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  • Alternatives for Mapped drives

    What would be the best alternative for mapped network drives in my domain environment? Right now we have logon scripts assigned to all users using the "net use" command and every user has 8 mapped network drives that spans across two file servers. Lately I have been having most users complain that when they double click "my computer" that it will hang before it displays anything. I have concluded it has something to do with mounted drives because I have tried to unmap all drives from about 2 users plus myself and everything ran smooth for two weeks. Please help!

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: Alternatives for Mapped drives

    Possible options:
    Shortcuts to the UNC path
    One mapped drive with numerous folders within it
    Tom Jones
    MCT, MCSE (2000:Security & 2003), MCSA:Security & Messaging, MCDBA, MCDST, MCITP(EA, EMA, SA, EDA, ES, CS), MCTS, MCP, Sec+
    PhD, MSc, FIAP, MIITT
    IT Trainer / Consultant
    Ossian Ltd
    Scotland

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    • #3
      Re: Alternatives for Mapped drives

      So could I use DFS for somthing like this?

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      • #4
        Re: Alternatives for Mapped drives

        DFS wouldn't really apply here unless things are located at different physical locations. If you have one office in New York and another in Los Angeles then DFS would be great for keeping all the files accessible and visible quickly at both locations.

        If you aren't in two or more locations DFS wouldn't be of much use to you in all likelihood.

        The best method for "mapping drives" is through a login script, perhaps through Group Policy. Rather than map the drive in the way it sounds like you are using it would be quicker to use UNC paths. Such as \\servername\filesharename where servername is the name of your server and filesharename is the name of the folder that you want them mapped to. IE. \\USA-FIL-01\Common which would be the UNC path for a server called USA-FIL-01 and a share name called Common.

        Tim Macking
        MCSE, MCSA, MCDBA, MCITP, MCT, CCNA

        IT MANAGER / Consultant
        ICE2
        Sarasota, Florida IT Consultant
        Last edited by macking; 13th October 2009, 15:18.

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        • #5
          Re: Alternatives for Mapped drives

          We currently use a logon script for our mapped drives. Commands like this:

          net use n: \\storagesrv01\programs


          But we have like 8 to 10.

          So obviously when people click "my computer", the PC has to go find all of those drives? or refresh them? or index or something because "my computer" just sits there and hangs. Sometimes you need to end task and start again. but after you end task and click "my computer" again it pops right up. Its a strange thing. None of my switches are having issues and every other aspect of the network works fine. I do run TrendMicro worry free business anti-virus, but trend swears their software is not causing the problem. Any ideas?

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          • #6
            Re: Alternatives for Mapped drives

            If a drive isn't available it can often appear to crash explorer... are the mapped drives available all the time?

            Another thing to look at is does everyone need to map all drives? If not you could use something like ifmember to map depending on group membership- just a thought.

            If you want to see if TrendMicro is causing the issues, just uninstall it on one machine and test... (i'd recommend putting another AV on there though whilst testing).

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            • #7
              Re: Alternatives for Mapped drives

              I'd go with Ossian - when we take over other people's setups, we collapse all those pesky mapped drives into one parent mapped drive and keep everything in subfolders under there - you'd need 2 letters, one for each file server, and that will work best. Keeps people working tidier too otherwise they scatter folders all over the place!

              To be sure, some shortcuts are going to break but it's not too bad a headache in the end.
              Best wishes,
              PaulH.
              MCP:Server 2003; MCITP:Server 2008; MCTS: SBS2008

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              • #8
                Re: Alternatives for Mapped drives

                Just a suggestion... have you tried going into Control Panel, Folder Options, select the View tab, and removing the check-mark from 'Automatically search for network folders and printers'?

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                • #9
                  Re: Alternatives for Mapped drives

                  I disagree with macking, I think you might want to consider the DFS option. DFS is not just replication of files but it also gives you the ability consolidate your share, to create and link folders from many locations under 1 share, even if they are all on just 1 server. Sure your not using the "D" in DFS and your not using replication but this gives you exactly what you need.

                  Create a DFS root
                  Link all your individual shares underneath that root and voila, you went from 8 shares to 1 share with 8 folders. Then map that with your login script.
                  Then when your users open My Computer, it checks only the DFS root mapped drive and not all 8 mapped network drive.. just the one.. which solves your problem
                  Daniel Frei
                  -Windows Operations Server Administrator
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                  www.lazynetworkadmin.com

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                  • #10
                    Re: Alternatives for Mapped drives

                    Originally posted by ChiliFrei64 View Post
                    I disagree with macking, I think you might want to consider the DFS option. DFS is not just replication of files but it also gives you the ability consolidate your share, to create and link folders from many locations under 1 share, even if they are all on just 1 server. Sure your not using the "D" in DFS and your not using replication but this gives you exactly what you need.

                    Create a DFS root
                    Link all your individual shares underneath that root and voila, you went from 8 shares to 1 share with 8 folders. Then map that with your login script.
                    Then when your users open My Computer, it checks only the DFS root mapped drive and not all 8 mapped network drive.. just the one.. which solves your problem
                    I agree. This is a more eloquent solution to reduce clutter.

                    Originally posted by chilifrei64 View Post
                    Daniel Frei
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                    Andrew

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                    • #11
                      Re: Alternatives for Mapped drives

                      I knew i was thinking correctly about DFS. I have uninstalled my virus software and still get the issue. So safe to say that was not the problem. They wont let me move to DFS until I have tried everything. Personally I think the server that holds certain shares is the problem. The mounted drives are split between two servers. Now whats strange is that when the "my computer" piece finally comes up all the drives on one server are connected, and the other half from the other server are in a dissconnected state. When you click on them, they move to connected status and they open, but thats only if you click them. Then after you connect them, and wait like 30 minutes, click "my computer" again it stalls and does the same thing! Does the PC that has the mounted drives go out and look for the info on those mounted drives everytime you open explorer on a XP machine? Doesnt it hold some kind of cache? Is there a way to write a script that will mount them in a disconnected state and when the user opens them they will then connect?

                      **Extra Info: The Server that seems to have problems is connected to a DAS(MD1000) attached via SCSI cable, with SATA drives holding the shares that are mounted to peoples logon script. Could this be the bottleneck? The other server which does not have the problem has 15K SCSI drives and works great.

                      Thanks.
                      Last edited by Stevenjwilliams83; 19th October 2009, 20:32.

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