We ran into a problem with our mapped drives on our network. First time logins failed to display in explorer until they logged in the second time. You can see them from a command or dos prompt. The disconnect drives dialog also showed the mappings. I can also kill the explorer.exe process and when I run it from the task manager, the mapping show up.
Running the logon scripts manually will make the drives show up. It looks like a timing issue. If my script maps a lot of drives, the earlier ones are the ones that don’t show up. Any that map after explorer loads work fine. It did not matter if it was the users individual logon script or the group policy log on script. Different logon scripts didn’t fix it either. I have a custom vb script that I use, but I also tested it with a batch file full of NET USE commands.
I have worked on this issue for a long time. Searching different ways and posting to various forums. Finally Lanwench [MVP - Exchange] responded to my problem on microsoft’s technet newsgroup on Windows XP Networking. His solution was to enable the “Always Wait for Network” GPO setting and linked me to the detailed reason for that.
Always wait for the network at computer startup and logon
Administrative Template: System
Policy Node: MACHINE
Policy Path: Administrative Templates\System\Logon
Supported On: At least Microsoft Windows XP Professional or Windows Server 2003 family
Help/Explain Text: Determines whether Windows XP waits for the network during computer startup and user logon. By default, Windows XP does not wait for the network to be fully initialized at startup and logon. Existing users are logged on using cached credentials, which results in shorter logon times. Group Policy is applied in the background once the network becomes available. Note that because this is a background refresh, extensions such as Software Installation and Folder Redirection take two logons to apply changes. To be able to operate safely, these extensions require that no users be logged on. Therefore, they must be processed in the foreground before users are actively using the computer. In addition, changes that are made to the user object, such as adding a roaming profile path, home directory, or user object logon script, may take up to two logons to be detected. If a user with a roaming profile, home directory, or user object logon script logs on to a computer, Windows XP always waits for the network to be initialized before logging the user on. If a user has never logged on to this computer before, Windows XP always waits for the network to be initialized. If you enable this setting, logons are performed in the same way as for Windows 2000 clients, in that Windows XP waits for the network to be fully initialized before users are logged on. Group Policy is applied in the foreground, synchronously. If you disable or do not configure this setting, Windows does not wait for the network to be fully initialized and users are logged on with cached credentials. Group Policy is applied asynchronously in the background. Note: If you want to guarantee the application of Folder Redirection, Software Installation, or roaming user profile settings in just one logon, enable this setting to ensure that Windows waits for the network to be available before applying policy. Note: For servers, the startup and logon processing always behaves as if this policy setting is enabled.
Registry Settings: HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon!SyncForegroundPolicy