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USB Drive Mapping: Win XP with Netware

By chimay
Nov 13, 2007
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  1. Problem: We have about a dozen new dell computers with a media card readers running on a Novell network. C, D, E, G, H, I and J are taken up by windows. E-J is the card reader and since we are running Novell, F is the first mapped network drive.

    These users are using a variety of flash drives (they travel to do presentations frequently). With Lexar drives (that worked fine on their previous computer) the drives will always default to mapping to F. You can change the mapping in disk management but after using the drive on their laptops and returning to their desktops, the drive letter defaults back to F. These users are not technically savy enough to change the drive mappings themselves (I have nightmares about them remapping their C drives). The funny thing is, Sony drives will map by themselves to L.

    As a concerned customer I called Lexar (mainly because we have dozens of these drives) and explained my problem to them. The tech I talked to ended up just telling me to buy Sony drives since they seem to work. I realized he was an ***** and hung up and hit up google again and found and article from novell www . novell . com /coolsolutions /tip /14875 . html (take out the spaces since I do not have enough posts to post a link). This has good some interesting ideas, such as a script that over rides the windows mapping of F and allows you to remap the windows mapping automatically, to dumb ideas like changing all of your netware mappings.

    Surely some one has a better idea? It seems to me that something on the Lexar drive is making it pick F since Sony is picking L. Any ideas?
     
  2. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,712

    Are you saying that the Lexar drives are taking F: even after the machines are booted and F: is in use for the Novell network?
     
  3. chimay

    chimay TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes, from what I understand Windows does not see the F: Netware mapping as a real mapping so it thinks F is still open.
     
  4. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,712

    What happens if you look at the mapped drives in 'My Computer' without the Lexar connected?
    Grasping at straws a bit here but there may be a way round this!
     
  5. chimay

    chimay TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It shows the Lexar Drive being mapped to the F: drive. If you leave it in and reboot, it will stop the Netware F drive from mapping. You can right click and change the letter, but as previously mentioned it will only keep it until you use the drive on another computer where it can map itself to F. When you bring it back to original desktop it will try to map to F again.

    edit:eek:pps, misread your post.

    Everything appears normal. There is a network drive mapped to F but if you look under disk management you only see the local disks.
     
  6. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,712

    It is never a good idea to boot with a USB flash drive in place unless you intend it to be the primary boot device (and even then I have had this stop a boot).
     
  7. chimay

    chimay TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yes I know. Just did it to see what it would do with the mappings.
     
  8. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,712

    So - just to check. If you boot without the flash drive in place, does the mapping to f:netware work, and if you then connect the flash drive it takes the mapping off and grabs F: for itself?
    Sorry to go over this again but if this is what is happening I have no answer for it!
     
  9. chimay

    chimay TS Rookie Topic Starter

    went to lunch...

    Booting with no flash drive- Netware Maps the F drive. When you plug in the flash drive windows maps it to F but never shows up because the Netware mapping was mapped first. So the F drive is still the network drive and you never see the Flash drive. When you go to disk management you can see the flash drive mapped as F, then you can remap it and it will work until used on a computer with different mappings.
     
  10. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,712

    Gotcha - and I have no idea how to deal with it. The problem I think relates to the way netware maps drives in windows. I know you talked to Lexar but did you ask the network people?
     
  11. chimay

    chimay TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yep, I've got them looking at the script to overwrite the windows mapping to see if we can use it. Changing the drive mappings isn't really an option and that article that I posted in a broken link fashion is apparently what Novell has recommended for the situation. Seems like there is something in the bios or firmware of the drive that doesn't allow it to be mapped properly, but I have no idea how to go about messing with it to find out (based on the fact that sony drives map to L automatically and lexar is mapping to F).
     
     
  12. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,712

    I have a number of usb flash drives and I have just run a test using one of them - a Kingston 2Gb. The system simply allocates the next unallocated drive letter to the flash drive, irrespective of what drive letter was allocated to the flash drive on another machine. I also added extra drive letters (mapped a few across the network) before plugging in the USB flash drive again - it still allocated the next available drive letter.
    Sorry that I cannot be more helpful on this one.
     
  13. chimay

    chimay TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah, that's how I understand it is supposed to work and usually does without netware. From my reading the problem is the way the network drives are mapped in netware compared with how windows handles the drive mappings. So while windows can access the netware drive mapping windows does not actually count the mapping as a "real" drive mapping thereby it thinks that the drives letters are open.
     
  14. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,712

    Novell have a problem! Sorry couldn't be more helpful with this one.
     
  15. chimay

    chimay TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yep, big surprise.

    Thank you for your time. It looks like all server/os companies are the same. Big problems that they will never fix. I just got done training a few of them on how to remap the drives themselves... I've got my fingers crossed that they do not remap their C drive...
     
  16. AlbertLionheart

    AlbertLionheart TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,712

    Perhaps it would be sweet revenge it they did.........
     
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