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Drive Maps applied with GPO disappear in Windows Explorer - net use shows drives are still mapped

    Question

  • Drive maps are applied via Group Policy preference, and show up when users first log in. At random times during the day, multiple users lose their mappings in Windows Explorer at the same time. Net use shows that they are still there; gpresult shows that the policies were applied successfully. Logging out and logging back in seems to be the only fix. Gpupdate /force does not resolve the issue (however, that is not surprising - given that User policies are applied at logon). 

    Server 2008R2 SP1

    NOTE: This is a Citrix XenApp environment, but so far we have no reason to believe it is Citrix related. 

    Event viewer on the Citrix servers, and on the File Server (where the UNC paths point to) do not show anything useful. 

    UAC is disabled. 

    Prefrence is applied with "Update" action. Also tried "Replace" without success. 

    Preference is not set to Reconnect. 

    Issue is possibly occurring at group policy refresh. 


    Wednesday, March 16, 2016 4:07 PM

Answers

  • Hi,

    If we suspect that group policy update in background caused the problem, In this case, we could try to control periodic group policy update in background. In order to do that, I would suggest you choose a problematic machine to verify it firstly. Please try the following options:

    Option1: disable background refresh of group policy by enabling policy “turn off background refresh of group policy” under Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Group Policy. If you enable this policy, the system waits until the current user logs off the system before updating the computer and user policies.

    Option2: configure group policy refresh interval. By default, computer Group Policy is updated in the background every 90 minutes, with a random offset of 0 to 30 minutes. You could specify an update rate from 0 to 64,800 minutes (45 days). Here is the detail steps to configure, please see: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/203607

    If the issue is gone after you take the option as above, then you could try on the other computers.

    Besides, we could use gpsvc log to do the further troubleshooting, please see the details from https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/askpfeplat/2014/06/01/group-policy-debug-troubleshooting-a-real-world-example/

    Regards,

    Wendy


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and un-mark them if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Thursday, March 17, 2016 7:32 AM
    Moderator
  • I tried option 1 for now (Enabling the "Turn off background refresh of Group Policy" setting). The policy is applied to all machines, since the issue has come up for multiple users on different machines. 

    Hi,
    You could use security filtering function in group policy which is a way of refining which users and computers will receive and apply the settings in a Group Policy object (GPO). Please see details from https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc781988(v=ws.10).aspx

    Regards,
    Wendy


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and un-mark them if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Thursday, March 24, 2016 2:02 AM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Hi,

    If we suspect that group policy update in background caused the problem, In this case, we could try to control periodic group policy update in background. In order to do that, I would suggest you choose a problematic machine to verify it firstly. Please try the following options:

    Option1: disable background refresh of group policy by enabling policy “turn off background refresh of group policy” under Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Group Policy. If you enable this policy, the system waits until the current user logs off the system before updating the computer and user policies.

    Option2: configure group policy refresh interval. By default, computer Group Policy is updated in the background every 90 minutes, with a random offset of 0 to 30 minutes. You could specify an update rate from 0 to 64,800 minutes (45 days). Here is the detail steps to configure, please see: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/203607

    If the issue is gone after you take the option as above, then you could try on the other computers.

    Besides, we could use gpsvc log to do the further troubleshooting, please see the details from https://blogs.technet.microsoft.com/askpfeplat/2014/06/01/group-policy-debug-troubleshooting-a-real-world-example/

    Regards,

    Wendy


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and un-mark them if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Thursday, March 17, 2016 7:32 AM
    Moderator
  • Thank you for the timely response! 

    I tried option 1 for now (Enabling the "Turn off background refresh of Group Policy" setting). The policy is applied to all machines, since the issue has come up for multiple users on different machines. 

    There is one caveat - since this is a Citrix XenApp environment, there are multiple users sharing the same server. This means that when one person logs out of the server, there could be other users on it. I wonder if one person logging out will initiate a refresh... 

    I also enabled "Configure Drive Maps preference extension policy processing" and unchecked the following options: 

    "Allow processing across a slow network connection" and "Process even if the Group Policy objects have not changed". I did this before I saw your response, but I suppose it's a moot point since we are telling Group Policy not to refresh while the machine is in use. 

    Thursday, March 17, 2016 5:33 PM
  • I tried option 1 for now (Enabling the "Turn off background refresh of Group Policy" setting). The policy is applied to all machines, since the issue has come up for multiple users on different machines. 

    Hi,
    You could use security filtering function in group policy which is a way of refining which users and computers will receive and apply the settings in a Group Policy object (GPO). Please see details from https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc781988(v=ws.10).aspx

    Regards,
    Wendy


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help and un-mark them if they provide no help. If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Thursday, March 24, 2016 2:02 AM
    Moderator