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Mapped Drive losing data

Last response: in Networking
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April 8, 2010 1:24:30 PM

Hey All! I've asked this question previously in the XP forum, but want to try it here as I still haven't found a solution.

I have a peer-to-peer network of 9 computers. The 'File Server' is an XP Pro box running SP3 with an extended partition set up as the data storage drive for shared files. The other eight computers map to this drive as drive F:

The users run a network app from the F: (it is an older foxpro based app). They all launch the app from the F: drive.

One user (the one with the problem) can work normally, just like the other users, posting transactions all day long, and even reference posts from earlier in the day with no problems. However, as soon as their computer is restarted all their work is lost. The manufacturer of the app confirms that the program immediatley updates their database and that the workstation does not cache the data in any way.

As a test, I created a new folder on the shared server drive (f:)  and then checked the server. It isn't physically on the server, but it is usable for that problematic workstation all day until a restart, in which case it is gone.

Huh? As far as I know, Windows doesn't cache mapped drives but this is what seems to be happening. Also, because the app is loaded from the shared drive on the Server, if the connection is bad the app shouldn't even be able to run.

Internet Browsing, Email and local data is saved properly. No infections are found. I'm about to reinstall the O/S on the workstation (also XP Pro) but wanted to tax your gray matter with this problem first.

As the Server isn't a Server O/S, offline files settings do not come into play with this problem.

Advice anyone? Thanks in advance.
April 13, 2010 4:47:14 AM

You look so lonely here. :heink:  Came to say hello, and now you have one reply. . :hello:  But it's Greek to me. Try TekTips forum. or Egghead Cafe, pro IT forums both. Best answer?
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April 13, 2010 12:02:55 PM

after that workstation posts to the database, can you read that data from another workstation?

What you have described is the "bad" workstation able to read others, posting but then losing those posts after it restarts. So nothing is "proven" to be persistent yet.

Try writing a file to the F drive from the bad PC - just a text document. Can you open it from another PC? What about after you restart?
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April 13, 2010 12:46:07 PM

Hi gtvr,

No, the data can not be seen from the other workstations on days that the problem occurs.

This problem is not persistent. One day it will work as expected, the data is saved and all users can access the changes. The next day it looks like it is working, but in reality the server is not being updated. It only looks that way for that one user with the workstation that is experiencing this issue.

On days when the problem is occuring, I have actually created a folder on the mapped F: drive and have used it to copy random files to and from that new folder. I then check from the Server and the folder is not really there, even though I am using it right at that very time from the troubled workstation. If I reset the workstation, the new folder is gone. The only way I can describe it is that it acts like the workstation is caching the files on its own hard drive or memory instead of actually on the server (sort of like a virtual drive used to work in the old DOS days).
To my knowledge mapped drives do not cache data though. It is also similiar to the offline files feature, but those options are disabled so shouldn't be coming into play.

I've virus / spyware scanned with no infections found. Mind Boggling!

Thanks for the company Graywolf! <grin>
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!