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  1. #1
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    Mapped Network Drive keeps multiplying - Windows 7 Pro [64bit]

    After hours of searching the web, I can't find an answer to this problem - only folks asking similar questions (both XP and Win 7) without a resolution.

    What happens is that Windows has started duplicating the first mapped network drive, which in my case is "G" from the first unused letter at the bottom (Y) and continues going down the alphabet until all the unused drive letters are used up.

    If I disconnect the phantom mappings manually, they progressively re-appear within a few hours, starting from the bottom and working their way up.

    Q: T: V: W: and Z: are also mapped to various places, like the NAS drives, so Windows just skips those letters and maps any unused letters to the same place that G is mapped to.

    Everything has been performing with an identical configuration and without a hitch for about a year now. This just started happening a couple of weeks ago for no apparent reason.

    No new software recently installed, scans for Virus / Malware come up clean and I can't find any sort of pattern to it. I don't even need to re-boot, if I disconnect the drive mappings, within a few hours they're back again.

    G is mapped to a shared drive on a MS Windows 2003 SBS Server.

    This machine accesses the Server via a Workgroup connection and is not connected to, or controlled by the Domain that the rest of the office is.

    All drives have been mapped manually and there is no script that creates mapped network drives on logon.

    If I click on the duplicated drive mappings, I can access all the folders on the server just as easily as I can when I click on G:

    The machine is protected by Avast Endpoint Protection, MalwareBytes Pro and WebRoot SecureAnywhere, which are all up kept up to date and have been living happily together for several months now.

    Anyone have any ideas how to fix this or how I can figure out what is causing this strange behavior?

    Machine Specifications are as follows:

    Windows 7 Professional [64Bit] (Fully patched with critical updates at time of writing)
    Intel DH67CL Mainboard
    Intel Core i7-2600 CPU
    16GB RAM
    256GB Intel SSD (C) - System drive
    Generic DVD R/W (D)
    2TB SATA Storage Drive (E)
    2TB SATA Storage Drive (F)
    No Raid configured in any of the mix above
    3TB Seagate USB3.0 Drive I image to nightly with Acronis Backup & Recovery (H) which has been permanently connected to the machine for ages.

    The above configuration hasn't changed for months and have had no issues. The machine is very stable and is only rebooted about once a week (or after MS updates) just to clear out any cobwebs

    Maybe a problem with a recent Windows update? I pretty much apply critical updates as soon as they become available but I see people complaining about similar issues from 2011 ?!

    Google hasn't been any help so any ideas how I might be able to track down what the culprit is?

    Thanks..

  2. #2
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    Do the mappings persist after a re-boot?
    Check the registry for drive mappings: HKEY_USERS\user_name\Network

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Also try a clean boot to see if the problem persists:
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/929135

    Jerry

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  5. The Following User Says Thank You to BruceR For This Useful Post:

    Drewski (2013-10-10)

  6. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    Do the mappings persist after a re-boot?
    Check the registry for drive mappings: HKEY_USERS\user_name\Network
    Hi Paul.. yes the mapping persist appearing after a re-boot. No such registry path that you listed exists here though. (?)

    I did find "HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-21-3271936511-etc-etc\Network" under HKEY_USERS in the registry, however the only drive letters listed under that Registry branch are the one's I've mapped myself. None of the phantom mappings are listed.

    Quote Originally Posted by jwitalka View Post
    Also try a clean boot to see if the problem persists
    Thanks Jerry but I already tried that yesterday.. Problem persisted.

    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    Hi Bruce,

    I was about to dismiss that suggestion because I found that possible cause and page you pointed me to during my own Google searches yesterday and thought I'd already checked for broken shortcut links.

    I'd looked at my desktop and all the icons looked fine (normally a desktop icon will change after a restart if its link is broken). Today, after a good nights sleep and with a fresh look at the issue after reading your post, I decided to double click every shortcut on my desktop just in case and lo and behold, a shortcut to an Excel spreadsheet mapped to the G: drive was indeed broken, yet the the shortcut icon looked fine.

    It's a shortcut to an Excel spreadsheet the entire office refers to infrequently and some dodo went and accidentally deleted the thing about 3 weeks ago! I've now restored the spreadsheet from one of the Server's incremental backups taken about 3 weeks ago (I do incremental images of the server drive with "ShadowProtect Small Business Server Edition" every night which saves the images to a local QNAP drive and then uploads to an offsite backup facility every night) so now I'm positive there are no broken shortcuts on my desktop.

    I'm not totally confident yet that this will fix the problem though because I checked almost everyone's workstation in the office yesterday (they all have the same shortcut and I looked at about 15 desktops). No one else was having the problem.

    That said, my machine is the only Windows 7 computer in the office, the rest are all XP Pro, one Vista and an iMac for clients who use Macintosh computers and Accounting software that do not have a Windows equivalent. None of the workstations I checked had duplicated drives (yet I found posts by folks complaining about this identical problem on XP machines all over the web yesterday) so I'm now hoping this is an issue unique to Windows 7 machines and that the problem will be resolved. I have little enough hair left as it is and can't afford to pull much more out because of this!

    So thanks for mentioning that as I'd already dismissed that as the cause of the problem. Your post prompted me to check again more thoroughly.

    I've just deleted all the phantom drive mappings again and rebooted my machine and now waiting to see if the problem recurs. If it doesn't and restoring that file fixed it, then I must admit I'm going to feel pretty stupid after all the hours I spent scouring the web for a solution.

    I'll be sure to post back later this afternoon with a result as it normally took an hour or two before the phantom mappings started to reappear yesterday, so the next few hours should tell.

    Many thanks for taking the time to respond Bruce. If this works, I owe you one! Here's hoping

    Best..

    Andy
    Last edited by Drewski; 2013-10-09 at 21:10. Reason: Fixed some minor typo's..

  7. #6
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    Well it's been a whole day now and no more phantom drive mappings. Fixing the broken link to the excel spreadsheet on the Server seems to have fixed the problem.

    Thanks for prompting me to look at that page again Bruce

    Cheers...

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