Monday, March 19, 2007

Mapping Drives Within A Network

One thing that everyone should do, whether it is a home or business network, is map shared folders to other computers in the network. This enables users to create shortcuts of the shared folder, provides for quick access and ease of use. Once the shared folder is mapped it will appear as a network drive under "My Computer".

First thing you have to do is enable file sharing for a particular folder:

1. Locate the folder you wish to share.
2. Right click on it and then left click "Sharing and Security".
3. If you see an item that says to enable file sharing, click that at this time.
4. Then select enable file and print sharing.
5. Select the check box that says "Share This Folder On The Network" and "Allow Network Users To Change My Files".
6. Click "Apply" and then "Ok".

So now, that folder is able to be seen by other computers on the network. Now the next step is very important. This is where alot of people run into problems. Every computer on the network MUST have the same WORKGROUP name. To find the workgroup name, right click "My Computer" then left click "Properties". Now click on the "Computer Name" tab on top. There you will see the name of your workgroup. The Microsoft default is MSHOME or WORKGROUP. You are allowed to change it in this box as well. Again, make sure all the computers in the network have the same workgroup name.

After that has been confirmed, now go to the computer(s) where you wish to access the shared folder. Here are the steps to map it to that computer:

1. Right click "My Computer".
2. Left Click "Map Network Drive".
3. The top line will contain the drive letter the computer is going to assign to the mapped drive. You can change this to whatever letter you like that is not currently being used.
4. Click "Browse".
5. Select your Workgroup name and click the + sign next to it.
6. Now select the computer name from which the folder is being shared from.
7. Finally select the shared folder and click "Ok" and then click "Finish."

A new window will open up displaying the shared folder. You can close that out. Now your mapped drive can be found by opening up "My Computer". It will appear under "Network Drives" with the letter you assigned it. From here you can create a shortcut of that drive and it will place it on your desktop.

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