Unwanted mapped drives under NT 4.0

Simo Sorce simo.sorce at polimi.it
Fri Sep 22 10:06:01 GMT 2000

Stephane Ouellette wrote:
> Hi everyone,
>     I have set up a Samba PDC (version pre3.0.0, RedHat 6.2, Intel CPU) but
> when a user is logged on the domain from a WinNT4 client, unwanted mapped
> drives appear after a few hours.
> Here is the contents of the user's logon script:
> Here is a description of what happens...
>    When the user logs on, both drives are successfully mapped.  After a few
> hours, the first share (\\MYPDC\PUB) is mapped on F: G: H: I: until no
> drive letters are available.........
>    I noticed that only on Win NT4, not Win98.
>    I would like to know if anyone else has seen such a behaviour.
> Any suggestions would be appreciated...
> Thanks.
> Stephane Ouellette

I know very well this problem.
It's an Windows problem, not a samba one.
The problem rely in the "Intelligent" way microsoft use shortcuts.

If you install a program on a share the fullnetworkpath is stored in the
shortcut as the relative path. 
ex: \\myserver\myshare\mypath\myprog + Z:\mypath\myprog (Z: maps

When you run a program through a share (also if Z: is still mapped to
\\myserver\myshare) the "smart" shortcut resolves the program name
through the fullnetworkpath (\\myserver\myshare\mypath\myprog) and
allocate a drive lettere on his own (the first available).

It uses the (correct) mapped path (Z:...) only if it can't found the
shared fullpath.
We discovered the problem when try to load balance between two servers
dicovering that while we mapped two machine to two servers only the
installation used one were actually used.

A way to avoid is to set a registry key on NT workstation, unfortunately
I can't rember the key, but anyway we saw this method not always worked.

Another way is to pass your shortcuts through the "shortcut.exe"
executable you find on MS site, the problem is that this software
effectively work only on win9x machines (it runs on NT but do not change
the shortcut).
You need to use the option -s (stupid) to avoid shortcut using the UNC
name and force them using the mapped associated path.

my 2c,

Simo Sorce - Integrazione Sistemi Unix/Windows - Politecnico di Milano
E-mail: simo.sorce at polimi.it
Tel.int: 02 2399 2425 - Fax.int. 02 2399 2451
Be happy, use Linux!

More information about the samba-ntdom mailing list