XP mapping new drive on file access



After a recent conversion from NT domain to Active Directory, I have several
XP workstations behaving very strangely. When these users access a file from
a share on a member server, generally using excel 97 or word 97, their
systems add a new mapped drive letter to the local PC's configuration, with
that share mapped as the drive.

The user begins by simply opening a file, either by browsing the
folder/share as an already mapped drive, or by opening from recent filesin
the application or the start menu. The file opens and operates normally, and
saves/closes normally.

When the user looks at their "my computer", they will have any previoiusly
unused drive letters mapped to the same server/share combination as they had
accessed, one drive letter added for each file accessed. Opening 20 or so
files during the course of the day will use all of the available drive
letters, and they will get an error message saying there are no drive letters
available when this happens, though I have not seen this behavior directly.

If the user reboots the pc or restarts XP, the new drive letters are no
longer mapped, so they are not persistant mappings, but temporary, and they
will begin accumulating again on the first access of a file.

I am at a loss as to how to identify the cause or stop this from happening,
and so far no searches have shown anything of this nature in the references I
have searched so far.

Mike Martell - Systems Manager, The Dingley Press


My thoughts would be to firstly discover under what circumstances this
happens. Open Explorer windows onto the server, open text files, XCOPY a file
across, etc to find out what kinds of file, and opened in which programs,
produce the effect.

Likely causes might be policy settings, or perhaps a macro running in Word
or Excel each time a document is opened. A test with text files and Notepad
(or with the same Word documents that cause the trouble opened in Wordpad,
which does not run macros) should indicate if a macro is responsible.

Technically this sounds like a 'NET USE * \\server\sharename' being issued
somewhere. This command maps the share to the next driveletter available...
until all are used up.

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