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Reserve Drive Letters for Network Shares

    Question

  • Is there a way to tell Windows to never map any physical devices to a set of drive letters?

    Here is my situation. Many of our PCs either have card readers physically attached to the PC or the monitor. During the first bootup, Windows decides it wants to map them to letter that we would normally use as network drives. So, you deploy an image, boot up, add the PC to the domain and reboot. However, when you actually log onto the domain, half of the login script items fail out because G:\ is actually mapped to the card reader instead of the network share it’s supposed to be.

    Even better - is there a command that can force map a letter? Just in case G:\ is already mapped to that same card reader, can I say "well, I don’t care what you are mapped at right now, but your new mapping is \\fileserver\share" Is there such a command? Today, we use "start /wait net use G: \\fileserver\share /persistent:no"

    Obviously, it is easy enough to go into Disk Management and change the drive letters, but I was hoping to streamline the process a bit for our Windows 7 rollout

    Any thoughts on this issue?

    Thanks!
    -Jerad

    Wednesday, March 31, 2010 6:31 PM

Answers

  • local drive numbering starts at A: and works upwards. Network drive numbering starts at Z: and work downwards. this is the default behaviour since forever (well a really, really long time).
    some multi-card-readers insist on mapping a drive letter to each solt in the card reader (the record i've seen is 6 so far)

    recommend you move your network drives higher up (down?) (we hit this wall a few years ago, painful though it was...)
    another option is to consider using A: or B: for local drives (if you don't have pc's with floppy drives then these letters are wasted)

    • Marked as answer by Novak Wu Monday, April 19, 2010 6:20 AM
    Tuesday, April 13, 2010 11:54 AM

All replies

  • There is no way I know of to prohibit letters if you install new storage devices . What you can do however is use

    net use * \\server\share

    Windows will select a free letter from Z downwards. However, consider having less mapped drives (subsitute them by ntfs folders and mountpunts with NTFS priviliges set) and map them "higher" in the alfabet.

    It would be possible to drop driveletters using diskpart. Also, I found an interesting script in the MS script library, but I di not test it. For both solutions please consider scenarios where users want to connect multiple external storage devices; this might cause issues!


    MCSA/MCTS/MCP
    Wednesday, March 31, 2010 8:58 PM
  • net use * \\server\share


    Using this will not work because we need specific letters for specific shares. We could try to change the drive lettering to push the letters further down the alphabet. I will also look into the script that you mentioned as well.

    I guess I was hoping for some master exclude list or something.  :)

    Monday, April 12, 2010 2:20 PM
  • local drive numbering starts at A: and works upwards. Network drive numbering starts at Z: and work downwards. this is the default behaviour since forever (well a really, really long time).
    some multi-card-readers insist on mapping a drive letter to each solt in the card reader (the record i've seen is 6 so far)

    recommend you move your network drives higher up (down?) (we hit this wall a few years ago, painful though it was...)
    another option is to consider using A: or B: for local drives (if you don't have pc's with floppy drives then these letters are wasted)

    • Marked as answer by Novak Wu Monday, April 19, 2010 6:20 AM
    Tuesday, April 13, 2010 11:54 AM