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Windows 7 - mapping home drive - inconsistent, mostly success, some (too many) failures RRS feed

  • Question

  • Context:

    Windows servers and clients using both wired and Wireless connections.

    1 Windows 2008 R2 domain controller and 1 Windows 2003 domain controller.

    Clients are a mix of Windows 7 and Windows XP (with some Vista here and there).

    Home drives are mapped the "traditional" way, in the Active Directory user properties tab "Profile".

    For example:

    V: to \\MYDOMAIN\SHARED_FOLDERS\STUDENTS\%username%

    Yes, we use DFS.


    When did this start happening? Did it work before?

    Last week.

    I work in a school. Teachers and students were out for the summer. Last year, no one noticed the problem I'll describe in more detail below.

    So yes, drive mapping worked before (and still does... I would say over 75% of the time.


    What has changed

    DFS?

    We have used DFS for years. Students had shares that used DFS. Most teachers did not but I changed that this summer.

    However, the problem occurs both for students -  that were on DFS - and teachers that were not. Moreover, some teachers were already on DFS last year - the transition to the new storage location with DFS in use was gradual.

    VLANs?

    We introduced a new wireless network with new switches and access points. So now we have a mixture of old (Netgear and 3Com) and new (Cisco) switches.

    However, the problem does occur on a VLAN where only the old switches are involved. The path from the client to the server has not changed:

    client -> netgear switch 1 -> netgear switch 2 -> 3Com switch -> server(s)


    So what's the problem?

    When the user logs in, they have no mapped drive. Visualize the "My Computer" or "Computer" window open with just the C: drive and then the D: drive if a CD/DVD drive is present (not always the case in new laptops).

    This is the fun part: that occurs sometimes but not always. Using the same user accounts, and logging on dozens of times on different machines, both wired and wireless, the drive is mapped more often than not - but not always.

    If I were to quantify, I would say it works over 75% percent of the time.

    If the user logs off and then back on, the drive is mapped almost 100% of the time on the second try.

    Of course, Group Policy folder redirection does not work either because it is based on the %HOMEDRIVE% variable.

    If the home drive is not mapped... no My Documents redirection.

    Event Viewer is filled with entries pertaining to folder redirection failure but nothing - as far as I can see - about the root cause which is the inconsistent drive mapping.

    ***


    So far, no one has observed the problem on XP machines (all wired).

    My guess is that it has to do with the way Windows 7 manages the logon process, just as it manages the startup process differently and does not always apply group policy software installation settings right away.

    Yes, we can map a drive manaually after logon but since drive mapping works automatically as it should more often than not, we have already ruled out a permissions issue at the server.

    Network congestion?

    I tried this over the weekend with no one in the building so no network traffic other than management traffic. Same results observed.

    This admin relates a similar problem - however, in my case, the problem happens on wired clients as well:

    http://www.sevenforums.com/network-sharing/185474-home-folder-mapping-failing-wireless-clients.html

    This problem has nothing to do with the many posts about drive mapping not working at all, because most of the time... it does!

    ***

    OK, does anyone have any ideas?

    How can I obtain verbose logging for the logon process... and the drive mapping process?

    The admin in the link claims the setting that worked for XP does not work for W7. Granted, I have not had a chance to try myself.

    Please mark as helpful if you find my contribution useful or as an answer if it does answer your question. That will encourage me - and others - to take time out to help you.



    Sunday, September 8, 2013 2:35 PM

Answers

  • Applying KB2775511 seems to improve the situation.

    After around 50 logins, zero missing drives.

    Why is this update not part of the regular Windows updates (for Windows 7)?

    Or is it?


    Please mark as helpful if you find my contribution useful or as an answer if it does answer your question. That will encourage me - and others - to take time out to help you.

    • Proposed as answer by Judy_Zhou Monday, September 16, 2013 2:32 AM
    • Marked as answer by Cloud_TS Monday, September 16, 2013 2:44 PM
    Monday, September 9, 2013 2:36 AM
  • Hi,

    I’ m glad to hear that you solved your issue.

    Also, regarding the KB 2775511, it is released after the release of SP1 for Windows 7. These hotfixes improve the overall the performance and system reliability of Windows 7 SP1-based computer. We recommend that you apply this hotfix rollup as part of your regular maintenance routine and build processes for Windows 7 computers.

    Link for more detailed information about KB 2775511 below:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2775511

    • Marked as answer by Cloud_TS Monday, September 16, 2013 2:44 PM
    Wednesday, September 11, 2013 1:57 AM

All replies

  • Applying KB2775511 seems to improve the situation.

    After around 50 logins, zero missing drives.

    Why is this update not part of the regular Windows updates (for Windows 7)?

    Or is it?


    Please mark as helpful if you find my contribution useful or as an answer if it does answer your question. That will encourage me - and others - to take time out to help you.

    • Proposed as answer by Judy_Zhou Monday, September 16, 2013 2:32 AM
    • Marked as answer by Cloud_TS Monday, September 16, 2013 2:44 PM
    Monday, September 9, 2013 2:36 AM
  • Hi,

    I’ m glad to hear that you solved your issue.

    Also, regarding the KB 2775511, it is released after the release of SP1 for Windows 7. These hotfixes improve the overall the performance and system reliability of Windows 7 SP1-based computer. We recommend that you apply this hotfix rollup as part of your regular maintenance routine and build processes for Windows 7 computers.

    Link for more detailed information about KB 2775511 below:

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2775511

    • Marked as answer by Cloud_TS Monday, September 16, 2013 2:44 PM
    Wednesday, September 11, 2013 1:57 AM