Written by Sam McGeown on 26/11/2007 · Read in about 2 min (335 words)
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Incredibly irritating error when you go to install under your user account when you’re using mapped drives for your documents. All our domain users have a userfolder on the server, it’s mapped as z:\ and there is a folder redirection set up. It’s pretty standard in a corporate/domain environment, so why does it cause so many Vista installations to fail?


This is something I’ve run into time and time again and There are a couple of things you can try…sometimes they work individually, sometimes not!

  1. Reset your “My Pictures” location to the default (yes, that is stupid; no, I don’t know why Unrelated Program X wants to install something into “My Pictures”).
  2. Edit your registry (BACK IT UP FIRST) to remove references to your mapped drive.
    1. Run Regedit.
    2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
    3. Change any references that use the drive letter to use the %USERPROFILE% variable.
    4. Restart.
  3. If you’re using UAC (User Account Control) you might need to map the network drive as the administrator. This is a pain in the @$$ because you have to disconnect the drive under your user account first. Of course, if you’ve got ANY documents open, this will upset your profile. Anyway, steps for that:
    1. Disconnect the currently mapped drive.
    2. Open the command prompt as the administrator. Type "net use \\[server]\share and check that it’s mapped by typing “net use”.
    3. Open explorer and navigate to your shared folder and right click, use the “Map Network Drive” wizard to map the share under your user profile.
    4. If all above fails (as in my case), your only option is to log in as a user that doesn’t map drives (machine local admin works for me, but then you have to enable that user as it’s disabled by default. You also have to provide a password for it - don’t forget to disable again after an install.)
  4. I could rant about how rubbish this is, but to be honest I am to hacked off at wasting my afternoon trying to work around this.

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