Err Msg: "A Specified Logon Session Does Not Exist" When Mapping Drives with Telnet

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Article ID: 214726 - View products that this article applies to.
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When you use Telnet to map a drive letter to a network share, the procedure may not work and the following error message may be displayed:
A specified logon session does not exist. It may already have been terminated.
NOTE: This problem does not affect Telnet sessions for which the user authentication method is clear text.


This issue occurs when you open a Telnet session to a computer running Windows NT Server using the NTLM authentication method. You cannot then, from within the Telnet session, connect to network resources using your implied user credentials. You must explicitly specify your credentials when making network connections from within the Telnet session.

There is no mechanism in Windows NT to perform delegation of security (pass through) for network logon attempts.

For example, if you log on to the network using NTLM from computer A to computer B, and then type "net use" at a command prompt to connect to computer C from computer B, the connection is not made. The reason is that computer B has an incomplete user token (it does not have your password), so the logon attempt to computer C does not work. This behavior is rooted in NTLM being a challenge/response protocol, and as such, it avoids sending your password across the network.


To work around this problem, always type your network credentials when you make network attachments from within a Telnet session.

For example:
net use * \\servername\sharename /u:domainname\username password


This behavior is by design and inherent with the limitation of the NTLM authentication protocol.


Article ID: 214726 - Last Review: November 1, 2006 - Revision: 1.1
  • Microsoft Windows NT Services for UNIX Add-On Pack
  • Microsoft Windows NT Server 4.0 Standard Edition
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