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replacing mapped drives with Network Locations in Win7

Posted on 2014-01-24
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Last Modified: 2014-02-08
We have multiple sites, with common Share names at each server in the multiple sites.  Mapped drives is too limiting, I want to migrate to Network Locations for all users, and roll them out via login script or Group Policy.

so we would go from "M:/" ( representing \\server\sharename) to "Sharename (location)" in everybodies Windows Explorer window, facilitating a common language across our sites for identifying where data is residing.  (currently M:/ might represent a different Share at a site, and people from multiple sites might require access to the share at another location.  Communication is not sufficient to solve the problem.

Help!
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Question by:ssutton9
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7 Comments
 
LVL 29

Expert Comment

by:becraig
ID: 39807420
Here is a good walkthrough on doing this through group policy.

http://www.howtogeek.com/99403/it-how-to-map-network-drives-on-windows-clients-via-group-policy/
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by:ssutton9
ID: 39807438
My problem is that I do not want to use a Letter to identify the shared resource.  
In Win7, Network Locations wizard available via right clicking on My Computer and selecting "Add a network location" is more robust, and allows for more standardization than the 23 or so unused mapped drive letters, and allows for common language across sites, as Server name is unimportant in the Network Locations solution, and common name is easier to deploy than is drive letters.  We have too many shares and locations to be able to use letters.
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by:Fred Marshall
ID: 39807449
I'm not sure that "Network Locations" isn't a special term.  But I'm going to treat it as a generic term and suggest this:

1) Open a server from Start \\[IP Address}
2) Map whatever folder from there that you like (which could include the entire server if that's what you want/need).
3) Once mapped, rename the mapped drive to "Sharename (locations)".
It will still carry a drive letter but if you don't dwell on those letters then they can be different wherever. If you do now dwell on those drive letters then, well ..., you will be rather stuck with them and the communication problem will remain.  Better almost that they ARE different / random from one computer to the other.  Maybe start by NOT using the currently familiar drive letters.
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Author Comment

by:ssutton9
ID: 39807463
my point again is that there are not enough letters to fully describe all the shares that are common across the organization as a whole.  So, again, too many shares in common to users for the number of letters available in the alphabet (26).

We have 10 locations with servers containing data that may be required by users from other sites, common terminology without being limited by the number of drive letters is essential.
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becraig earned 500 total points
ID: 39807466
Ahh:
Here you go:



    Open the Group Policy Management Console . Right-click the Group Policy object (GPO) that should contain the new preference item, and then click Edit .

    In the console tree under Computer Configuration or User Configuration , expand the Preferences folder, and then expand the Windows Settings folder.

    Right-click the Shortcuts node, point to New , and select Shortcut .

    In the New Shortcut Properties dialog box, select an Action for Group Policy to perform. (For more information, see "Actions" in this topic.)

    Enter shortcut settings for Group Policy to configure or remove. (For more information, see "Shortcut settings" in this topic.)

    Click the Common tab, configure any options, and then type your comments in the Description box. (For more information, see Configure Common Options.)

    Click OK . The new preference item appears in the details pane.


Reprinted from

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc753580.aspx
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Expert Comment

by:Mahesh
ID: 39807691
In that case you could setup DFS with two servers (For redundancy) as name space servers and publish all shares in all servers across all sites to these DFS servers as targets with multiple folder under DFS name space.
Give meaning full name \ description to all folders that containing targets (share folders)and then map dfs name space root such as \\yourdomain.com\shared on all client computers
When client will double click above link it will get all folders with descriptive name and no need to map multiple drives on client computers

Check below articles for how to setup DFS
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgovmmTG_L4

Mahesh
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Expert Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 39813807
I know you do not want to use mapped drive but you could create a GP and apply it to each of your site that would map the drive specific to that site....

I have never tried to use network location to create a custom profile to map drive based on network connection or subnet.
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