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Connect to a Shared Drive or Network Folder

– How to Map a Network Drive –

When you map a network drive, it grants you access to shared folders on a network in minutes, just as you would if they were your personal system. In this article, you will learn how to map a network drive.

what is a network drive

As was mentioned earlier, you may rapidly access files and folders on a shared network as if they were on your own system by creating a mapped network drive.

Thankfully, Windows 10 makes it easy to map network drives in just a few clicks. In this article we’ll help with mapping a drive and its benefits to Windows 10, 8, 7, XP, and also how to map drives for Mac.

What is a Drive in Computers?

Drives are a storage devices (medium) which can store information and it that cannot be readily removed, such as discs or disks. Every drive stores files and software used in your personal computer.

For instance, when you write a letter with Word processor, they loaded it from your hard drive. When you save your document, it’s saved to your hard drive or another drive or disks.

Types of Computer Drives

Below are a few examples of drives that you can have on the computer or accessible to computers.

Today, most disks listed here are no longer in use. The most commonly used drives in home computers are drive drives (also known as hard disks), SSDs (solid-state drives) disc drives, USB drives.

1. Bernoulli drive (obsolete)

2. Disk drives: Blu-ray CD-R, CD-ROM, DVD, CD-RW and Blu-ray.

3. Flash drive.

4. Floppy disk drive (obsolete)

5. Hard drive

6. Local drive

7. LS-120 (obsolete)

8. Network drive

9. RamDisk

10. SSD

11. SuperDisk (obsolete)

12. Tape drive

13. USB drive

14. Virtual drive

15. Zip Drive (obsolete)

What is a Fixed Drive?

A fixed drive is a computer drive that isn’t easily removed or transportable. For instance, they categorize most hard drives within the computer as to be fixed drives.

A fixed disk, also known as a hard drive or a hard disk drive, is a large-capacity magnetic storage device that is permanently mounted inside a computer, smartphone, or large-capacity portable music player, and is also the onboard storage mechanism for most game consoles.

These discs come in a range of sizes and forms, but they all function in the same way. They serve as an anchor for the device’s activities and apps, maintaining functional files and persistent memory loads.

What is a Portable Drive and Removable Disk?

A portable drive or removable disk is any type of drive or disk that can be transferred between computers. The most commonly used portable drives of today are USB card reader, USB jump drives, and USB external hard disk drives.

If your computer comes with card readers that are installed, the drive will always be accessible but isn’t accessible until you insert an actual card into the drive.

The other portable drive types, including USB flash drives as well as other external drives will not appear until linked to your computer. They are the only drive that is discovered.

What Drive Does My Computer Have?

What Drives Does My Computer Have?

Every computer is different. But the advancement in technology and laptops are becoming thinner. Most computers do not require different drives.

Nowadays, nearly all computers have at least one hard drive. Some could contain disc drive and card reader with no other drives.

All computers come with USB, eSATA, and other technology that allows external drives to be connected to computers.

Desktop computers can also support the capability of adding additional drives within the case.

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How to Identify a Drive

Understanding how drives function in your PC is the initial step to identify the drives attached with your PC.

Computers operating a Microsoft operating system (e.g., MS-DOS and Windows) equipped with a floppy drive will be equipped with one of two drives: A or: based on the type of drive.

If your computer doesn’t come with Floppy drives (most modern computers do not) it will have the A drive, as well as the B: is likely to be absent.

The primary hard drive will always be the drive C. If it’s partitioned, it might contain additional drive numbers in each partition. But the principal drive letter will always be C.

If they equipped your computer with a disk drive that is not in use, it will default to the next drive letter available. The drive letter is typically D or E: However, it could also be a different letter for the drive when your computer has several partitions and drives.

What to do Next

If they equip your computer with a card reader it can assign drive letters to the various slot cards in your computer.

The drives are visible on your computer, however, they cannot be opened when you try to access the drive.

Here, trying to access one of these drives will give you an error message that reads “Insert an optical disk into the drive.”

After inserting a card, the drive associated with the slot is changed and it has an additional label on it to aid in identifying the drive.

In the end, we add all subsequent letterings of the drive when the new drive is connected. As an example using an external USB drive or USB thumb drive.

They appear as if they connect the drives with the computers. For instance, if the next letter of the drive is I:, after connecting to a USB thumb drive a computer, the I drive is displayed in the computer’s memory and can be accessed.

What is a Network Drive?

What Is a Network Drive

We can describe the network drive as a device for storage that is connected to a local access network (LAN) in a company or at home. In a company network drive, they typically place it on the server or networking-connected storage (NAS) storage device.

In a home the network drive can be on an individual server such as an NAS device or another hard disk, or one computer connected to the network.

They may connect the drive to one computer networked. However, other users won’t be allowed to access the drive if the computer is off.

A network drive connected to a home LAN allows you to share files and keep documents without draining computer resources. If the drive is of sufficient capacity, it could also back up all computers connected to the network.

Advantages of a Network Drive

Here are a list of reasons to make use of an external network drive over local drives.

1. A network drive and its data can be shared among many individuals.

2. Permissions are the permissions you grant to those you wish to allow to edit or view the documents.

3. Network drives provide an important storage space which makes them easy to mirror and back up.

4. NAS or SAN options can help in adding storage more convenient.

Disadvantages of a Network Drive

Although there are many advantages of network drives than drawbacks, there are still some that are described below.

1. Network drives require an internet connection. If the network is not functioning and all files are lost, the network drive becomes unavailable.

2. Being in a central area with many users, increases the risk of accidental deletion or modification, hacking, or even infection.

3. Anyone who has access to the disk may copy or transfer all the data to another place.

What is Drive Mapping?

Drive mapping is an option of certain operating systems, like Microsoft Windows, that allows users to assign a local volumes letter (like C:\ or D:) to a drive located on a remote computer connected to the computer through networks.

A mapped drive is an alternative to a drive on a separate computer.

The shortcut you have on your computer appears to be one from the local hard drive (like the C drive) with its own unique letter assigned to it.

It appears as if it was but they physically stored the files stored on the drive that is mapped in a different computer.

It’s like a shortcut you could find on your desktop similar to one you used to open an image file from your Pictures directory.

However, it is more of a way to open a file from the separate computer.

Mapped drives can connect to resources from a different computer that is connected to your network, besides files hosted on websites or an FTP server.

Mapping a drive can provide a variety of advantages.

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A, B, and C Drives

A, B, and C Drives

They associate in nearly all modern operating systems the A drive and the B drive with floppy drives, which are not widely used anymore.

We can find the initial drive letter that is commonly used by modern home systems in the letter C.

What Does C Drive (C:) Mean?

It is the C drive (C:) is the primary partition on the hard disk that houses the operating system and the system files.

When using Windows operating systems they represent the C drive as “C :\”, the backlash that represents that the directory of root for the drive.

The C drive is thought of as the primary drive in the system. It can store files for the OS, system and other applications, as well as their related files.

In the later Windows versions in later Windows versions, the C drive is labeled by the name The Primary Drive and Local Disk and can be accessible by default when you open the “My Computer” folder.

How to Find the C Drive on Your Computer

If you’re having difficulty getting the drive to appear on your laptop, try these things:

1. Search for ” File Explorer” in the Windows search box, or click “Search” in the search box, or click on the “My Computer” or “This PC” icon if there are the icons on your desktop.

2. When the new window pops up, you can look to find the Local Disk (C) in the left menu.

3. Double-click the icon to start the C drive. Double-click on the icon to open C drive and browse the folders and files that are stored.

Notice: The files on this drive are critical system files. Delete them or moving them may cause problems for the software.

Easier Ways to Find the C Drive on Your Computer

If you’d like a simpler method of accessing the C drive You can make a shortcut for it on the desktop:

1. Take the initial and second steps outlined above to access Local Disk C. local disk C.

2. Right-click the title, and select Make Shortcut or Copy from the drop-down menu.

3. Go to your desktop and right-click an empty area.

4. Select Paste as Shortcut.

The C Drive Function

This drive belongs to the first primary partition of the hard drive that is recognized in the operating system. It is typically an actual hard disk within the computer.

This is the C one which contains an operating system, boot sector of the computer, and other important information.

What Does D Drive (D:) Mean?

The D drive is typically an additional hard drive that is installed on a PC, and is usually used to store the restore partition, or to offer additional disk storage space.

You might decide to wipe all the data on your D drive in order to clear some space, or maybe because the computer is assigned to a different employee in your workplace.

Within Windows operating system you can convert the D drive. This will clear the drive completely, completely erasing the entire contents of programs and files off the drive.

D Drive Function

It is the D drive acts as the initial drive following the primary hard drive. It is typically disc drives such as the CD or DVD drive.

If a computer contains over one internal disk, or if a single hard drive is partitioned, one Drive will receive the D letter as its assigned assignment.

Benefits of Mapping a Network Drive

What Are the Benefits of Mapping a Network Drive?

We list a few benefits of mapping a network drive in this section.

1. Ease of Access

The mapping of drives allows the Windows user to connect to the drive that has been mapped quickly via “My Computer ” interface, as if it was local drives.

Also, to complete tasks using methods and techniques that the user is used to working with local drives.

2. Consistency

A mapped drive can be kept in the user’s tree of drives for an indefinite period and allows that user to connect to the remote drive they want, without needing to reconnect each when he switches on his computer (or every time the user of the remote drive switches on her own).

If you attempt to access the mapped drive when the parent computer is not working will give a basic error message, however it will not erase this mapped drive.

3. Network Setup

Because most casual computer users are familiar with the drive tree, but do not be aware of the more complex Universal Naming Convention (UNC) method of accessing the remote drive.

It could be extremely useful for network administrators to establish the system of the mapped drives that his users can access.

The system will require almost no additional information to be passed on to users. They can use the mapped drives as if they were local.

Limitations of Mapped Drives

Mapped drives rely on a functioning network. If your network isn’t working or the connection to the computer hosting the shared files doesn’t work in a way that you’re able to get access to the data stored by the drive that is mapped.

What Mapping a Drive Involves

Not as complex as it sounds, but mapping a drive involves several factors which we will consider in subsequent sections.

Mapping a Drive in PC

1. Mapping a drive includes the creation of folders, files and an entire drive on the Windows machine.

2. It’s like Cloud Storage, similar to OneDrive. It service is an Online Cloud Service that is provided by Microsoft.

3. Mapping drives is nothing more than making a particular drive accessible to any user connected to a network.

4. If a drive is assigned, it will show in the File Explorer of different operating systems.

5. The entire content is available to all users connected to the same network.

Steps for Mapping a Drive

To do this, note the following procedures:

1. In order to do this, ensure you have the settings on your PC configured to allow sharing of folders and files with other devices in your network.

2. You can activate this feature by clicking Windows’ change PC setting option on Windows.

3. It will show the settings screen for your PC in which you must select for to select the option Network. option.

4. You will then discover all the network options in the vicinity, and the network that your PC is currently connected.

5. To allow sharing, select the network that they currently connect you to.

6. Following that it will display details about the device.

7. You must activate the switch in the Find devices and Content section.

8. Your system is now set to map folders and files to other computers.

Browse to the Folder

Browse to the Folder:

1. To share documents and folders you’ll need to navigate the drive or the folder you’d like to map.

2. Within “This PC” in the “This PC” section, choose “computer option.”

3. You must select on the option Map Network Drive.

4. It will launch you to the Map Network Drive wizard where you will need to select and choose the letter you want to assign. You would like to be assigned to your drive that you want to map.

5. To accomplish this, use the Drop-down menu for Drive.

6. If you don’t choose a particular letter, default will automatically designate it to the drive ” Z:”.

7. Then, select the folder you’d like to associate with your network.

8. It is possible to hit the Search button on the Folder option and choose the folder you want to open.

9. If you click on the link, it’ll show the browser for folder wizard in which you can choose the folder.

10. Press the “OK” button.

11. If you do, make sure you check for the “Reconnect at sign-in” option so that you can automatically connect to the drive that you have mapped.

12. You may additionally select to select the “Connect using different credentials” option for those who want access to your drive from various computers.

13. Then, hit the Finish button.

14. It will ask you to enter your username password to access your account. To confirm the password, simply type it in and press Enter

15. Check the list of the mapped drive in “Network Locations” in the ” Network Locations” section.

Using Mapped Drives in Windows

How to map a SharePoint Drive

On Windows computers, you are able to check the status of your mapped drives besides the ability to create and delete maps from drives through File Explorer.

It is accessible by using the Win+E shortcut.

For instance, with this PC open on Windows 11Windows 10, and Windows 8, you can open and erase maps of drives.

The Network drive map button lets connect to a brand new remote resource in the network. The steps for old versions of Windows are different.

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How to Map a Network Drive on Windows 10

How to Map a Network Drive on Windows 10

Windows 10 lets you map network drives in two easy steps.

Turn ON Network Discovery

To turn on the network discovery, follow these steps:

1. If you’re looking to connect an external network drive to the Windows 10 PC, you’ll require enabling the network’s discovery first.

To enable it, open Control Panel and then select “View Network Status and Tasks” under the Network and Internet category.

2. Then next, click “Change Advanced Sharing Settings” in the left-hand pane.

3. Then, you can click the button in front of “Turn off Network Discovery” to select it.

4. Simply click “Save changes” and after that, network discovery will be turned on.

Map a Network Drive

To map a network drive, use the following steps:

1. When you have network discovery enabled it is now possible to create the drive to a network. The first step is to start File Explorer and then select “This PC” in the left-hand pane.

2. Then next, then click “Map Network Drive” in the Network section under the Computer tab.

3. It will open the Map Network Drive window will open. Within the box beside “Drive,” select the drive letter that you’d prefer to use.

You can choose any letter that’s not used on your device.

4. Input the computer’s or folder’s path into the “Folder” dialog box to select “Browse” and select the device name in the pop-up that displays.

You can also choose “Reconnect upon sign-in” in case you want to connect every time you sign in to your device.

5. Once you’ve configured that After you’ve done that, select “Finish” and your network drive will now be registered to your device.

How to Map a Network Drive in Windows 8

To map a network drive in Windows 8, we must adhere to the following steps:

1. Press the Start button.

2. When you search for a computer in the search box, type This PC, then select This PC from the search results.

3. Click Computer and select to map network drives.

4. In the new window select a letter on the drive list .

5. Inside the box for Folders, type in the folder’s address that is shared with your network (the format is hostnamesharename with hostname being the IP address or name of the device on the network and share name refers to the title given to the folder that is shared with network users).

You can select the Browse button to locate the folder that you wish to place to the network.

6. Click Finish.

Your mapped drive is accessible under this PC.

How to Map a Network Drive in Windows 7 or Vista

To Map a Network Drive In Windows 7 or Windows Vista:

To do this, stick to the following steps:

1. Select Start, Computer and Map Network Drive.

2. In the pop-up window that appears you can select the letter that is available on the drive list.

3. Inside the box for Folder, enter the name of the network’s shared folder (the format is hostnamesharename with hostname being the IP address or name of the device on the network and share name represents the name given to the folder that is shared with network users).

Click Browse to discover the folder that you’d like to map to the network.

4. Click Finish.

The drive you have mapped is accessible in the computer.

How to Map a Network Drive in Windows XP

To map a network drive in Windows XP,

1. Click Start.

2. Right-click My Computer, and then select Map Network Drive.

3. In the new window you can select the letter that is available on the drive list .

4. In the Box for Folders, type in into the box the name of the share network directory (the format is hostnamesharename with host name being the host name of the IP address of the device on network while share name refers to the title given to this shared folder).

5. You can choose to click Search to locate the folder you wish to place to the network.

6. Click Finish.

Your mapped drive is accessible in My Computer.

Using Mapped Drives in Mac

Today, many NAS devices are extremely simple to map. Access to network drives is possible in just three easy steps.

If you’re willing to repeat these steps in case the connection fails or you have to restart your Mac or the device becomes disconnected:

 

Map Network Drive in macOS (one-time)

1. In Finder or Finder, press Command+K to show “Connect to Server” or select Connect to Server.

2. Enter the drive that you’re trying to map (e.g. smb://192.168.1.300/shared/Files) and click Connect

3. Enter your login information and password and click OK to start the network drive

You are now able to connect to the relevant drive through your desktop or via the sidebar of the Finder window.

Connect Automatically via a Network Drive Using Mac

Connect automatically via a network drive using Mac

Perhaps there is a server in your office that is connected to a network drive. You want all employees to be connected to it in order to collaborate on documents shared with others.

If you wish to keep your Mac attached to the network drive regardless of restarting it, the most efficient way to accomplish it is by following the above three steps after which you can add these:

1. Go to the Apple menu, followed by System Preferences, Users and Groups

2. From here, choose Login Items, and then click + to create a new item

3. Find the drive on your network and click Add. Finally, close the window.

This is how you map network drives on MacOS to ensure it remains connected even after a reboot.

Network drives cannot, however, be connected automatically if you’re connected to an alternative Wi-Fi network.

Mapping to a Shared Folder Within MacOS

To map to a shared folder within a MacOS, follow these steps:

1. Make connections to Split Tunnel or Full Tunnel VPN If you are not on campus.

2. Click Finder in the Dock.

3. Locate Goin the menu bar at the top.

4. Click Connect to Server EUR|(OE~+K).

5. Type CIFS:+ the network drive path (e.g. cifs://files.umn.edu/OIT).

Note: Your department may give you the path as \\files.umn.edu\NAME, but Mac paths use forward slashes, not backslashes.

Try SMB plus network drive path if CIFs do not work.

Use the (+)button to save the most frequently used network drive paths to be used in the future.

6. Enter AD + the number of your Internet account and the password if they prompt you.

Note: Use a backslash (\), not forward slash. (/). The AD links make use of AD when your computer is not connected by the AD. Use the Internet identification only if.

7. Click Connect.

To return to your drive share on your network.

a. Click the Finder.

b. Select files.umn.eduunder Sharedin the left-hand menu called Finder.

c. Go to the folder part of the shared folder.

Note: While all of the folders on files.umn.edu are visible but you are only able to see the contents of the folders that are specifically made available to you.

Disconnecting Mapped Network Drive

1. If you want to unblock the mapped drive, go to “Finder“, select “File” then “New Window in Finder”.

You can also click it on the desktop to find the drive that is mapped.

2. Select the drive you want to map in the left-hand menu, then click”Gear”. “Gear” icon and you’ll see an option drop-down menu.

3. Select the option that will “Eject”your mapped drive.

It will delete the mapped network drive.

Difference Between Mapping vs. Mounting

Difference Between Mapping vs. Mounting

Although they appear to be similar, mounting and mapping files aren’t. While mapping files allow you to access remote files like it stores them locally, mounting files allows you to open files as if they were the contents of a folder.

It’s normal to install images in file formats such as ISO and archive backups of files.

For instance, if we downloaded it Microsoft Office in the ISO format, you shouldn’t simply access your ISO file and then expect your computer to figure out what it takes to download the application.

You could instead install the ISO file to fool your system into believing that it’s an actual disc that you’ve put into your CD drive.

After that, you can access your mounted ISO file just like any other disk and browse or copy its files as mounting opened and displayed the archive as it was a folder.

Frequently Asked Questions

You might find the following questions and answers interesting

1. How to Map a Network Drive Remote Desktop?

Ans: “To create a network drive from the workstation of the remote, follow the directions given above.”


2. How Do I Map a Network Drive Through a VPN?

Ans: “We do this in two elaborate steps.

Step 1. Connect to the VPN server.

1. Register to receive an subscription to the PIA.

2. Install PIA and download it onto your computer.

3. Launch PIA and then press the large power button.

4. Now you are connected to the VPN server.

Step 2. Plan a network drive with the instructions we’ve provided in the previous step.”


3. How to Map a Shared Folder to A Drive?

Ans: “Locate the shared folder you wish to map. Note the name of the folder’s location, for example. 

Click on the icon of the folder at the lower left side of your screen on the Task Bar.

Select “This Computer” as well as “Computer” according to your Windows operating system version. In the upper bar, there is now one of the following choices.”


4. How Do You Find Out The IP Address of a Network Drive?

Ans: “To determine an IP address for a network drive’s destination PC Open the command prompt and enter “ping [computer’s name] into the new Window”. 

You’ll be able to see the IP address they connected the device to.”


5. How Do I Delete a Mapped Drive?

Ans: “Open File Explorer and select this PC from the left-hand panel. Under the Network locations click the right-click on the drive that you want to erase and choose disconnect.”


6. What Are the Benefits in Mapping a Network Drive?

Ans: “Mapped drives allow users to easily and quickly navigate through networks.”


7. What Does It Mean when You Map a Drive?

Ans: “A Mapped drive is the particular drive in a device. It allows you to access resources shared over local networks or on an FTP server or website.”


8. How Can You Hide a Shared Folder in the Network?

Ans: “You can conceal the shared folder by adding the number $ to the name of the share. After entering the name of the share then click OK.

 If you’ve set up an account password to this shared folder, then you’ll be asked for confirmation of the password.

After you’ve created this hidden share folder, you’ll need to figure out how to connect from another device on the network.”


9. How Does Mapping a Network Drive Work?

Ans: “Mapping assigns the drive name to an shared folder. You can then make use of this drive letter to connect to the shared folder like it was an individual drive.

In this manner you will be able to use the share folder via any Windows application without having to go through the network.”


10. How Do I Map Shared Drive in Windows 10?

Ans: “First, click this PC, and then click the Computer share button at the top. Finally, click the Map networking drive appears at the top of the screen.

1. Connect to the server that hosts the shared folder you wish to map, then right click that folder, and select Map Drive

2. You can also click on the Home tab on the top and click on Easy Access which will appear in the ribbon. Click it, and select Map as the drive.”


11. How to map a SharePoint Drive?

Ans: “Start Internet Explorer.

Note that you will not be allowed to map to the network drive SharePoint site, if you use another browser.

E.g. Log in to the SharePoint website you want to map to network drive within File Explorer and at the end of the process, the user is asked to remain registered Select in the Tools menu, then click Internet Options.”


12. How Do You Share a Network Drive?

Ans: “Choose the drive that you would prefer to share or go to the folder that you would like to share on your network.

Then, right click it then select “Share with Advanced Sharing” in the contextual menu.

(If the menu option isn’t available you can simply select Properties and then select the Share tab.)”


The map of a drive means you’ll be making the drive accessible for other users on an internet network.

If they mapped a particular drive, they will display it on the File Explorer section of other computers as if it were part of their drive, and the entire contents of it are accessible to them.

This article has successfully showed how to connect a Windows and MacOS computer to a network drive. If you’ve found this useful, please inform us in the comments section and we’d also love you to share this article to your family and friends.

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Tuesday 10th of May 2022

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