Cannot disconnect mapped drive

  • humbletech99
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I can't disconnect some drives that are mapped on a WinXP Pro workstation. I wanted to remove the drive mapping names as they were badly outdated and so deleted the registry key

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ComputerDescriptions

where the entries were found and then rebooted.

Now the connections show up as "Disconnected Network Drive" but all still work. However, I can't disconnect any of them and the "Disconnected Network Drive" will not update to the name of the machine/share even when I go into the share and use it.

Really, this is a test machine because I wanted to apply a reg via policyto clear out the strings on logon/logoff so that these were fixed all over the company. I don't understand why this thing is misbehaving though, the key get's recreated and has the name of one machine, but not the others...

Any ideas how I can fix this?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • Don2007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

What happens if you delete the connection in my computer on the workstation?
  • humbletech99
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Post 3+ Months Ago

it says it can't find the connection to delete it. sorry I can't give the exact phrase, I'm not at work any more...
  • Don2007
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Since it's a test machine, unjoin it from the domain and reboot. See if it's still there. Rejoin the domain.
  • humbletech99
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I just tried this as I'd run out of ideas, after 2 reboot and having rejoined the domain the mapped drives are still there as "Disconnected Network Drive (G:)" etc... and I still cannnot disconnect them...
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I ran into this once when I used a login script to map drives. I don't recall ever fixing the issue. I think the users got used to it being listed as disconnected. I remember scouring the internet looking for a fix and nothing worked.
  • humbletech99
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Post 3+ Months Ago

the more I am coming back to windows the more I hate it, it is not transparent and well documented or supported. Microsoft do make good effort but without more transparency in how they are making things work and hence fail in cases like this I don't see how I can fix it...

I'll let you know if I manage to find some way of resetting the thing without that old windows tradition of a reinstall every time the os gets messed up (Kinda reminds me of the Win95 days when I used to format the machine every 6 months to keep it working properly.)
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Not well documented or supported? That is the oddest comment I have heard about Windows.

2003 Server is one of the best OS's I have ever worked with. I have yet to reinstall 2003 server due to it getting messed up. I have reinstalled because I did something stupid or totally hosed what I was doing.
  • humbletech99
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Post 3+ Months Ago

the documentation is limited to the most generic problems, and the design means there is lots of complicated stuff that nobody understands. I have used windows for donkey's years and I have an mcse and I don't even understand most of the stuff under the hood because the knowledge just isn't distributed. Microsoft want to sell people a product but figure they can control the market better if nobody understands how they do anything. This is contrary to the depth of understanding that seasoned unix admins have. Which is why I am so frustrated, I can go deep in linux (transparent design helps) but I cannot do the same in windows even though I am more qualified in it...

sorry this is just me venting after frustration with this problem which should be easy to solve but is more difficult than it ought to be due to lack of distributed knowledge.

I agree Windows 2003 is great, I don't think any other m$ server product should be in use anywhere... now if only I could convince the rest of the world...
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Did you try the solution given to you at your post at tech-tips?

http://www.tek-tips.com/viewthread.cfm? ... 246&page=1
Solution:
http://www.tek-tips.com/faqs.cfm?fid=5798
  • humbletech99
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I didn't think it wasn't gonna work cos it relies on knowing the mappings in which case net use x: /d would work...

I just tried it now to remove all mapped network drives and have run it a few times but the drives remain, because it relies on enumeration and I already know the enumeration is wrong because the system can't find any network drives, so effectively the loop was empty and no work was done.

I also used this script as a basis and looked up at the scriptcenter to do it manually and explicitly set it to one of the drives I want to unmap:

set WSHNetwork = CreateObject("WScript.Network")
WSHNetwork.RemoveNetworkDrive "x:"

but it gave the same error as net use gave

"This network connection does not exist."


<sigh>
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hmmm, OK take this with a grain of salt because I'm kinda just thinking out loud here. I wouldn't recommend trying it until you've researched the effects, because I know very little about this reg key

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\MountPoints2

I'm just pondering what would happen if you deleted the problem drives from that list. Truthfully I'm not even sure if you can because it's my understanding those are system generated and not sure if any user can just delete them.

I only know the MountPoints2 key shows any drive mappings ever done on that user.
  • humbletech99
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I did that but they reappeared after reboot. I actually went and deleted every reference to these from current user, all users, default user and all other user places I could find by searching the registry for the hostname string from one of the shares and deleting all the other keys around it.

I also searched contents of all files on disk for that string as well, find only 1 file, a reg file I exported of that key before deleting.

After reboot the keys reappeared. When the heck are they coming from? Where is M$ storing all the fracking drive letters and \\hostname\share mappings that are restarting after every boot?!
  • ATNO/TW
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hmmm. just found this
http://techrepublic.com.com/5208-6230-0 ... ID=2133869

seemed that was the solution for someone else with the same problem.

I know XP has some type of mapped drive cache. I remember seeing that somewhere once but can't find it now. An example of how it works is my notebook. When I log into the domain at work, my login script maps the network drives. However, at home where I'm not connected to work, it still maps the drives and logs me into my domain profile as if I'm still logged into the domain, even though I'm not. It's convenient, but I've never found anything that explains how it does that.
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

By default XP will allow you to login 10 times with a cached domain profile. I'm pretty sure it is adjustable in group policy.
  • humbletech99
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Post 3+ Months Ago

that's right, it is actually settable in the registry so it must be possible to do it via gpo as well.

but it is stored in a different place to the mapping stuff and I don't think the two are really related in this case of drive mapping madness...
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Post 3+ Months Ago

This is probably not the answer, but there is some similarity to what happens with System File Protection. I can't see how mapped drives reappearing after you delete them would be based of SFP, but it's odd how similar it is. You know, like if you delete a protected system file it just comes back a few seconds later. I suppose since this is a test computer, if you can't get anything else to work you could try disabling System File Protection. I remember doing this hack in a classroom environment and it does work for system files. Definitely not something I'd want to challenge on a production machine, but it is an interesting exercise even if it doesn't fix the problem. (You'll need a hex editor to work the hack)

http://pubs.logicalexpressions.com/Pub0 ... asp?ID=290
  • humbletech99
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Post 3+ Months Ago

hacking with the hex, not something I've done before, I guess I don't want the computer to hex me back...

how about just rebooting into safe mode? doesn't that disable it as well? Then I can just edit the registry... I'll give that a shot first since it's easier...
  • gregwest
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I had an XP Pro workstation that was doing the same thing. It mapped almost every alphabet letter to one shared folder and displayed it as "Disconnected Drive." I couldn't disconnect it because it already was "disconnected."

In this case the problem was a corrupted user profile. The weird thing is that, once the corrupted profile loaded those "disconnected" mappings, they appeared for every other user that used the machine.

To fix it, here's what I had to do:

1. Log in as administrator. Back up local user account profiles to a folder then delete them in System Properties>User Profiles.
2. Remove the machine from the domain and put it in a workgroup.
3. Delete the machine account out of Active Directory.
4. Rejoin the domain and log in as domain admin.
5. Run gpupdate /force.
6. Log out as administrator and log in as the users. Copy their backed-up favorites, desktop, Outlook settings, etc. in to their new profiles.

Once you get rid of the corrupted profile(s), it should work great.
  • humbletech99
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Post 3+ Months Ago

thanks for that, It's been a while, can't remember if I actually resolved this one, I think I just ignored it cos it was a test system.

I'll keep this corrupted profile business in mind if it's the case. It is a bit of a show stopper when it gets wedged like this.
  • Galaxiom
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Post 3+ Months Ago

The description indicates they are Machine Mapped Drives. These cannot be contolled by the user, which is why they are "not found" when a user (including an admin) trys to disconnect them.

They are mapped by a Local or Domain Group Policy script.

To view the local policy
Run gpedit.msc
Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Scripts > Startup

Find the relevant Domain GP and edit similarly.

They will always appear as "Disconnected Network Drive" even when they are browsed.

They will not accept a name given to them in scripts that are normally used to map and name user level drive mappings. Renaming them from the listing in MyComputer will rename the original drive itself rather than the mapped name.

They also need to be removed from MountPoints2.

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