(UKFast FastDrive is Citrix ShareFile rebranded and using a StorageZone at the UKFast datacentre.)
Frustrating is the word. It’s not a good start when even the basics are totally wrong and broken 🙁
Some other general ShareFile and SFMT problems:
- SFMT misses files and folders.
- It crashes every time you close it.
- Setting up a migration and setting a schedule doesn’t seem to work properly and certainly isn’t intuitive, if working at all. I gave up.
- Pausing / cancelling a transfer that you just set up but told to run on a schedule seems to kill the schedule or something. It basically just doesn’t work.
- The metrics – ETA, number of items to do / done makes no sense (see above picture)
- It says it supports Server 2008, but, along with the other tools, required Dot Net 4.6.2 which isn’t possible on Server 2008. So anybody moving from Server 2008 or SBS 2008 to ShareFile will have to use a workstation to migrate all the data.
So, you try plan b – some sort of File sync utility to the ShareFile mapped drive. This appears to complete, but nope, there’s 10 gigs of stuff still missing in ShareFile!
Further to this, the ShareFile Drive Mapper allows you to specify (via Group Policy) an AccountSubdirectory. You can set this to your main root SF Shared folder, e.g. ‘Data’. You would then think that the mapped drive would show the contents of this folder, but nope – even though the Drive itself shows with the label ‘Data’, when you click into it, you are shown a folder called ‘Data’. So it is showing the shared folder within the shared folder. It’s basically completely stupid and useless.
The only way around this I have found is to make the MountLocation something like %userprofile%\ShareFile , and run subst X: %userprofile%\ShareFile\Data in everybody’s login script.
In fact – it’s not even as simple as that (subst in the login script is a no-go). Instead, the login script must copy a script (e.g. sharefile.cmd) to “%appdata%\microsoft\windows\start menu\programs\startup”. This will then cause Windows Explorer to run the subst command in the correct user context.
sharefile.cmd looks like this:
REM this causes the script to re-open itself, but minimised.
if not defined IS_MINIMISED set IS_MINIMISED=1 && start "" /min "%~dpnx0" %* && exit
net use t: /del /y
if not exist "%userprofile%\ShareFile" mkdir "%userprofile%\ShareFile"
echo Waiting for ShareFile to mount at %userprofile%\ShareFile
ping localhost -n 2 >NUL
if not exist "%userprofile%\ShareFile\Data" goto startloop
echo Doing Subst for drive T: to ShareFile folder
subst t: "%userprofile%\ShareFile\Data"
None of this should be necessary – it’s pretty poor all round really. We’ll see how the go-live goes on Monday.
Update: The rollout was eventful and a followup to this post is forthcoming!
notes to self in case I forget: DriveMapper confirmed as a total fail by about midday of day-two. New files not appearing even 45 mins after creation by colleagues, even though saved ~20 plus times by the creator (as per version history in ShareFile web GUI – so we know the saves are making it up to the cloud, but the change notification to other clients is either broken or (could it even be? would they dare???) simply does not exist). Confirmed not caused by subst workaround. Users can’t create new folders because explorer’s default/initial temporary new folder name of ‘New Folder’ already existed, but wasn’t showing so explorer tried to create same folder as already-existing, instead of its usual trick of making a ‘New Folder (2)’. This resulted in an Access Denied error that made no sense. Citrix Files Beta (which isn’t even available to this customer but I happened to find it via a random popup at another customer) seems to: resolve the issue around mapping to a shared folder (no subst needed any more), and also in my testing seems to show up new creates/saves/deletes from one PC to another in near real-time (couple of seconds).. Should I be having to install beta software to make this thing work though? DriveMapper uninstall on win10 leaves behind explorer namespace, had to create a [-HKCU blah] reg file to delete it en masse, as well as undo all my previous logon script / subst work. Must also rant about the need to use Group Policy to customise anything worthwhile. The whole point of this is to become serverless/decentralised, yet I need to import the policy definitions, make policies (which I can’t do on server 2008 because the templates aren’t compatible with the group policy editor, so I have to install remote server admin tools onto a workstation), and *then* (sheesh) I can export the policy from the registry, to import onto non-domain-joined PCs, just so that Citrix Files Beta will mount ‘Shared Folders\Data’ to the letter T: