I had a big problem which I just happened to solve, but it's a permissions issue I don't quite understand. Unfortunately I'm in a tight bind and no amount of googling in the past week has really helped, so perhaps someone could explain what happened here:

As part of an interface out to our customers we developed a Powershell script that maps a network drive on our web server WEB. The job step is run on a regular basis to validate the connection is active:

Connect Job

Owner: [JobsLogin]

Step 1: Connect Share

Type: PowerShell

Run as: Sql Server Agent Service Account


$Scripts\Map-Share.ps1 (My configuration values)


param (
if (!(Test-Path "${DriveLetter}:"))
    net use ${DriveLetter}: $Path /u:$User $Password /persistent:$Persistent

Then we run BCP to output the file to the mapped site:

declare @cmd varchar(2048)
SET @cmd = 'bcp "exec ' + 
    @SPName + ' " queryout "' + @DataFolder + @FileName + '.tmp" ' +
print @cmd

EXEC master..xp_cmdshell @cmd

At some point in the past week this mapping became unavailable and we started receiving the dreaded "BCP cannot open host-file" error message.

After an number of hours mapping network drives, deleting mapped network drives, running diagnostic command shell, pleading with god and then satan, checking registry values, I started to suspect that the mapped drive was not mapped for the user executing sp_cmdshell.

I ran exec sp_cmdshell "cd W:" and found that it wasn't working. I ran exec sp_cmdshell "net use" and saw that the status of W was "Unavailable". Finally, progress!

And a

exec sp_cmdshell "net use /delete W:"

exec sp_cmdshell "Powershell $Scripts\Map-Share.ps1 (My configuration values)"

later, everything works again!

But now I'm stuck, because I can't figure out how to run these commands in the job as the correct user (I've tried the services account with no success). I could change the Connect share job to run the powershell command but that seems like a hack to me (But I'm not a database guy, so maybe that is right).

Anyway, what is really going on here? What user is my drive getting mapped in the connect share job?

1 Answer 1


Alright, so this solution has turned out to be pretty ugly. The end result is that I have to run the powershell command via the Powershell job step type and run it using xp_cmdshell in a sql job step type. Running it in both contexts guarentees the drive is mapped.

I then run a secondary step for both environments in which I test to make sure the drive is mapped using the same logic, ie:

Sql (CmdShell) Check

exec xp_cmdshell 'powershell if(!(Test-Path -LiteralPath "W:")) {

    throw ("W: is not mapped")


Powershell Check

if(!(Test-Path -LiteralPath "W:")) {

    throw ("W: is not mapped")


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