Organic networks

A friend of mine recent tweeted the following:
STILL trying to rebuild my productivity after losing my work hard drive. I miss my mapped drives!
Because we were so recently in the NetWare paradigm of networks, we still have a login-script that gives everyone the drive-mappings they need. Organic mappings are beginning to crop up, but because we give users nearly everything they need for data-access right out of the box our users haven't gotten in the habit of mapping drives to every little thing in their own way. The P: drive is universal, everyone has one, and our Helpdesk gets calls like "I can't get access to the P: drive."

Pure Windows networks, I gather, are much more organic affairs. The worst offenders are small offices without a central filer of some kind, so everyone just shares directories off of their own workstations. Even if they do have a NAS, there are probably lots of shared directories on workstations. I've seen them, it made me cringe.

Larger pure-Windows offices... I don't have much experience in, but I suspect undisciplined server growth leads to multiple file-servers with data scattered on all of them. This makes new users have to do detective work to figure out where all of their needed data is and then map accordingly. Disciplined server growth, on the other hand, is beyond my experiences.

Because we're so drive-letter centric our helpdesk occasionally gets calls like, "My M: drive went away." In this case, the M: drive is not one we routinely map so the user set it up themselves (or worse, had it set up for them by someone else), so the helpdesk tech gets to ask the questions to figure out where their M: drive was pointing and assist them in re-mapping it. In the few pure-Windows environments I've touched such questions seem to be of the "I can't get to the Faculty share" type, which still requires a bit of helpdesk detective work to figure out which server the 'faculty' share is on.

For those of you who've spent a lot of time in pure Windows environments, how are your users handling drive-mappings, and how are shares administered? We're pretty tightly controlled around here (hello, legacy speaking) but I know there is a lot of variability out there.


In our windows network we have a DFS name-space set up and everything is stored on drives according to where they are located, room is also built in for expansion... In our namespace we have:

department 1
deparment 2
I left most of the other stuff out but it all appears to the end users to be hosted on one server so they have less to worry about. We don't map drives for things like 'userdocuments' because we have that folder redirection going on our local computers (I believe we have it in group policy). Of course we still have our Linux servers (running zabbix) making sure that everything looks fine for disk usage, processor usage, network load, whatever you can think of... It's quite nice to have emails sent to our IT department's helpdesk system when something needs to get done (and have a ticket created automatically).

Well, mostly, users don't map drives. Seriously, my users just don't do it.
Now, on the other hand, I *do* have a batch file that pretty well maps everything that gets put on each machine during setup, so if someone were to drop a drive map for some reason, I can just re-run the batch file. Also, those "standard" drive mappings pretty much cover every significant place that there is any data stored.
I have twelve drive mappings and just three servers and one of those is strictly for the Accounting department, so not everyone maps to that server.

I found a question on the internet that you had replied too and was hoping you might be willing to share a bit more on it. The question was about parseing wevtutil xml into a database

I am looking at trying to do this currently for logon and logoff events using 2008R2 domain controllers. I was hoping you would be willing to share your complete script of how you are doing it as well as any suggestions if you have any.

You can email me at

Thanks and I look forward to a response.

You should look up and use Group Policy Preferences. They will make your life so much easier with respect to drive mappings, etc.