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Mapped Drive Pointing to RDP file system

Posted on 2014-01-12
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Last Modified: 2014-01-20
I've taken over a client environment and moved there system hosting over to our platform.  The owner of the company swears they had an icon on their local desktop that allowed them to access the file system from their hosted remote server which they connect to with RDP.  This is a first for me as I am not aware of a way to map a drive to a remote location like this when a permanent network connection is not in place.  Any suggestions as to what she is talking about?

There is no physical network or VPN tunnel in place between her local desktop in her home office and the hosted server which is connected to with a DNS entry they have for their RDP session.
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Question by:dstewart83161
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15 Comments
 
LVL 19

Expert Comment

by:Walter Curtis
ID: 39775677
Not sure I follow you, but sounds as if you client made an RDP connection to a remotely hosted server. This was done over the internet (based on your second paragraph about the DNS entry.) So far everything seems plausible. Also, using Microsoft Terminal Server Client, or Remote Desktop Connection or RDP, it is totally possible to map a drive to one of the local drives on the server at the hosted. It is also possible to map to other media such as cd/dvd drivers, portable devices that are plugged in to the server or even printers. All of these devices and connections appear in the clients windows explorer and yes they can all be added to the desktop as a shortcut.

Hope that helps
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:CubeOver
ID: 39775721
I saw the file/folder access mentioned with relation to Microsoft Windows Server 2008 / 2008 R2 Remote Desktop Gateway component, but was never been able to find how it is done.
It is very interesting, consider me "Subscribed".
I will try to play with my RDGW settings now...
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LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39777676
What IS possible:
-map a drive to \\tsclient\c (if c is "taken with you on connection) AT THE SERVER
-start explorer as remote app (to have a remote file explorer ready on double-click.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:CubeOver
ID: 39777810
Hey Stewart,
Do you know from users what drive letters did they see inside that server folder shortcut?
If they saw local drives under different letters then in was a published Explorer.
E.g. Drive U: mapped for C: on <computer name>
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Author Comment

by:dstewart83161
ID: 39783000
the user has local drives of  C:  H: I: J: K:   (the last 4 are SD card slots)

the term server has C: only

what they want is to have a link on the local machine that allows them to see files on the term server C: without having to actually open up RDP to access it.

They state that they had this before and now it doesn't work since we took over hosting of the server.

If it's possible, I'm looking for a step by step instructions on how to accomplish this.  Either explained here or a link to somewhere else that explains how to do it.
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LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39783625
If the idea of a remoteapp-explorer does not please you (I wonder why?), then there is no way using remote desktop and there never was one. They must have had a shortcut to a share [you can share whole drives or use c$ (with admin credentials)].
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Author Comment

by:dstewart83161
ID: 39784208
you may in fact have the answer but I cannot figure out from the cryptic list of what to do, how to actually try it out.  Anyway you can detail a step by step?
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:CubeOver
ID: 39784507
Another possible way of doing this is WebDAV.
They would map to a disk on http://server_name , provided it is running WebDAV extension of IIS.
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LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39784726
What do you Need Details on? There are two suggestions: RemoteApp explorer and the c-share.
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LVL 2

Expert Comment

by:CubeOver
ID: 39787201
One more suggestion : it may have been DirectAccess.
This is unlikely in a small-business environments as there is a ton of prerequisite and configuration.
http://www.infoworld.com/d/windows/microsoft-directaccess-ugly-truth-797
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DirectAccess
http://searchwindowsserver.techtarget.com/tip/DirectAccess-means-always-on-in-Windows-Server-2008-R2
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/enterprise/products-and-technologies/windows-7/features.aspx

All client PCs have to be Win 7 Enterprise, not Professional.
Two consecutive IPv4 addresses required on the Internet.
IPv6 and transition technologies enabled.
AD, DNS, Group Policy, DMZ, all the proper stuff enabled inside and DNS on outside (split-DNS).
This is why I say unlikely, as it takes a week to properly deploy in Production and troubleshoot, even if you meet all requirements.
0
 

Author Comment

by:dstewart83161
ID: 39793299
I appreciate everyone's comments.  Unfortunately, I was asking for some specific directions on how to accomplish the suggestions several of you made but this didn't happen.  I ended up putting in the free Himachi that LogMeIn provides and got the client what they needed.

Please remember folks, what may seem old hat and "been there, done that" to you, can be an area that another tech has never stepped into (like me).  Simply throwing out a few buzz words doesn't do much to help get over the problem.  Saying things like "There are two suggestions: RemoteApp explorer and the c-share." doesn't help because a search on these topics gives hundreds of thousands of hits and not many of them seem remotely what we were looking for.  Thanks again for your comments but please remember that some of us are on here to leverage knowledge from other experts and not simply a terminology hose down.
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LVL 2

Accepted Solution

by:
CubeOver earned 1500 total points
ID: 39793335
Dear Author
I will explain the two simplest suggestions because more complex solutions should not be deployed until you get good grip with troubleshooting simpler ones.
We assumed that people asking for help here have searched elsewhere, now I understand this was our mistake. Please also understand there are tons of readily-available guides on the Net and our expertise is not in custom-rewriting them for your particular purpose, but to fill in the missing bits not covered it the guides or your understanding. TECHNET.MICROSOFT.COM is a good start for most if not all of your Microsoft-related guides and questions.

C$ share mapping suggested by other Expert is when you right-click on Computer, choose "Map a Network Drive" and type the server URL in format \\SERVER\C$. Not only this would not work across the Internet, but is also insecure.

As for RemoteApp Explorer, first you need to install and configure Remote Desktop Web Access component. This is documented at http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc731923.aspx
Then on your server, go to Remote Desktop MMC console and publish the Windows Explorer.exe application (in C:\Windows\System32).
To connect on clients, they must be Windows 7. Click the Start button and type "RemoteApp". Follow the on-screen instructions.
Since you have resolved the issue already you do not need to apply our suggestions anymore. There does not seem to be another ways to do it using pure Windows Server technologies.
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LVL 56

Expert Comment

by:McKnife
ID: 39793591
Hi.

I would like to point you back to my question "What do you Need Details on? There are two suggestions: RemoteApp explorer and the c-share" - I asked simply because I would like to provide details on the one that you need details on. I was waiting until now, you should have simply told me. If you still need details or instructions, just say. If the matter is closed, close the question, please.
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Author Comment

by:dstewart83161
ID: 39794395
Sorry McKnife.  Your original post came across as more a snarky comment rather than a request to provided a more guided response.

We're all moving on at this point.  Thanks for your assistance.
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Author Closing Comment

by:dstewart83161
ID: 39794397
Thanks for the details here.
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