Should you remap drive letters when installing MetaFrame Presentation Server?

One of the things that you will need to decide before you install MetaFrame XP is whether or not you want to remap your server drive letters. Essentially, this option gives you a one-shot chance to change the current server drive letter assignments.

One of the things that you will need to decide before you install MetaFrame XP is whether or not you want to remap your server drive letters. Essentially, this option gives you a one-shot chance to change the current server drive letter assignments. By default, this will change current server drive letters from C, D, E... to M, N, and O...

You're given this option during the MetaFrame XP installation unless you're installing MetaFrame XP from an .MSI file. IFor MSI-based installs, drive letter remapping is not an option during the installation, and you must remap your server drives before installing MetaFrame with the DriveRemap.exe utility contained in the MetaFrame XP installation folder on the CD. If you choose either one of these drive remapping options, the utility will make the necessary changes in disk administrator and scan the registry looking for references to the old drive letters and changing them to the new drive letters.

Why does it matter in a MetaFrame XP environment what drive letters your servers use? It matters because MetaFrame XP has the ability to automatically map client devices’ disk drives to their session within the MetaFrame XP server. Typically, client device’s drives begin with C: and move up from there. A default MetaFrame XP server will also have a C: drive. When a user connects to sessions in this type of environment, the C: drive refers to the drive on the MetaFrame XP server. In order to map back to the client’s C: drive, another drive letter must be used (default V:). While there is nothing technically wrong with this scenario, it can be confusing to users because they see their local drive as C: when using local applications and see it as V: when using MetaFrame XP applications.

By changing the MetaFrame XP server drive letter to something other then C: the sessions on the server have the C: letter available for client use. Users access their local files on the C: drive regardless of whether they are running local or MetaFrame XP applications.

There are some people who have chosen to remap server drives only to discover at a later time there is a reason that the server must access its own local drive as C:. If this is the case, you can use the subst command to add a mapping to the root drive as C:.

For example, if your system drive is M:, you can execute the command subst c: m:\ from the command prompt. This will give you a C: drive that is identical to the M: drive. It is important to note that this is a temporary command.

Any substituted drives will not be retained when the server is rebooted. If a drive substitution needs to be permanent, you can add the subst command to a login script.

Advantages of Remapping Server Drive Letters

  • Users will be able to see their own local disk drives as the correct drive letters.
  • If you need to change the drive letter, the MetaFrame XP installation program provides an easy way to do this.

Disadvantages of Remapping Server Drive Letters

  • Any previously installed applications will most likely stop working.
  • In some situations, weird things happen on the server.

So now that you know how to remap drives and what happens during the remapping process, there's one question left--should you remap drives?

First and foremost, server drive letter remapping is only necessary when users will be accessing data on their local client devices from MetaFrame XP sessions.

There is a bit of controversy in the industry as to whether drive mapping is safe. Some people have noticed that strange problems have occurred in drive-remapped environments that could only be fixed by rebuilding the servers without remapped drives. They point out that Citrix must be aware of this, because they themselves pulled the remapping function out of the MetaFrame installation procedure starting with SP2/FR2.

Then again, there are plenty of environments where MetaFrame server drive letter-remapping has been in place for years with great success, so it's not like it always causes trouble.

In the real world, it's probably safest to only remap your server drives letters if you absolutely need it.

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This message was originally posted by Steve, NJ on March 27, 2004
Brian. I'm sure most folk visiting your site already know the general pros & cons of remapping drives. I think you should use the topic of remapped drives to bring a readers attention to pitfalls that aren't commonly recognized or documented properly. My biggest problem, as a Citrix Admin, with remapped drives is disaster recover. Recently, I found a way to image a Citrix server with remapped drives, successfully. The answer, VMware! After a few attempts, here is my solution. The HOST O/S must be C:\ only, then using VMware build a Citrix box or two with remapped drives, image host vm server using your favorite imaging software (I use PowerQuest Deploy Center). Of course, you need to follow Citrix recommendations for imaging but it solved my DR issue.
If anyone else has experience a remapped drive issues that is not mentioned in this article, please post.
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This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on April 27, 2004
Have just syspreped citrix server initial drive m:. Have applied this image - when image applied using ghost system default to c: drive. Then after performing drive remap all programs are working except that now users get two usrlogon.cmd's running and My Documents always automatically starts. Have checked startup folders etc can anyone help?
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This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on August 26, 2004
I ran the Drive remap and the C drive is greyed out - Why??? This is on a freshly imaged server running win2k
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This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on August 26, 2004
I'm having the same problem, Is there a workaround?
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This message was originally posted by gambab@iconus.com on September 15, 2004
Your drive letter mappings must be contiguous.
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This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on October 2, 2004
Same problem. :(
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This message was originally posted by Adriaan on October 10, 2004
I experienced this issue when I had designated my CD as Y:-drive. Because of this it was not possible to remap the primary drive, because the CD-drive then would fall out of the A-Z drivenumber scope. When I changed the CD drive-number closer to the HD drive-number the option was no longer grayed out.
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This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on October 12, 2004
I have just cloned a Metaframe XP sevrer with M: N: drives and upon applying the image the drives have reverted to C: D: and you cannot log in to the Server at all to remap the drives??!! looks like user is logging in then bombs out back to Ctr-Alt-Del to log in.
Anyone got any ideas. Many thnks
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This message was originally posted by darmstrong@smdc.org on October 14, 2004
Regarding two usrlogon.cmd's running at login

Remove duplicate entry of "V:\WINNT\system32\userinit.exe" located at "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon"

We are just getting our first IBM BladeCenter running. Anybody have any tips or FAQ's on using Remote Deployment Manager?
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This message was originally posted by jon.harper@mwhglobal.com on November 8, 2004
I am having the same problem, i.e. I remapped drives, restarted the server and now no-one can login to the server (looks like you are logging in but you are then returned to the windows login dialog). Anyone has a fix it would be gratefully appreciated
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I see that some have problems with server drives returning to it's former letters when ghosting. I found that by using the command -FDSP, everything is peachy.

I've only used it with symantec ghost, and the command is "d:\ghost -FDSP"

the FDSP switch stands for Force Disk Signature Preserve
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I am facing the Issue of Imaging a Citrix Server with Mapped drives right now.

Could you elaborate in more detail on the steps you used to make this work?
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this works!! Thanks for the -FDSP switch idea!!
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If drive C's greyed out, then do as someone suggested further up the thread and and make sure your CD drive is set to drive E or D (depending on how your hard disk/RAID array is partitioned).

Had the same problem myself and scratched my head for ten minutes then found this thread. As soon as I changed the CD drive from U to E, and re-ran driveremap.exe it worked fine.

The server was an unattended build, the other 10 or so I'd done had been done manually and I didn't get the problem.
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Using ‘Acronis True Image Server’ software is an excellent product for taking a backup image of your servers. You can set it up to take a complete image of a server followed by incremental over 7 days then each night backup that Acronis incremental. Works well for our company.
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This is happes  when sp1 on 2003 loaded ot  remove the iis
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Is there any solution
 
ORIGINAL: Guest

This message was originally posted by an anonymous visitor on April 27, 2004
Have just syspreped citrix server initial drive m:. Have applied this image - when image applied using ghost system default to c: drive. Then after performing drive remap all programs are working except that now users get two usrlogon.cmd's running and My Documents always automatically starts. Have checked startup folders etc can anyone help?

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Helped me out thanks
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In my environment we have RAID on every server. I find that in many cases that it is easiest to just break the array on a source server and move one of the disks to the target server. Add another disk to each of the servers and let the arrays rebuild, rename the server, change IP, rejoin the domain, (or just sysprep the source) and then modify the DSN to include the correct WKSID for the server's new name. Of course, if this is a production server, you will have to investigate the applications  and data that reside on the source/destination as there may be some extranious app-centric issue with doing so. Hope this helps. It gets me over a lot of hurdels.
 
 
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Hello there, I had a drive remapped to V, in order to allow users to see their original drive letter, and then installed Citrix Presentation Server 4.5 then I was asked to publish some applications but they only work using C: drive. I remapped once again to put it as C: but, the applications were working fine but when I was about to test the new users' config & accesibility I got an error and the session drops down.

If any of you can help me, please...
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