Following Windows 10 upgrade, mapped drives disconnect briefly

Aug 11, 2016 - by Ian Hasell

One of our clients reported that their computers were presenting an error message warning that mapped drives (in this case it was the N: drive for example) was unavailable (location unavailable) when they happened to be working on it. This started occurring after we had upgraded them from Windows 7 to Windows 10. The issue was happening several times per day. The drive would only disconnect for a moment and then everything would be okay once more. However it caused this annoying pop up. In our example the mapped drive was pointing at a share on a Windows Server 2012 R2 machine.

We investigated network issues, restarted switches, ran ping tests, etc, but nothing obvious showed up.

The culprit was in fact caused by Group Policy settings whereby drive mappings were set to "Replace". Since Windows 8, the system automatically runs GP updates in the background and will disconnect and reconnect the drive to replace it.

The fix is to find the responsible Group Policy object (the easiest way to check is by running RSOP from the command line). Then edit the offending GPO and change the drive mapping action to "Update" and the issue will disappear! The required settings are within User Configuration > Preferences > Windows Settings > Drive Maps.

Credit to 'Shane8960' for posting the fix on Spiceworks community. The original post that helped us can be found here https://community.spiceworks.com/topic/1139165-windows-10-losing-mapped-drives?page=2

I hope this helps someone out there!

3 comments

  1. Mark Berry, MCB...

    Thanks for posting this! This issue had been driving me crazy. Re-blogged: http://www.mcbsys.com/blog/2016/08/windows-10-repeatedly-disconnects-network-drives/

  2. dachief

    For us, the issue began after moving from win7-pro to win10-pro. Our issue was a tad more severe than merely losing a mapped drive. We have client-side apps that have db-s on share drives. The disconnect (even for a moment) screwed the app's access to that data. Our disconnects consistently occurred after about 20 mins of client idle time. A small shop - 6 desktops - all the exact same machines, config & software. File history is disabled. Winserver 2012 R2. No probs at all in win7. We tried: - update instead of replace - no luck - registry changes to maxes in keepconn and disconn - no luck - uninstall/reinstall nic drivers - no luck - mapped drives on client side as persistent - only thing that worked for us. I've seen stuff claiming that the architecture was changed in Vista and others claiming it was changed in win-ape.1. I have no experience with ape but we had no issues at all in win-7. I have a feeling this is somehow related to internal hooks for file history or cloudy stuff that require a regular drive refresh.

  3. Buster

    One thing to check also is the fast boot option in Windows 10. I disabled fast boot and had no more problems with mapped drives.

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