Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

We currently have XP clients that get network drives from their 2003 AD login script, and their AD homeDirectory attribute.

These drives tend to 'disappear' (the mapping is lost, and they no longer appear in explorer) while they are logged in some times. What are the possible causes of this, and is there anything I can do so Windows will try to periodically reconnect the drive while they are logged in?

share|improve this question
When you say "disappear" do you mean that the mapping is lost and that the drives no longer show up in Windows Explorer? – joeqwerty Dec 3 '09 at 14:00
joeqwerty: Exactly. – Kyle Brandt Dec 3 '09 at 14:03
Run the command 'net use' from the command prompt and see if they are still connected and just not visible in explorer. This will tell you if they are being completely disconnected or just vanishing from explorer. – Kevin Garber Dec 3 '09 at 14:09
Kevin: Will do that next time, I think it is the former though because they can't access the files via the drive letter. – Kyle Brandt Dec 3 '09 at 14:17
Kyle - I'm guessing it is the former as well, but knowing which one for sure will help with troubleshooting, at least for me. :) – Kevin Garber Dec 3 '09 at 14:44

Default Windows behaviour:

Idle connections are dropped after a specified time-out period, which is - by default - 15 minutes.

To get rid of the behaviour it's possible to follow the steps in that KB article to disable the auto-disconnect feature, or extend the time-out period, but doing so may have performance and resource availability issues for the server (it can't be done on a per-user basis either).

For limited requirements where only a small number of users need persistent connections, an alternative might be to write a script that periodically connects to the drive (every 10 minutes should be enough) in order to keep it "warm", then drop it onto each client as a scheduled task.

share|improve this answer
@mh: This doesn't seem to fit the behavior that the OP is seeing. The article you referenced relates to drives being disconnected (normal and expected behavior), but the OP states that they're disappearing (not normal and expected behavior). – joeqwerty Dec 3 '09 at 14:12
Seems like I need the information that Keven is asking for to see if this is relevant. I don't think it happens often enough that this is the case though. The drive doesn't reappear when they try to access a file. – Kyle Brandt Dec 3 '09 at 14:13

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.