Map a Network Drive in Windows XP

Create a Mapped Network Drive to Easily Access Shared Folders

Red thumbtacks on map
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A mapped drive is a virtual hard drive that points to a folder on a remote computer. Windows XP supports several different methods for mapping a network drive, but these instructions explain the process that uses Windows Explorer.

An alternative way to map a network drive in Windows XP is to use the net use command through Command Prompt.

Note: See how to find shared Windows folders if you want to browse for the right folder before you choose one.

Map a Network Drive in Windows XP

  1. Open My Computer from the Start menu.
  2. Access the Tools > Map Network Drive... menu.
  3. Choose an available drive letter in the Map Network Drive window. Unavailable drive letters are not shown (like C) and ones that are already mapped have a shared folder name displayed next to the drive letter.
  4. Use the Browse... button to find the network share that should act as a network drive. You can instead type the name of the folder following the UNC naming system.
  5. Put a check in the box next to Reconnect at logon if you want this network drive to be mapped permanently. Otherwise, it will be removed the next time the user logs out of the account.
  6. If the remote computer that contains the share requires a different username and password to log in, click the different username link to enter those details.
  7. Click Finish to map the network drive. The folder should open, showing you the shared resources.

    Tips

    1. You can access the mapped network drive like you can any drive, through My Computer. It's listed in the Network Drives section.
    2. To disconnect a mapped network drive, use the Tools > Disconnect Network Drive... option from a Windows Explorer window such as My Computer. You can also right-click the drive and choose Disconnect.
    1. To see the real UNC path of the network drive, use Tip 2 to disconnect the drive but don't confirm it; just view the path in the Disconnect Network Drives window. Another option is to use the Windows Registry to find the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Network\[drive letter]\RemotePath value.
    2. If the drive letter was previously mapped to a different location, a message box will appear asking to replace the current connection with the new one. Click Yes to disconnect and remove the old mapped drive.
    3. If the network drive cannot be mapped, ensure that the folder name is spelled correctly, that this folder was correctly set up for sharing on the remote computer, that the correct username and password have been entered (if necessary) and that the network connection is functioning properly.