06: How to deliver network drive mappings using Group Policy Preferences on the computer side
Normally, when you configure network drive mappings using Group Policy Preferences it’s done on the user side since there is no “Drive Maps” option on the computer side.
However, there is a way to deliver network drive mappings on the computer side using Group Policy Preferences.
- Launch the Microsoft Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) as a user with the necessary rights to create and link GPOs at the OU or Domain level, then create a new GPO and link the GPO at the Computer OU Level, or Domain level depending on which computers need to receive these drive mappings.
- Now edit the policy and expand “User Configuration” > “Preferences” > “Windows Settings” > “Drive Maps”.
- Right click on “Drive Maps” and choose “New” > “Mapped Drive”
- Create the new drive mapping policy as would you would normally, but with one caveat, be sure to check “Run in logged-on user’s security context (user policy option)” under the “Common tab, see below for example.
- Now once you have everything configured correctly and the policy item is saved, the next thing you need to do is to export the policy item to the desktop, the easiest way to do this is to just drag it to the desktop.
- Once you have successfully exported the policy file to the desktop, go ahead and delete the drive maps policy item under “User Configuration” > “Preferences” > “Windows Settings” > “Drive Maps”.
- Now copy the drive map policy (H_.xml) from your desktop to a server share that is accessible by all users, the users should all have a minimum of READ access to this share.
- Now expand “Computer Configuration” > “Preferences” > “Windows Settings” > “Files”
- Right click on “Files” and choose “New File” then configure using the image below as a guide.
- Source = UNC path to the file on the server share (i.e. \\Server\share\H_.xml)
- Destination = %ProgramData%\PolicyPak\XmlData\Computer\H_.XML
- Now run “gpupdate” on one of the computers that live in an OU or domain where you applied the policy to verify that they get the drive mapping.