Windows Operating Systems made it easier to share and access files over a shared network by introducing “Mapped Hard Drives”. When you map a hard drive, you can access another computer’s shared folder and make it so that it would be a “hard drive” on Windows Explorer. The following are the steps on how to accomplish this task.
1. Launch “My Computer”.
Basically, you can pull up My Computer in two easy ways, either by clicking the “My Computer” icon you see on your desktop or if you are using the Standard Start Menu (where by default, the My Computer icon would not show up on your desktop), hit the “Start” button and double click on “My Computer” to launch it.
2. Navigate to the “Map Network Drive” dialogue box.
On My Computer’s menu bar, hit “Tools” and from the menu that shows up, select “Map Network Drive”.
3. Select the letter you want this drive to have.
Click the drop down menu next to “Drive:” and select a letter.
4. Select the folder where the data will be coming from.
Click the drop down menu next to “Folder:” and type “\\” followed by the computer name and then “\” followed by a folder path. For example, you will be mapping a drive from computer “Server 01” and the folder path would be “SharedDocs”, the entry should look like this: “\\Server 01\SharedDocs”.
If you do not have the specific path on hand, you can always browse for it and you can accomplished this by doing the following steps.
- it the “Browse” button to pull up the “Browse for Folder” dialogue box.
- Collapse “Entire Network” by hitting the “+” sign to show you the list of networks that you are connected in.
- Highlight the network name where the other computer is connected.
- Select the name of the computer.
- Select the folder you want to map and hit “OK” to close Browse for Folder and take you back to the Map Network Drive.
5. Decide whether you want the hard drive map should be permanent or not.
If you want the map to be permanent, ensure that you tick the box to “Reconnect at logon”. This would ensure that even if you restart your system, it would always retain the hard drive map. If you require this connection to be temporary, just uncheck “Reconnect at logon”.
6. Save the newly mapped hard drive.
Hit the “Finish” button to make the new settings take effect.
You can also use the command prompt to map a hard drive. If you are not comfortable using the command prompt, feel free to use the steps given above.
1. Launch “Command Prompt”.
There are two ways to launch Command Prompt and here are the steps on how to do this.
- Click “Start”, highlight “Programs” or “All Programs”, depending on what type of Start Menu you are using, highlight “Accessories” and double click on “Command Prompt”.
- Hit “Start”, select “Run”, input “cmd” on the text field and hit “Enter” on your keyboard.
2. Decide the letter you want this mapped folder to have.
It could be any letter you want this folder to have, so long as it is not currently used. For this tutorial, we will use the letter “A”.
3. Learn the computer name and folder where you want the data to come from.
For this tutorial, we will use “Server 01” as the computer name and “SharedDocs” as the shared folder you want to map.
4. Type in the command in order to map a shared folder on a network.
On the command prompt, input the following: “net use a: \\Server 01\SharedDocs” and hit the enter key on your keyboard. If the process was done correctly, it will show “The command completed successfully.”
Notice that on “My Computer”, the network drive will now show up accordingly next to your local hard drives.