OFF: Drive Letters Automatically Map to Network Drives

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Article ID: 150604 - View products that this article applies to.
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Microsoft Windows Explorer for Microsoft Windows NT maps network drive letters to network shares even though you did not map any drives.


This behavior occurs in two cases.

Case 1

Network drives are mapped to network shares if both of the following conditions are true:

  • You perform a search in either the Open dialog box or the Advanced Find dialog box in any Microsoft Office 97 program. -and-

  • The drive you search contains shortcuts that specify a target location that uses a network drive letter instead of a universal naming convention (UNC) path (for example, \\Server\Share).

Case 2

This behavior also occurs when both of the following conditions are true:
  • Find Fast is installed in your Startup group. -and-

  • You index a drive that contains shortcuts that specify a target location that uses a network drive letter instead of a UNC path.
Under Microsoft Windows NT, when a shortcut with a target path that contains a drive letter is resolved, Windows NT maps the shortcut to a logical drive.

This is system behavior that occurs under Microsoft Windows NT version 4.0. This behavior is exposed when you perform a search against drives that contain shortcuts that point to a target drive is a static drive letter. For example, a shortcut to a Microsoft Word document that uses the following target
where <drive> is a network server, maps a new drive to the server using the next available drive letter in Windows Explorer.

Microsoft Windows NT Workstation or Windows NT Server version 4.0 shortcuts attempt to embed a UNC path, for example, \\<machine>\admin$, for the .lnk file.

For more information about shortcuts under Windows NT 4.0, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
158682 Shortcuts Created Under NT 4.0 Resolve to UNC Paths


To work around this problem, use the following appropriate methods.

Method 1: Install Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 3

For information about obtaining and installing this service pack, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
152734 How to Obtain Windows NT Versiom 4.0 U.S. Service Pack

Method 2: Avoid Searching Folders That Contain Shortcuts

Because Windows NT maps a network drive for each shortcut with a target drive that uses a drive letter, narrow your search to include only those folders that do not contain shortcuts to documents located on network drives.

Shortcut file names contain the .lnk file name extension. As an alternative, consider moving .lnk files to a different folder before you index or search.

Method 3: Change Shortcut Target Locations to UNC Paths

In the Properties dialog box for each shortcut, change the Target for the shortcut from a static drive letter to a UNC path. For example, change
   \\<Server\<Shared Folder>
where <Server> is the name of the computer or server and <Shared Folder> is the shared folder on that drive.

Method 4: Disable Microsoft Find Fast

Disabling Find Fast may help to minimize this problem. However, this method does not resolve the behavior and may not work in every situation. Microsoft does not recommend disabling Find Fast if you are administering a Microsoft Windows NT server.

NOTE: If you are running Microsoft Windows NT Server and install the Srvpack on the Microsoft Office 97 compact disc, removing Find Fast disables several features, including the Web search features. See the Webadhlp.htm file in the Srvpack folder on your Office 97 compact disc for more information.

For information about removing Find Fast, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
158705 How to Disable the Find Fast Indexer


Microsoft is researching this problem and will post new information here in the Microsoft Knowledge Base as it becomes available.


The Find Fast program builds indexes to speed up finding documents from the Open and Advanced Find dialog boxes in Microsoft Office programs. Find Fast is installed by the Microsoft Office Setup program as an Office Tools component. Setup automatically creates an index for all of your Office documents on each local drive on the computer.


Article ID: 150604 - Last Review: August 17, 2005 - Revision: 1.1
  • Microsoft Office 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Office 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Office 95a
  • Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
kbinterop kbnetwork KB150604

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