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We have a handful of Windows XP SP3 users whose mapped drives don't always appear in Windows Explorer when they initially log in. "net use" shows the drives are mapped correctly and they can see them in File Open dialogs in other applications. However they don't appear in Windows Explorer.

The current workaround we have is to kill Windows Explorer and then immediately start it again, then they do reliably appear.

Any ideas?

UPDATE: Still seeing this problem on some of our PCs. We're in the habit now of checking for any foreign DLLs being loaded into explorer.exe (Novell, Roxio, etc) and removing them, and making sure the PCs/users are in the correct OUs. This seems to solve the problem most of the time, but we've still got a number of PCs that won't show their network drives in My Computer when the PC first starts up even though they do show up in "net use" in a Command Prompt. But if you kill explorer.exe and launch it again, they do show up in My Computer. Anything else we should be checking for?

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  • I have a similar problem but with very few users. How are you mapping your drives? or are these being done manually? We're using Group Policy Preferences for all of them, and even though Always Wait for network is on, it seems like that setting not really working in the problem for us. Haven't found any fix for this yet.
    – Jordan W.
    Feb 14, 2011 at 18:48
  • Our drive mappings are created by Group Policy, but the thing is, the drives are mapping. They appear if you run "net use" in a Command Prompt, they just don't appear in My Computer. May 18, 2012 at 15:28
  • Which version of Windows? XP? Vista? 7?
    – Skyhawk
    May 18, 2012 at 15:51
  • Can't believe I missed that out. Windows XP with SP3. Updated the question. May 18, 2012 at 16:01

5 Answers 5

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You might try enabling "Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon" via a group policy or manually with gpedit.msc. The setting is in Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\System\Logon.

More info can be found here and here.

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  • Just checked and "Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon" is enabled on all of our PCs, including the problem ones. Aug 25, 2010 at 13:58
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Are your users local admin of their workstations? If so, they may have installed a shell extension that is interfering with Explorer.

Try installing this:

http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/shexview.html

and disabling anything that looks unnecessary.

(Disclaimer: Never used this tool myself, but have seen various Windowsy people recommend it).

You could also try getting the user to log on to a known good workstation and see whether the issue occurs there.

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    This pointed us in the right direction. Checked explorer.exe in Process Explorer and a bunch of Novell DLLs were loaded. We stopped using Novell a few months ago. Removed Novell completely from the PC and now network drives appear to be mapping correctly. Thanks. Feb 21, 2011 at 15:02
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It's a bit of a long shot, but could it be that the mapped drives are empty? One of explorer's folder options is to 'Hide empty drives in the Computer folder' - this is set 'on' by default.

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  • Thanks but no. Mapped drives are definitely not empty. Aug 25, 2010 at 11:58
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Hi I hope this is the solution to your problem:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/297694

It may not be, but there isn't enough information in your post to be sure. Please try the workaround section, and if it does work best to call microsoft for a hot fix.

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  • Should have mentioned our PCs have all been upgraded to Service Pack 3 which includes this fix. Feb 21, 2011 at 8:05
  • support.microsoft.com/kb/961187 This article states that if the problem is there applying sp3 doesnt fix it. Note This problem does not occur if you previously installed hotfix KB297694 or applied Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3). However, if this problem occurs before you install hotfix KB297694 or apply Windows XP SP3, you cannot resolve this problem by installing the hotfix or by applying Windows XP SP3.
    – pablo
    Feb 22, 2011 at 10:26
  • Different bug. That bug is about "...a collision with the existing mapped network drive". That isn't the case here, the drives are mapped to available drive letters. They show fine in a command prompt, they just don't show in Windows Explorer. Oct 10, 2011 at 8:23
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I found this on another serverfault.com post.

net use x: \\computer name\share name /PERSISTENT:YES

the persistent should make it appear in explorer. worth a shot :)

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  • Thanks but I don't think it is this. The mapping is being made and is available, it just isn't showing in Windows Explorer. Aug 25, 2010 at 11:31

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