XP and reconnecting Network drives

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brucedl

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I have a 2 PC network running XP Pro, connected through a Netgear DSL router. I only have a couple of mapped drives, used for backup purposes. Those drives are set to "reconnect at login." However, they NEVER do. The drive always shows up in My Computer as disconnected until I open it manually. The problem with this is that I use them for backups from applications which do auto-file backups. So when it tries to do the backup, it can't open the drive. Why does XP do this (never had this issue with 98SE)?
 
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Hey Bruce,

Did you ever get a solution to this problem? I'm noticing the same problem with some (not all) XPs on my network and found your post while doing a search. Before I ask the question again, thought I should check with you on if you figured it out.

Thanks, Lisa
 

brucedl

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Lisa-

No, no reply and I've basically just had to manually re-open the drives.
 
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The drive is still mapped, but if its idle for so long it will automatically place the red x across the mapped drive..
However as soon as a signal becomes active to the drive, it opens the port to the appropriate drive.
So its really no big deal, just one of those wierd windows things
I first notice it at work with my shared drives, but after watching the issue closely, it appears the drive opens automatically when i want to send things to it.
 

brucedl

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Not always-as my initial post detailed. I've still got the same problem.
 
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How are you creating the mapped network drives? By IP address or by NetBIOS names with UNC naming?

If by IP address, and you are using DHCP to allocate addresses, these may change every time you start the computer. Thus the mapping is incorrect (and shows as disconnected) until you refresh it my connecting manually.

Use the command prompt to create the drives by typing in the UNC path and this should work.

net use [drive]: \\[computername]\[share name] /persistent:yes

NB: If either the share or computer name has a space in it you will have to enclose the path in quote marks.

net use [drive]: "\\[computername]\[share name]" /persistent:yes
 

brucedl

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Nick,

I created the mappings in Windows Explorer, so I guess you'd say that they are IP related. Where in XP would I place the net use commands so they are executed at bootup?

Bruce
 
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If you use the persistent switch as I typed it the connection should become permanent and won't need re-establishing at each boot.

Alternatively you could just type the command into notepad, (without the persistent switch) and save the file with a .bat extension somewhere you won't delete it from the HD.

Then add a new string value to this registry key in the following location
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run
referencing the batch file. If you have something like Norton AV already installed you will see what the key should look like as there will be one there for that.

If not have a look at this, under the legacy run section.
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q314488
 

brucedl

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To accomplish the first method (with the persistent switch) where would I place the command? Wouldn't it need to be referenced again if I shut the power off to the PC?

I have no problem editing the registry, but I'm curious about the first choice.
 
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You only need to type it in once at the command prompt. Using the persistent switch means that its a "set it and forget it" which comes back even after a reboot, unless the section of the registry that its written to is set to read-only.

You are thinking in terms of DOS. A Command Prompt in NT/2K/XP is not DOS. I know that it looks like it, but it isn't, and its far more powerful. Its a full command line interface to the OS. Changes you make through it are as permanent as when you click the buttons in the right places in the Windows GUI. They are NOT forgotten at the end of each session like they are in DOS.
 
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Hi Nick,

I'm also having the same problem that Bruce is having. I tried what you suggested - I disconnected the mapped drive g:, then went to the cmd prompt, and it came back saying it was successful. When I checked my computer after that, sure enough, it was mapped. So I shut down, started it up again, and the persistent X was over the drive once again. You mentioned a read-only setting in the registry. Where could I check for that? Any other suggestions?

Thanks,
Lisa
 

brucedl

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Nick,

I've got it now...you are right on when you said I was thinking in DOS terms. It seems to be working for me so far. Lisa, are those drives actually available when you open them?

Nick, one other DOS question. I've tried using the old "Doskey" command in command prompt windows without success. I thought that it was built in to the XP OS. How do I make that persistent?
 
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I have frequently seen those drives "x'd" out too. I think they are still really there. If you open a command prompt and type "net use" you will see the list of mapped drives. Frequently they will show as "disconnected" in a remarks column. But if you type "if exist [x]:\*.* echo I'm Here!" you'll get the "I'm Here!" echoed to the screen so they aren't really disconnected. I do that all the time with batch scripts running things. If you point to a specific file on the mapped drive in question, it works faster and is more robust.

I always use the "net" command. It is very powerful stuff. "Net" will even start and stop services for you in NT/2K/XP. Type a /? after it for help with parameters and also /? after all sub commands used with "net". The set is richer in NT/2K/XP than 9x/ME, but still useful in either Windows flavor.
 
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Bruce,

Yes, the drives are available if I click on them. But the problem is when I restart, Outlook is looking for the drive and since it's X'd out, it doesn't find it until I click on the drive.
 
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I'd run a batch from the Startup directory so it runs when Windows starts, to reconnect the drive letters if they don't exist. Most network logon scripts use batches or combinations of batches and Kix scripts which do exactly what you want.

Use this as an example:

if not exist [x]:\{path} net use [x]: \\[servername]\[sharename]
exit

Or to be pushy about it:
if exist [x]:\*.* net use [x]: /D
net use [x]: \\[servername]\[sharename]
exit



The latter example will disconnect anything mapped to the drive of interest and remap to the server and share specified.
 
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