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Windows Thread, users home drive mappping intermittantly. in Technical; i have a problem on one of our Primary networks with users home drives not mapping every time. It seems ...
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    Kyle's Avatar
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    users home drive mappping intermittantly.

    i have a problem on one of our Primary networks with users home drives not mapping every time. It seems very random and no set pattern at all. One minute their drive maps fine to using the letter H, then the next time they log on it maps only to the root of the home directory folder so then the have no access tot heir work. I have tried all sorts of things and it still keeps haunting me.

    Any idea?

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    cookie_monster's Avatar
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    How deep is the path that you are mapping to i've seen this when the folder path is long.

    Where is the path set it it via logon script or in the user account settings?

    What client and server OS are you using?

    Are you seeing this on machines in a particular area and when you do are there any errors in the event log?

    Cheers.

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    Kyle's Avatar
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    XP Pro SP2 -Server 2003
    Path is set voa user account
    Happens on machines all overr netowrk also seperate buildings

    File path is on 3 deep. i.e homedirs\yeargroup\user

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    maniac's Avatar
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    I've seen this problem, it is fairly common surprisingly! The most common fix is to turn on the policy 'always wait for network at computer startup/logon' although this can slow down your network a bit, but it does seem to solve this problem.

    I also found a good idea was to remove the users rights to the root folder, and only give the users rights to the necessaryfolder above it that they need. A lot of people don't believe this works, saying they need at least read only access to the folder(s) below it in the tree in order to access their home folder, but after testing it myself I can assure you this does work.

    e.g. If I had the local directory structure on my server of f:\students\2004\04smithjack and the folder f:\students was the shared root folder holding all the home areas, I would have directory security setup as follows:

    f:\students - Domain admins and system only
    f:\students\2004 - Domain admins and system only
    f:\students\2004\04smithjack - domain admins, system and 04smithjack

    Most setups I've come across have the 'all students' group or 'users' group set as read only on the two lower folders, but it isn't needed. The H:\ drive can still be mapped to \\server\students\2004\04smithjack with no problems, but if it tries to map h:\ to \\server\students then it won't let them as the user has no direct permissions to that folder. It also stops them using the 'up' button to get to your server root and network, which is handy!

    You can then use a VBS script or simelar to check for the existance of H:\ at logon and to re-instate the correct drive mapping where neccessary, as if it's gone to map it at logon and failed due to the user not having permissions on the root folder, there will be no drive now, so a simple VBS script can sort out the missing drive, and no one knows any different!

    Hope that's of help!

    Mike.
    Last edited by maniac; 14th July 2008 at 06:36 PM.

  5. Thanks to maniac from:

    speckytecky (4th October 2010)

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    DMcCoy's Avatar
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    If you don't have read from the root to the folder then office complains bitterly every time you try to save. Also window installer gets quite upset at times complaining that the path is invalid. At least thats what happened when I had it like that.

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    maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DMcCoy View Post
    If you don't have read from the root to the folder then office complains bitterly every time you try to save. Also window installer gets quite upset at times complaining that the path is invalid. At least thats what happened when I had it like that.
    My entire network of 1000 students and 200 staff was setup in the way I described, and had been running like that about 2 years by the time I left. We had no problems at all with Office, I'm sure we would have known if we did! Not sure about windows installer, as staff and students were never required to run it.

    Mike.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    Take a look here

    Create a few test users, but map their drive as \\server\user$ On the server the share can live anywhere, so don't worry if it's 3 or 4 folders deep. If it works and you have lots of users (like I suspect you have), take a look to Autoshare.

  9. Thanks to Michael from:

    speckytecky (4th October 2010)

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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    My entire network of 1000 students and 200 staff was setup in the way I described, and had been running like that about 2 years by the time I left. We had no problems at all with Office, I'm sure we would have known if we did! Not sure about windows installer, as staff and students were never required to run it.

    Mike.
    I guess it could have been something to do with redirecting my documents to the same path, the mapped drive was fine, the unc via my docs gave the error.

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    maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Take a look here

    Create a few test users, but map their drive as \\server\user$ On the server the share can live anywhere, so don't worry if it's 3 or 4 folders deep. If it works and you have lots of users (like I suspect you have), take a look to Autoshare.
    The problem with having an individual share for each user is that it slows your network down a bit, as the entire share list is sent to each client machine every time a user maps a drive. (I think this is still the case in server 2003, it certainly used to be in server 2000.) Having more shares on a server also uses up more resources, which can also lead to other performance issues. It depends on the number of users you have however.

    The recommended way is to have a root share and use NTFS permissions to control access as is already done. The problem described is bantered about on many different forums too. You would have though Micro$oft would have fixed it by now!

    On my network we simply re-directed the my documents folder to point at H:\ If you had the option ticked in Group Policy to 're-direct to the users home folder' then this can cause a problems if the %homepath% variable is wrong (which is what causes this problem the first place) therefore we found it more reliable to refer to it by the drive letter.

    Mike.
    Last edited by maniac; 14th July 2008 at 07:07 PM.

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    Michael's Avatar
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    My biggest site has over 400 users in total and don't experience any slow down. Clients are 10/100 or wireless and server operating at gigabit.

    I don't believe the entire list is sent to each workstation. In AD I simply map the drive as H:\ and \\server\user$ Under Folder Redirection, My Documents is set to:

    Target tab
    Basic - Redirect everyone's folder to the same location

    Redirect to the user's home directory

    Settings tab
    Enable - Move the contents of My Documents to the new location

    Leave the folder in the new location when the policy is removed

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    Yes 'always wait for network at computer startup/logon' is where i was heading next before i got called away.

    We tend to go with the single root share and NTFS permissions here as well, the main disadvantage to having hundreds of shares is that they're created at each boot up and they take more management but other thatn that it really doesn't matter.
    Last edited by cookie_monster; 14th July 2008 at 08:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post

    f:\students - Domain admins and system only
    f:\students\2004 - Domain admins and system only
    f:\students\2004\04smithjack - domain admins, system and 04smithjack


    Mike.

    Yes true maniac this works for users as long as you don't require file synchronisation. If you do use file sync then the user requires read only at the root of the folder structure and only to that folder and not sub folders as they then could read other peoples data.

    Just thought I would say this in case people config laptop users as maniac says.

    For this reason here all users via a security group are granted read only on the root folders but not on any sub folder.
    Last edited by jsnetman; 15th July 2008 at 06:51 AM.

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    @ jsnetman: have they not fixed that in SP3 i remember ages ago moaning about this issue and i'm sure i read that this behaviour was to be altered in SP3.

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    Not sure about that, we have just moved to sp3 on curriculm PC's laptops are stll sp2 so I go with the tried and trusted way. There is absolutely no harm in giviing read access to the root folder, as I say as long as they don't have permissions for sub folders.

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