Thursday, January 17, 2013

Group Policy Preferences "Drive Maps" and slow logons with unavailable servers...

Hi all.

Li'l tip from field engineering ;-)

Through Group Policy Preferences "drive maps", you can easily assign and remove shared folder mappings for users. Unfortunately, there's a drawback: If you assign a shared folder that points to an unresponsive server (typo, malfunctioning or whatever reason), the assignment has a timeout value of about 30 seconds. If 5 of your assignments point to this one server, that sums up to 2,5 minutes. Veeery long...

The solution is "WMI". To do so, in the GPP drive assingment, click on the "common" tab, enable "Item.Level Targeting" and click "Targeting...". The ILT Editor opens up. In the upper right corner, select "New Item" - "WMI Query". In the Query field, enter the following:

select * from win32_Pingstatus where address="Fileserver" and statuscode=0

"Fileserver", of course, should be replaced with the real server name :-))

Done we are. The win32_pingstatus does one (only one!) ICMP ping to the target machine, this ping has a timeout of only 1 second. Great advantage compared to the 30 seconds GPP (or, to be precise, the redirector) takes.

The same can be applied to mapped printers, too.

And if all your mapped drives reside on the same server: Create a classic WMI filter and assign it to the policy. So the filter is evaluated only once.

Happy filtering :-))


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. This is a very helpful post, thanks.

    Do recommend any other settings for the drive mapping? i.e I tended to find using "replace" was more problematic than using "update" - would be interersted in your thoughts...

    Thanks again


    1. In fact, replace is more problematic because it tries to disconnect and then reconnect the drives - that will cause issues with offline files and explorer "automatically reconnect"...

      For my private environment, I use GPP - but for the business environment (100.000+ users) we use logon scripts because they offer much more flexibility.

    2. Thanks - useful to know what others are doing