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I'd like to get everyone's opinion on whether it's better to use GPO or Logon Scripts when mapping shares and printers.

From my understanding, please let me know if I'm wrong, GPO seems like a cleaner solution.

  1. GPO allows you to manage Printers and Shares through security groups
  2. GPO has better troubleshooting tools.
  3. You can update users settings by running GPUPDATE /Force - no longer require logoff/login.
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4. Group Policy Preference Client Side Extensions – jscott Aug 8 '12 at 16:50
Luckily we have phased out XP. That would be the only reason I'd need this extension, correct? – Chris Charge Aug 9 '12 at 12:34
The Client Side Extensions are included with Vista/7/2008/R2, it was an add-on for XP. – jscott Aug 9 '12 at 13:18
up vote 6 down vote accepted

I perfer using group policy preferences for drive and printer mapping, but it really is just the preference of the person that has to manage it. Both scripts and GPO works fine and can generally give you the same results, but GPO preference I find easier to add criteria and troubleshoot.

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And with preferences you can have the printer removed without and extra script to do it. – Mike Aug 8 '12 at 17:19
Thanks for the info. I actually didn't know there was a difference between GPO and Group Policy Preferences. GPP is what I would be leaning towards in my environment. – Chris Charge Aug 9 '12 at 12:33

It depends on the client OS.

I've run into a lot of issues using the native drive and printer map Group Policy functions on XP clients. They just don't seem to work quite right, and the only thing worse than getting a couple "my filez is gone, halp!!!!" tickets every day is getting 300 one morning because that GPO inexplicably decided to not show up for work one morning. (Yeah, really.) So I prefer logon or startup scripts for XP clients.

On the other hand, it seems to work flawlessly in Vista and 7, so I take advantage of the built in Group Policy settings for those clients.

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+1 I've got plenty of the same stories about Preferences not working on XP. – Chris S Aug 8 '12 at 18:00
Interesting I haven't seen drive mapping having issue in XP. Did you guys have any custom criteria? Maybe one of the criteria is failing for some reason. – Bad Dos Aug 8 '12 at 19:05
@BadDos I didn't. Just a standard map this share to that letter. Honestly, I hadn't ever seen it misbehave until I rolled out the drive maps to the whole company "the right way" with GP preference settings to replace the clusterfuck of drive mapping scripts that the last guy left behind. One morning, before I could say WTF?!?! I had almost 300 tickets in the queue for missing drive maps and a manager revoking my autonomy to make changes. (And I even tested it first, of course, it just puked one morning and freaked the hell out or all our l[ocal]users.) – HopelessN00b Aug 8 '12 at 19:42

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