Seamless Integration of Client Side Floppies and CD-ROMs with MS Windows Terminal Servers.

By Robbo Aylett, ICT Services, Hobart College, Olinda Grove Mt. Nelson, Tasmania Australia. 7007. (robbo.aylett AT
Edited by Mike Eriksen
January 2004


(This Howto applies to Thinstation ver. 2.0-beta-3 or newer)

Often you see thin client users confusing their local floppy and CD-ROM drive with the servers drives.

To get around this issue, you simply have to activate Samba support in Thinstation and add the following to the MS Windows server logon script:

net use a: \\%CLIENTNAME%\floppy
net use d: \\%CLIENTNAME%\cdrom

This is referred to by some Windows Admins as a MAP BACK.

(EDIT: From the mailings lists, it has been suggested to use:
net use x: \\%CLIENTNAME%\<device> "" /user:
not to get problems with encrypted passwords. Mike)

(NOTE: If you can't or don't want to use the thinstation default share names, you can change the defaults to anything you want. For example, you might want to change them to a$ and cdrom$ by editing the $SAMBA_FLOPPY and $SAMBA_CDROM entries in packages/samba-base/lib/smb.conf.tpl before building thinstation-2.0. (the trailing $-signs makes the drives hidden from My Network Places-browsing - you may want this if you haven't complete physical control over your network). If you do change the defaults, make sure to change your logon scripts too!

However, before this will work, you have to disable the floppy drive on your terminal server and thus remove "A:\" so you can map it as a network device.

To do this, login to your MS Windows 2000/2003 terminal server(s) and open up the device manager (right click on My Computer and Select "Manage". In the new dialogue box, expand Device Manager by selecting it. In the device tree, look for "Floppy disk controllers" expand it. You should see 1 entry there, right click on it and select "disable". (Being in Windows, you may or may not need to reboot. You will need to if you decide to re-enable it, though) Only do this, if you have no need for a floppy disk when logged into the console session of your terminal server.

If you really want to map a thin client CD-ROM drive to "D:\" but the server's CD-ROM is already there, you can use Disk Management to re-assign the CD-ROM to drive "E:\" (or another letter or NTFS folder of your choice...) and then map the thin client CD-ROM drive to "D:\", like in the example above.

You may need to remove the Server CD-ROM, by disabling it in Device Manager, so users don't see 2 CD-ROM drives and get confused.

I hope this helps you with your floppy and CD-ROM access!