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Seemlessly Re-Mapping users drives while he or she is logged on

Posted on 2014-11-06
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Last Modified: 2015-01-22
Hello, our current file server configuration is we have 2 fileservers which use distributed file system (DFS), our users are mapped to the our primary server.  I was wondering if there was a way that we could setup, either through a vb script or active directory a way to map users without having to log off to our secondary server if the primary server where to crash or go down.  Is there any out of the box solutions for this or even network software that can achieve this?

Please let me know if you need further explanation.
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Question by:rcimasi
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13 Comments
 

Expert Comment

by:Jeff Bruening
ID: 40426564
Wild ideas off the top of my head..
If both servers are in the domain, then they should not have to log off. You would want them both to be running DNS and AD.
If you had Drive G: mapped to \\servername1\groups and map Drive H: \\servername2\groups.
If the server dies, the user runs a VB script, cmd, batch file that would remap the drives.
Map G: \\ servername2\groups and H:\\servername1\groups.
Since you cannot map drives to a server that is unavailable, why not just have 2 batch files on the desktop.
One that maps to servername1 and the other that maps to servername2.

Granted this would all depend on the number of users, how smart the users are, and how would they even know
when the server crashed.

There are 3rd party tools and some by Microsoft however they are expensive and not for the basic/middle level tech in my opinion.  Because of this, I feel using VMware or Hyper-V hosts because you can always just start up the virtual server on the 2nd server.  The data of course would be as current as the last backup, snap shot etc..
To the end user, the server name and everything else is identical.
Using Veem they have tools that keep the backup/snapshots current as files change, so any impact from a crash would be minimal.

-GeekDadJeff
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LVL 95

Expert Comment

by:John Hurst
ID: 40426618
We have scripts for our clients to map folders. If a server goes down or restarted, we tell clients to log off first (to save work). Logging back on connects them.

If the server crashes, the clients have lost work and that is a bigger issue than logging back on.

So we do not concern ourselves with logging off/on - No big deal for anyone.
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LVL 26

Expert Comment

by:pony10us
ID: 40426626
Just thinking about it you could have a scheduled task monitoring that it can reach a specific folder on Server 1 and if it fails remap the drives?
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Author Comment

by:rcimasi
ID: 40426680
I was thinking about something along those lines of using a scheduled task to ping the server, but I imagine I would have to have a task running on every workstation to achieve this.
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LVL 24

Assisted Solution

by:NVIT
NVIT earned 250 total points
ID: 40426764
This might work. On each server...

1. Make tasks IsServerOnline, which checks for existence of the other server.
2. In IsServerOnline, if other server not found, use EVENTCREATE to make an event.
3. In the event log, "Attach task to this event", maybe named "NeedToRemapDrive"
4. In NeedToRemapDrive, send email to users. I don't know if there's a way to automatically remap the drives at each user.
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LVL 26

Accepted Solution

by:
pony10us earned 250 total points
ID: 40426791
Still thinking this through:

You could put a batch file on each machine. I like to have a folder c:\batch but you can put it anywhere you want. Then you can use psexec in the scheduled task to run the batch file remotely.
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LVL 81

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40427797
since you have dfs why are they connecting to the \\server\sharename and not \\dfsshare\sharename ??
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LVL 20

Expert Comment

by:compdigit44
ID: 40431323
David Johnson, CD, MVP brings up a good point? You have DFS yet not use the DFS share names which are used to map users to a central share name that point to targets in the backend so if I connect is lost the user doesn't know the difference if of course this share is hosted on multiple servers
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Expert Comment

by:Jeff Bruening
ID: 40433810
I like the DFS Share idea the best. You are already using the feature and it solves the problem.
On AM, change the login scripts and you are all set.
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Author Comment

by:rcimasi
ID: 40437689
The reason we don't use the dfsshare is because we use a lot of access databases, and if 2 users have the same access database open only the changes made on one of the databases will be saved.
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LVL 81

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40437748
fileservers which use distributed file system (DFS), our users are mapped to the our primary server.

but you have set them up with DFS so the last user that closes the file it will be replicated to the other server..

instead you should be using Shared Access Mode

    Start Access and under File, click Options.
    In the Access Options box, click Client Settings.
    In the Advanced section, under Default open mode, select Shared, click OK, and exit Access.
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LVL 81

Expert Comment

by:David Johnson, CD, MVP
ID: 40437755
There are better alternatives i.e. SQL Server, SharePoint.
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:NVIT
ID: 40541726
rcimasi,

Just wondering if any suggestion here got your issue resolved. If so, we'd appreciate it if you closed the question accordingly.

Thanks
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