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I want to implement a mapped drive which is hidden/exposed based on the OU of the user. I have a working version of this in one environment (Windows 2008R2; created by someone else), and I am trying to recreate the exact same setup in another environment (Windows 2012).

As I understand it (I have never done this before), the list of components involved include:

  1. A directory on a server which is setup as a network share (this happens to be on the domain controller on the old 2008R2 setup; ex. \\DC02\ShareFolders$\TEST)
  2. An Active Directory shared folder within the OU which has a UNC name matching the directory in list item #1 (again, \\DC02\ShareFolders$\TEST)
  3. A group policy object linked to the OU in question which implements a mapped drive
    1. The path within the GPO to do this is User Configuration >> Preferences >> Windows Settings >> Drive Maps.
    2. The location of the mapped drive matches the shared folder setup in list item #2 (again, \\DC02\ShareFolders$\TEST).

I have gotten stuck trying to implement this. I have created the components mentioned above using the same layout, naming convention, and drive letters across both environments. I have even made sure the security tabs within the various folders on the file system share the same ownership and permissions for test users. I have no other group policies which I have configured--this is a brand new environment. I am not even sure if I need group policy to implement what I want, but that was how it was done before.

Questions:

  1. How can I create a mapped drive that will show up for users in File Explorer based on their OU (TEST users should see the TEST share, US users should see US share, etc.)?
  2. Also, how can I make sure this drive shows up under "Computer" as an actual drive with a drive letter (S:)--not a networked shared drive for which has to be browsed within the "Network" tab of File Explorer?

Drive in File Explorer

Environment info:

  • Windows Server 2012 Standard 64-bit
  • File Explorer exposed to user via RemoteApp (via 2012 RD Session Host / terminal server)
  • 1. You don't need item number 2. You would only do that if you wanted the shared folder top be searchable and discoverable in AD. It's not a requirement to publish the shared folder in AD. 3. Do you have the appropriate user accounts in each OU? – joeqwerty May 16 '14 at 5:06
  • I'm sorta confused as to what you're trying to do. So you want User0 in OU=Test to get \\server\test mapped to T:, but user1 in OU=NotTest to get \\server\nottest mapped to T: at login? – RobbieCrash May 16 '14 at 6:16
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Questions:

Q1. How can I create a mapped drive that will show up for users in File Explorer based on their OU (TEST users should see the TEST share, US users should see US share, etc.)?

Q2. Also, how can I make sure this drive shows up under "Computer" as an actual drive with a drive letter (S:)--not a networked shared drive for which has to be browsed within the "Network" tab of File Explorer?

THIS ^^ seems to be the only relevant info in the entire question. Everything above it in your OP seems a bit convoluted.

SO...

A1. This is easy enough...you can get complicated, but no reason to. Just create a separate GPO for each OU's mapped drive policy. Create one called TEST Drive Mappings and set the User Configuration drive mappings for the TEST OU users and then link it to the TEST OU. Same for the US users OU.

A2. It will show up as an actual drive letter if you've created an actual drive mapping in the group policy.

The Policy setting best suited for this will be User Configuration, Preferences, Windows Settings, Drive Maps.

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For starters, in item #2, you talk about publishing the shared folder in Active Directory. This is not needed. All you need to do is share the folder on the server with the appropriate permissions, and then create a GPO that maps the drive letters.

There are two possible ways to do the GPO:

  1. Create a GPO that does nothing other than mapping the drive letters and apply it to just that OU.
  2. Create a GPO that applies to multiple OUs or the Entire domain, and use item level targeting to only apply the drive mapping if the user/computer is in a certain OU.

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