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Friday, September 16, 2011

Windows 7 Accessing Mapped Network Drives

Today I ran into a situation on a Windows 7 install that I previously fought several months ago, but this time I vowed to document it so I can find the fix more quickly in the future.

Problem:  You have a Windows 7 PC connected to a domain.  The login scripts will map network drives for you.  Once logged in the user can see their mapped drive, H:\ for example.  But when you run a cmd prompt as an Administrator you cannot see drive H:\ or any drive that is mapped.

The reverse might also be true.  If the drive is mapped while under the context of Administrator, then the local user cannot see it.

Solution: Microsoft says this is by design, and maybe so, but it is still a pain-point.  The current user and the "run as local administrator" are considered two different contexts and each have a separate security token.  A workaround is to modify a registry key to allow both contexts to share the tokens.

  • Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System
  • And if it does not exist create a new Key (DWord value) called EnableLinkedConnections with a value of 1
  • Then reboot

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