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mapped drive letter not released


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#1 fpefpe



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Posted 12 March 2015 - 08:45 PM

I have an old laptop that I update to vista from xp -- this issue was around
with xp, an I thought that the switch to vista would fix it but that is not the
The issue seems to be connected to maping network drives
I have a NAS device and map shares to the vista os like this
net use m:  \\NAS01\music
for this most part when the network is ok this works fine, and now the M:  drive
is pointing to music file -- the fund starts on this command
net use m:  /d
net use reports that the link is severed, ie "net use" reports that there are no
links, but vista thinks there is a drive at m:  and will not let me use M:
The (windows) explorer reports that M:  is a "local drive" and If I try to
select it from the explorer I get a message that "the device can't be found"
Is there anyway to find out what part of windows is holding on the the drive

#2 Wonko the Sane

Wonko the Sane

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Posted 13 March 2015 - 11:37 AM

It is possible that the issue is related -*somehow*- to a conflict of some kind between the various ways drive letters are assigned to devices and held in the Registry.


Basically the good MS guys recommend (and it is a default) to use drive Z: for a network drive (please read as last available drive letter), and though they don't say why actually they suggest it, it is very likely that the reason is because all other drive letters are assigned incrementally starting from C, and since a mixup is possible this way they attempt to reduce the probabilities of a "collision":.


If you have a drive letter assigned to a network drive and you (through Disk Manager or diskpart) manually assign the same drive letter to a local disk partition/volume (let's say a USB stick) the net result is that in Explorer when you access that drive letter you will be using the network drive, but in Disk Manager or in Mountvol or diskpart that same drive letter will be resulting assigned to a local drive.


The moment the network drive is disconnected the "underlying" drive letter assignment will "resurface".


What may happen is that *somehow* (or if you prefer "for whatever reasons") one of these drive letter assignment remains "sticky.


The matter is usually complicated by multicard readers (that are usually are assigned a drive letter even in the absence of media in the slot) and by virtual disk devices (such as Ram drives, virtual Cd drives and similar) which may also have a drive letter assigned but this assignment be not correctly updated *everywhere*.


If I were you I would inspect and clean both MountedDevices and Mountpoints2, but consider how there could be other causes of this mess, see here:



More often than not when these "sticky" drive letters remain in Explorer, killing it and restarting it solves the problem, while the procedure is easy and harmless in XP, cannot say if it's the same in Vista (due to UAC or *whatever*)  :unsure:




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#3 fpefpe



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Posted 13 March 2015 - 07:02 PM

Hello -- thanks for your help and the pointer to the tools 

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: network

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