Remapping Network Shares at Login

I map a couple of drives from my NAS on my machine and for some reason they stopped reattaching correctly at login. I searched high and low for an answer but that’s the sort of question that generates millions of useless woo woo solutions. In the end I write a little command script to remap them for me at start up.

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Drive Mapping from SharePoint to Windows Server

In my day job I have the unenviable task of looking after our connection to a SharePoint server. I say unenviable because if there’s one thing that is going to go wrong this connection or something to do with it is what will fail. We don’t run the SharePoint service it’s provided by one of our customers and hosted in the cloud. Pretty much all we have to do is download some files and upload a few others. Sounds like it should be an easy job yeah? Anyone who has worked with the SharePoint web interface will know it’s a painful experience to move a lot of files around so to make it easier we map a network drive to the share.

For some reason I’ve never quite got to the bottom of this drive mapping has never been an easy experience. Part of the problem is that our customer uses a customised log in system rather than the standard system offered by Microsoft. This complicates providing a username and password but it’s not the end of the world, it means you have to log into SharePoint in IE before you can map the drive.

The problem I faced today was that no matter what I tried I couldn’t get the drive to map. I was at a command prompt and entering a net use command and every time it was giving me either a “system error 67” or “system error 53” followed by “the network name cannot be found”. I could ping the server so it clearly wasn’t a problem with network connection and IE didn’t have a problem showing me the web view of SharePoint.

The only other thing that was suspicious was that if I tried to view a SharePoint folder in Windows Explorer using the “All Documents > View in File Explorer” link it would briefly open a small IE window and then nothing would happen after it closed. I tried checking the console in IE but there were no error messages. My hunch was that it was something to do with the ActiveX that launches Windows Explorer and that turned out to be right.

The Solution

After entirely too much googling I’d draw a complete blank so I decided to go back to basics. By a stroke of luck I decided to start by looking into WebDAV as that’s how SharePoint transfers files (at least that’s my understanding anyway). The first page I read was this one¬†detailing how to install WebDAV client on Windows Server 2016. I didn’t hold out much hope but it looked like a safe feature to install anyway so why not give it a go.

To my deep joy after installation and a restart the drive would finally make. The “network name cannot be found” nonsense was a complete red herring, the whole system used to make the connection was missing it was just being reported really badly.

To install the required feature start up “Server Manager” and select “Add roles and features”. Click next until you get to “Features” and then select “WebDAV Redirector” and install it, you’ll need to reboot the server afterwards. It seems that prior to Windows Server 2008 R2 this feature was installed by default, as luck would have it the previous machine I was working on was Windows Server 2008.

I don’t want to tell you how long it took me to figure this out but hopefully someone will come across this post and it’ll save them some time.

Increasing the Size of a qcow2 Image Under KVM

I like to keep my disk images as small as reasonably possible when running virtual machines as I find it just generally makes life easier. Combined with the fact that if you are running LVM it’s easy to expand the disk there’s really no excuse for over specifying on the disk at install time. This guide shows you step by step how to expand a qcow2 disk image and then how to give the guest the extra space.¬†Continue reading

Installing Non-Linux Guests on KVM

My KVM set up will almost certainly comprise only Linux machines but there is an outside chance I’ll need to run a Windows server in order to have somewhere to install a copy of SQL Server for development purposes. This article will discuss installing non-Linux based operating systems on / under KVM. I’ll be installing a copy of Windows XP for now as that is what I have immediately available and Windows XP is quite a bit smaller than Windows Server 2014 so should install faster. Either way the process should be largely the same.Continue reading

Window 8 Delete Confirmation

Well here’s something I didn’t expect, the delete confirmation dialog has been removed from Windows 8 by default. Now, when you press the delete key the item goes straight to the recycle bin without stopping to ask you is you are really sure that is what you wanted to do.Continue reading

Starting and Stopping Services from Java

Most of the applications I develop are web based and therefore, when deployed on Windows, are running as a service. This is great most of the time but when I want to programmatically control the application it can present some problems because starting and stopping services requires elevated permissions. This article discusses a solution that I’ve come up with that I’m happy to deploy.Continue reading

OS Install from USB Stick

I’ve recently found myself having to do a fair bit of system administration work which makes an interesting change from the usual software development. My current project is to put together a beefy server which will run a few databases and other web applications. Ideally I’d like to run these on separate machines (virtual or physical) but I thought that wasn’t going to be possible for cost reasons.Continue reading