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I help out administering a small Windows based organisation and they are using internet based storage. The PCs are Windows XP and the shares are accessed through open VPN to the internet provider. I have set up batch scripts to run "net use" and placed these in the each users Startup directory so that they run and mount the required share when the user logs on. Is this the right approach? Should I be pre-mounting them some how when the computer boots, prior to user logon?

(My main skill area is Linux/Unix and this is unpaid voluntary work.)

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Yea that is fine. Windows boot up process is different than linux. Basically any service start before windows login. Any user specific services and mounts start when a user logs in. In linux the system boots, mounts, checks and is ready at login, whether you are in or not. I do the same for XP pc's connecting to Windows Essentials, Windows 7 PC's have persistent mapping, so each reboot will reconnect, but under the cover it also uses a auto generated net use –  ppumkin Jan 19 '12 at 16:13

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You can also make these shares persistent with net use /persistent:YES.

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