Before you say it, yes...this is the CISCO blog. But I do Microsoft administration as well and this problem was SO annoying, I had to put it somewhere for future reference and will hopefully help some out in the process. Here's the problem:
I use Microsoft Active Directory to map user drives for users on a network by using the simple method shown in the screencap below:
Simple enough, right? Well, here's where the problem comes in. On different machines, with random users, the U: drive ended up mapping to the parent share rather than the user's personal home directory (in the case of the screencap above, Jeremy ended up with his U: drive mapped to \\win2003\homes rather than \\win2003\homes\jeremy). Now, mind you this only happens some times, not all the time... So after hours of mindlessly searching Microsoft and Google, I stumbled across the answer...and I didn't even have to pay www.experts-exchange.com's yearly 99 bucks to get it (I hate fee-based blogs with a passion).
The problem comes because of Window XP's "fast logon" behavior. Ever notice how that CTRL-ALT-DEL screen comes up super fast when you boot? There is a price to pay...If the user logs on before the network has a chance to initialize, the XP operating system automatically skips group policies, logon scripts, and ...my problem...the home drive maping.
So here's the fix: turn off the fast logon behavior with a Group Policy. Here's where you do it:
Sure, it takes a few seconds longer for the logon prompt to appear...small price to pay.
...and I've decided to switch to Apple now ;o)