiar with.
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by:Eric Flamm
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I think you may have gone as far as you can with the Network place approach - most web servers are pretty paranoid about file access (for good reason), so the requirement to enter your credentials frequently may be unavoidable. You should be able to use a password vault (like RoboForm or KeePass) to store your credentials and enter them for you on demand - I'm pretty sure RoboForm works with Windows forms as well as webforms (which is what I use it for every day).
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by:slamond
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This is still unresolved. I've added it to my To Do list for when my network consultant next visits. It's likely a network security issue since I don't have this problem with my Windows 7 machine at home, yet I have the problem at work with both my local Windows 7 PC and the 2008 R2 server. I'm leaving this question open in hopes of providing a solution to the world. :)
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slamond earned 0 total points
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I created a workaround by installing LogMeIn on my office PC and conencting to my home PC to do work at my website.
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by:slamond
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I created a workaround by installing LogMeIn on my office PC and conencting to my home PC to do work at my website.
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