How to access that Drive

Setting up drive mappings are a stable of IT support. All too often I will see an email come into the support mailbox requesting access to “The S Drive” or “The Projects Share”.  Most of the time the person raising the request already has access to this location, their actual quandary is that they need or have lost the short cut that enabled them to navigate to said location by the press of a button. IT support staff thrive on these types of questions, as they are quick to resolve and boost their stats. But this process shouldn’t be steeped in mystery, so the following article will hopefully go some way to dispelling the mystery and empower you to create all the drive mappings you could ever dream of.

Method 1: The long way round

Step 1

The first thing you will need to do is find out the name of your office server. If you are already part of Virtual IT’s managed service then yours will be called something along the lines of ‘tla-nt01’.

Once you have the name of your server click on your start button and select Computer (My Computer if you are using XP Professional). You will be presented with a new window that looks like the one below:

IT Support

Step 2

In the top address bar you will need to type <server name>. Press Enter and you will be presented with all the various folders and shares that are on that server.

IT Support

As you can see in the picture above, there is a Share called IT Support. I am going to create a Drive mapping to that Share as it is one that I go to a lot.

Step 3

Right click the share that you are going to map a drive to and select Map Network Drive from menu selection:

IT Support


Step 4

This is where you get to give your Drive that all important letter that you and your peers will invariably refer to going forward:

IT Support

We have agreed to label this share “The S Drive” as an abbreviation of Support. Once you are happy press Finish.

You will be redirected to the original Computer window, only now you will see a shortcut to your new Drive Mapping.

IT Support

As a final flourish right click this drive mapping and select Create Shortcut from the menu selection, and a shortcut will be added to your desktop.

Method 2: The quick way round

If you know the full address of the share you want to create a drive mapping for you can simply open up Computer and skip straight to Step 4 by selecting Map Network Drive from the tool bar:

IT Support

Things to Consider

  1. You can’t break anything by trying this, so have a go safe in the knowledge that at worst it won’t work and you will need to speak to your IT support team for help or it will work and you will have learnt something new.
  2. Just because you can map a drive to the HR or Finance share, doesn’t mean you will be able get into them. Drive mappings do not circumvent any access permissions that are set on a share. If you weren’t allowed to access it before, you won’t be able to access it now.
  3. If you know the name of the folder you want to map but don’t know where it is on the server, navigate to the root of the server and in the top right search box type the name of the folder you are looking for and it will find it for you.
  4. If in doubt, chicken out and call our IT support desk and we will be happy to help you through the process. It is what we are here for after all.

If you have any comments on this article or have suggestions on other areas you would like to see a guide of, please do leave a comment in the section below.


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