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Is there a way, using Windows GPO, to set up a list of "default" mapped drives that can be applied to a group of users?

I runs small network and would like to make sure that certain groups of users (like Sales or Support) have the same network shares mapped to the same drive letters irrespective of which PC they log onto.

This would make the setup of new users easier and allow the centralised administration of the network locations shared.

Any links to examples and/or step-by-step guides would be greatly appreciated.

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3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I use group policy preferences for this. The area you care about is located under user -> preferences -> windows settings -> drive maps.

Here is a howto: http://blogs.technet.com/b/askds/archive/2009/01/07/using-group-policy-preferences-to-map-drives-based-on-group-membership.aspx

EDIT: Just saw that you are using server 2003. In that case, off the top of my head you could you use regular group policy to create a login script to map with net use x: \server\share and scope it to an OU.

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You can use GP Preferences in a 2003 domain as well. You need to make sure the XP machines have the proper update and you will need a windows Vista/Windows 2008 Server with RSAT installed. You will need to use the Vista/7/2008 System to edit and modify the GPO's in order to set the GP Preferences settings. –  Rex Oct 4 '12 at 20:59
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Unless my memory fails me, Server 08 was the first one where you could map drives through a GPO. If your server rev is earlier, check out a product called "ifmember."

Personally, for 03, I use Ifmember alot. For 08, I tend to go the GPO route (just make sure you install the GP update for XP if you mix 08 and XP: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/943729). I think most of my 08 installs map via GP with pretty consistent results. The above answer should get you going down the GP route.

IfMember is part of the Server 2003 Resource Kit: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=17657

Here are some ifmember examples: http://clintboessen.blogspot.com/2011/02/ifmemberexe-doesnt-work-windows.html http://rafaelwolf.com/?p=189

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Why not use the more conventional approach and use domain logon scripts? If there are laptops involved in this then using Group Policies (or Preferences) has a downside. Using policies would mean that the machines would try to map the drives every time a user logs on, even if they're off the network. This can result in excessively long logon times. In the case of domain based logon scripts there will be no attempt to map the drives when off the network.

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I hadn't thought of laptops off the network, know of any good resources/examples for setting up logon scripts? –  SteB Oct 7 '12 at 16:33
    
@SteB, there are so many examples I wouldn't know where to start. I suggest you Google for the "logon script language", where "language" is whatever scripting language you're most comfortable with. Some of the more common are batch files (*.bat or *.cmd), vbscript and Kixtart (not as common these days but exceedingly powerful and flexible). –  John Gardeniers Oct 8 '12 at 6:03
    
Can you create these logon scripts in Powershell? –  SteB Oct 8 '12 at 7:09
    
@SteB, I'll have to leave it to someone else to answer that as I don't use PowerShell and don't know if it can be used for logon scripts. –  John Gardeniers Oct 8 '12 at 9:28
    
According to this it's not recommended –  SteB Oct 8 '12 at 9:44
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