A+: Mapped Drives
Windows enables shared folders and shared drives to be mapped to drive letters on clients. In Windows Explorer and My Computer (Computer in Windows Vista/7), these mapped drive letters will show up in the list along with the local drive letters. A shared resource can be accessed either through Network/My Network Places/Network Neighborhood (using the share name) or through a mapped drive letter.
Drive mapping has the following benefits:
• A shared folder mapped as a drive can be referred to by the drive name instead of a long Universal Naming Convention path.
• If you still use MS-DOS programs, keep in mind that mapped drives are the only way for those programs to access shared folders.
To map a shared folder to a drive in XP and later, follow this procedure:
A. Click the shared folder in Network (Vista/7) or My Network Places (XP).
B. Click Tools, Map Network Drive. (Note: In Windows Vista/7, the menu bar might be hidden. To show it use the Alt+T shortcut. Alternatively you can right-click the shared resource and select Map Network Drive.)
C. Select a drive letter from the list of available drive letters; only drive letters not used by local drives are listed. Drive letters already in use for other shared folders display the UNC name of the shared folder.
D. Click the Reconnect at Login box if you want to use the mapped drive every time you connect to the network. This option should be used only if the server will be available at all times; otherwise, the client will receive error messages when it tries to access the shared resource.
Shared folders can be accessed by either their mapped drive letters or by their folder names in Windows Explorer.E. Click Finish.