Windows 7 / Vista - mapped network drives disconnect themselves.

In Windows 7 and Vista mapped network drives will disconnect themselves after a time and show a red cross on the drive icon. You will still be able to click on the drive and see/use the contents but applications that require a network drive will see them as disconnected and will not see files.If you try to disconnect the drive it will still sit there saying 'Disconnected Network Drive' - the only solution is to reboot.
This is because there is a default disconnect time for inactive network connections. To correct this and turn the autodisconnect off do the following:

  1. Open the command prompt as Administrator - to do this either click Start\All Programs\Accessories and RIGHT click the Command Prompt icon then LEFT click Start as Administrator or type CMD into the search box and hold the Control & Shift keys down then press enter.
  2. In the Command box type:

    net config server /autodisconnect:-1

    and press return.
  3. Reboot computer.

Your mapped network drives should now stay connected - this is a permanent fix.

Also - when connecting mapped drives to Vista or Windows 7 - connect them with the full domain name of the server i.e.   \\servername.domain.local\sharename  NOT \\servername\sharename - Vista/Windows 7 insist on full domain paths in order to reconnect. You can connect using just servername but if it needs to reconnect it will not find the server.

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