Mapping drives is Windows is one of the essential actions everyone should know how to do. Whether you are at home or at the office, there comes a time in everyone’s life when they have to map a drive! It sounds all complicated, but it’s actually really simple to do.
You may need to get some information from your IT administrator at work, since mapping a drive usually means connecting to a server share. A server share is basically a folder on a different computer that is being shared with everyone else. So when you “map a drive”, you are just saying that you want access to that folder on your computer also, which is done by mapping it to a letter, i.e. F, G, H, etc.
In this article, I’ll explain how you can map a drive in Windows XP, Windows Vista, and even map a drive via the command prompt.
Map a drive in Windows XP
Open My Computer and click on the Tools menu option. From the drop down list, choose Map Network Drive.
Pick a drive letter that you want to use to access the shared folder and then type in the UNC path to the folder.
UNC path is just a special format for pointing to a folder on another computer.
You first use two slashes “\” and then the computer name, \testcomp and then another “” followed by the shared folder name, \testcompfoldername.
Click on “Reconnect at logon” to make the connection permanent, which means the drive will still be mapped even after you restart the computer.
If you’re not sure what the name of the folder is, you can click on Browse and try to find the computer that way. Click on Entire Network,
then Microsoft Windows Network and then expand out the workgroup or domain that your computer is in.
If there are any shared folders on a computer, you will be able to see them here by expanding each computer individually. Click Finish and you have now mapped a drive!
How to map a network drive in Vista
Mapping a network drive in Vista is slightly different than in XP, but pretty simple also. First, click on Computer from your Start Menu or Desktop. You’ll see a couple of buttons across the top, one of them being “Map network drive“.
Other than the fancy interface, all of the options are the same! Choose a drive letter, type in the folder path, choose “Reconnect at logon” and click Finish!
Remember, the folder can be located on a local or remote server or even to a FTP site!
How to map a drive using command prompt
First click on Start and then Run. Type cmd in the Open box.
Then type the following DOS command to map the network drive:
net use x: \computer nameshare name
where x: is the drive letter you want to assign to the shared folder.
You can delete a mapped network drive using the command prompt by typing in
net use x: /delete
If you have any problems mapping a drive in Windows, post a comment and I’ll try to help you out! Enjoy!