Welcome to the credential hell

Getting a brand new system, installed with Vista SP2 and all the latest hotfixes you would assume this is just a top notch system – it’s not!

If you try to access files via WebDAV, for example content on your corporates internal sharepoint server, you’re presented a ton of credential dialogs to enter your username and password just by opening that stupid word or excel file. This is just sucks big time!

For some really strange reason IE thinks that the URL server.companydomain.com is an internet-address and not in intranet-address – event though the domain is set as the intranet-zone in the IE settings. Obviously the WebClient is not recognizing the IE settings in this respect (when it comes to proxy settings, it does honor the IE setting though!).

Well, there are a couple of KB articles describing this problem (like KB 941853 or KB 941890). But they don’t seem to offer any relief.

Finally I came across a blog-posting of the SharePoint Team, which offered some insight of the problem – and finally a solution that worked (at least on my system with installed SP2 – if you don’t have SP1 installed you might need to get a fix from Microsoft):

  1. in the registry go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\WebClient\Parameters and add a new multi-line entry called AuthForwardServerList.
  2. add a white-list of servers/domains to this list to which you would like to automatically pass your credentials. This is the same namingstyle as the zone-settings of IE – so beware of wildcards!
  3. finally restart the WebClient service in order for the new settings to take effect.

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