Administering Windows Server 2008: The Basics
Once a share is created and the share information has propagated through the domain
(usually within several minutes), users can browse it through Network Neighborhood
(Windows 9x and NT), My Network Places (Windows 2000 and XP), or Network
(Windows Vista). Double-clicking the share will open it (if allowed by the permissions).
You can use shares by opening them through Network Neighborhood, My Network
Places, or Network, and they function just like the folders in My Computer. However,
you might frequently want to simulate a connected hard disk on your computer with a
share from the network. For example, many applications that store files on the network
require that the network folders be accessible as normal drive letters. The process
of simulating a disk drive with a network share is called mapping. You create a map
(link) between the drive letter you want to use and the actual network share to remain
attached to that drive letter.
You can create a drive mapping in many ways. The easiest way is to open Network
from the client computer, locate the share you want to map, right-click it, and choose
Map Network Drive. In the dialog box that appears, the name of the domain and
share will already be filled in for you. Simply select an appropriate drive letter for the
mapping and click OK. From then on, the share will appear to your computer as that
drive letter, and users will see this share's letter in My Computer.
You can also map drives using a command-line utility called NET. The NET
command takes a variety of forms and can fulfill many different needs, depending on
the parameters you give it. To map a drive, you use the NET USE command. Typing
NET USE by itself and pressing
will list all currently mapped drives. (You can
type NET HELP USE for more detailed help on the command.) To add a new drive
mapping, you would type the following:
NET USE drive_letter: UNC_for_share
Most network resources in a Windows network use a naming system called
the Universal Naming Convention (UNC). To supply a UNC, you start with two
backslashes, then the name of the server, another backslash, and the name of the share.
(Additional backslashes and names can refer to folders and files within the share.) For
example, to map drive G: to a share called EMPLOYEES located on the server SERVER,
use the following command:
NET USE G:\\SERVER\EMPLOYEES
You can use the NET command from any Windows client for any Windows network. Type
NET by itself to list all of the different forms of the command. Type NET command HELP to see
detailed help on the different NET commands.