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Link to Program on Mapped Network Drive not Working – Windows Cannot Access the Specified Path or File

Windows XP Home connecting to a file share in a Domain controlled by Windows 2000…. Not quite your recipe for headache free things “just working” I guess, but this is what I’ve run into. This workstation had a mapped drive connected to a folder on the server which opened in windows explorer just fine and up until a week before my visit, the desktop shortcut to their application in that folder “just worked”. For some reason though they suddenly started getting an error message that said Windows Cannot Access the Specified Path or File… then went on to say you might not have permission to access the resource, or it may be unavailable. Well, we could browse the network folder to it with no problem and clicking the program link in that folder gave the same error. So, at that visit I did a workaround… a simple batch script that changed to the directory of the program and launched it. Amazing the script worked. (As long as they had opened/browsed the folder in windows explorer first.)


So, on a second look I started wondering about the security settings. Long and short of it is that Internet Explorer 7 has security settings for the local intranet. Now, it should detect intranet sites just fine, but for some reason here it may have got confused. Because if I unchecked “automatically detect intranet network” then I was able to run it (albeit with a security warning that the program I was running had not been digitally signed.) The solution to the prompt to run or not run the program was to go back into the local intranet zone settings, click advanced and add the fileserver address in the form… \fileserver to the list of sites.

I’m not sure what planets were out of alignment that prevented windows from detected the local intranet to begin with, but this seems to have solved the problem as the original link now works again.

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Posted by on June 2, 2008.

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Categories: Windows Tech Support

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