Mapping Network drives is a common administrator task, and in the old days we had to use a login batch file to accomplish this using scripts like below.
NET USE S: \\DC01\Software
Now we can use a Group Policy Object ( GPO ) that makes it much simpler to use and manage. You can create a GPO called Mapped Drives - Accounting and link it to a Security group called Accounting and any users in that group will have the drives listed in that GPO mapped for them.
You first start by opening the Group Policy Management console found in Administrative Tools or you can find it by typing in Group Policy Management in the search box
I will drill down to a Organizational Unit called Groups and right click and select 'Create a GPO in this domain and link it here'
I will type in the name 'Mapped Drives - Accounting' Since I will link this GPO to a user group called Accounting later and a good naming convention always makes life easier in the future.
Now I can right click on the GPO I created and choose Edit
Now you can drill down to User Configuration -> Preferences -> Drive Maps as below
Right click on Drive Maps and select New -> Mapped Drive or you can right click in the white space and select New -> Mapped Drive
YOu have to use a UNC path for the location \\server\sharename and of course select a drive letter to be used. If you notice a list of options appear in Action drop down text box and I see Connect as options which can be useful if you have a share that exist off your domain and the user doesnt have security rights to that share. Read the help file and they have a excellent writeup on the options you can use.
Click Apply and we have one more step to do since we are linking this GPO to a security group. Now go back to the Group Policy Management Counsel and left click the 'Mapped Drives - Accounting' GPO
In the right hand pane look in the area labeled Security Filtering and you will see the a Security Group called Authenticated Users we will add the group Accounting and remove authenticated users as the steps show below
Click Add and Select the Accounting group
Now left click the group Authenticated Users and click Remove. You will be asked if your sure you want to do this.
You now have created a GPO in the Group OU and any users in the Accounting security group will have the Accounting share mapped for them automatically.
NOTE: If you have older clients like XP and 2003, apply the MS KB943729 patch.