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Windows 8.1: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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Mapping Shares to Drive Letters

If you access network shares on a regular basis, you may want to consider another access technique, called mapping shares. Using this trick, you can assign a letter to a particular shared disk or folder on the network. Just as your hard drive is called C: and your floppy drive is A:, you can give your Family Stuff folder the letter F: and the backup drive in the kitchen the letter J:.

Doing so confers several benefits. First, these disks and folders now appear directly in the Computer window. Getting to them this way can be faster than navigating to the Network window.

Second, when you choose File→Open from within one of your applications, you’ll be able to jump directly to a particular shared folder instead of having to double-click, ever deeper, through the icons in the Open File dialog box. You can also use the mapped drive letter in pathnames anywhere you would use a path on a local drive, such as the Run dialog box, a File→Save As dialog box, or the Command Line.

To map a drive letter to a disk or folder, open the Computer window. (In any Explorer window, click Computer in the navigation pane at left.) Then, on the Ribbon’s Computer tab, click “Map network drive.”

The Map Network Drive dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 27-12.

  • 2. Using the drop-down list, choose a drive letter.

    You can select any unused letter you like (except B, which is still reserved for the second floppy disk drive that PCs don’t have anymore).

  • 3. Indicate which folder or disk ...

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