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Thomas UnderwoodBy Thomas Underwood 🕣 Updated on September 15, 2022 at 8:30 am

Automation Workshop FAQ—simple answers to complex questions.

UNC path?

  • Q: Can I use mapped drives when performing operations with files located on network shares?
  • A: It is strongly recommended to always use a UNC standard path.

Explanation…

Uniform Naming Convention (UNC) path refers to a shared network resource.

  • Syntax of mapped drive:
    N:\folder\subfolder\
  • Syntax of UNC path:
    \\ComputerName\SharedFolder\Resource\

By default, mapped drives are created on a per-user basis. Each user can have one or more different network resources mapped to the same drive letter. With the User Account Control (UAC) enabled a user can access two different sets of drives, one is shown if the user has administrator privileges (elevated process) and completely different one if the user has not.

Thus, when creating a Task in Automation Workshop, it is important to keep in mind which user has what resources mapped to what drive letters. To keep things as simple as possible, a much better idea is to use UNC paths instead of mapped drives. Use \\SERVER\share\ as parameter when configuring Triggers and Actions.

Solution #1

Without UNC, to allow access to the same mapped drives for all users, create DWORD value with name EnableLinkedConnections, and set it to value 1 in registry subkey:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

Solution #2

To correctly map a network drive for unattended tasks, use the Run CMD Command Action with the net use command as the first Action in your workflow, for example:

net use n: \\server.local\shared

UNC vs Mapped drives

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