Table of Contents

How do I map a network drive?

John Logue Updated by John Logue

Introduction

In order to make data on one computer available to another computer on the network, two things must be done:

  1. On the "server" (computer where data is stored), establish a folder that is visible, with all its contents, from other computers on the network. This is called a "share point." It could be a new folder, or it could be a folder which is already defined.
  2. On the "workstation" (computer from which you will be accessing the data), "map" (assign a drive letter to) the share point on the server.

The following procedures are not difficult, but they do require some knowledge of your network environment. If you can answer the following questions, you should be able to create a share point and map it.

  1. What is the geometry of the network? Is it server and workstations or peer-to-peer?
  2. What operating system is running on the server?
  3. Is the project a new installation of the software, or is it a change from unshared data to shared data?
  4. Will the program and data both be placed on the shared location? Or will the program be installed on the workstation and only the data be at the shared location?
  5. Is there already a share point defined which includes or could include the CFS data?

If you are comfortable with your answers to the above questions, continue with the following instructions.

The following instructions only cover creating a share point and mapping a drive letter to it. For instructions on how to install CFS software on a network, see How do I perform a network setup?

Step One: Creating a Share Point

Take a look at the following scenarios and select the one that fits your situation, then follow those instructions to create a share point.

Scenario 1: Existing Share Point Is Usable

There is a stand-alone server with one or more share points already defined—for example, a shared folder with the name "DATA" or "Apps." In that folder, you may find the folders for other applications. That folder could probably also be used for CFS programs, and there may already be a drive letter on the workstation(s) mapped to it which could be used to install or configure the CFS program.

If, however, there is a shared folder with a specific product name, such as LACERTE or DRAKE, you should not use it for CFS programs or data. In that case, see Scenario 2.

Scenario 2: Existing Share Point Isn't Usable

There is a stand-alone server with one or more share points already defined, but none of them is usable for CFS programs or data. In this scenario, we will create a folder, establish the share point, and apply the appropriate permission settings.

  1. The server may have multiple disk drives and/or partitions. Determine which one should be used to store this information. For this example, we will use the D: drive.
  2. On the D: drive, we will create a folder to be shared. The folder can have any name, and may be within another folder (e.g. D:\BUSINESS\APPS). For this example, we will create the folder D:\APPS.
  3. Once the folder has been created, the next step is to establish the share point. Right-click on the APPS folder, then left-click on "Properties." 
  4. There are several tabs at the top of the Properties dialog. On the tabs are controls for setting up security and sharing. Different versions of Windows use different controls, so some of the directions in the following paragraphs may not apply to your situation.
    1. If there is a "Security" tab, click on it. There should be two boxes on the page: the first titled "Group or user names," the second titled "Permissions for ...." As you select a person or group in the top box, the bottom box shows the permission settings for that entity. In the top box, select the user or group which includes the Windows logons for anyone who will use this program. If there is no appropriate entry, you can add the name "everyone" (without the quotes).
    2. Select the appropriate entry in the top box, then put a check in the bottom box for "Change" or "Modify" or "Full Control."  Use the "Apply" button to apply the changes.
    3. If there is no Security tab, there may be a check box labeled "Allow others to write to my files."  If so, put a check in that box.
  5. Next, click on the "Sharing" tab.
    1. The first controls on the Sharing page are the radio buttons for "Do not share this folder" and "Share this folder."  The button for "Share this folder" must be selected.
    2. The next control is the "Share name" box.  It will probably be automatically filled in with the name of the folder. This is the name which will be visible from other computers. You may change this name, but keep it short.
    3. With the name still appearing in the "Share Name" box, click "Permissions." On the "Permissions" page, make sure that the top box includes the people who will be using this program, and that when they are selected, the check in the bottom box is set for "Modify," "Change," or "Full Control."
  6. Exit from "Properties" with the "OK" button.
  7. We now must determine the name of this computer, so that we can find it on the network:
    1. Locate the "My Computer" or "Computer" icon. (It is usually found in the upper left corner of the desktop.)
    2. Right-click on the icon and left-click on "Properties."
    3. Click on the "Computer Name" tab. (Depending on the version of Windows, you may first have to click on "Advanced system settings.")
    4. Find the computer name and write it down.  For this example, we will use the computer name "MyServer."

Scenario 3: Peer-to-Peer Network

The following scenario applies to a peer-to-peer network, where the program is to be installed on one workstation and available to one or more other workstations.

If the program to be shared--or another CFS program--has been installed on the primary computer using defaults, there is already a folder named CFSLIB at the root of the C: drive.  This can be used as the share point.

  1. Right-click on CFSLIB and left-click on "Properties."
  2. There are several tabs at the top of the Properties dialog. On the tabs are controls for setting up security and sharing. Different versions of Windows use different controls, so some of the directions in the following paragraphs may not apply to your situation.
    1. If there is a "Security" tab, click on it. There should be two boxes on the page: the first titled "Group or user names," the second titled "Permissions for ...." As you select a person or group in the top box, the bottom box shows the permission settings for that entity. In the top box, select the user or group which includes the Windows logons for anyone who will use this program. If there is no appropriate entry, you can add the name "everyone" (without the quotes).
    2. Select the appropriate entry in the top box, then put a check in the bottom box for "Change" or "Modify" or "Full Control."  Use the "Apply" button to apply the changes.
    3. If there is no Security tab, there may be a check box labeled "Allow others to write to my files."  If so, put a check in that box.
  3. Next, click on the "Sharing" tab.
    1. The first controls on the Sharing page are the radio buttons for "Do not share this folder" and "Share this folder."  The button for "Share this folder" must be selected.
    2. The next control is the "Share name" box.  It will probably be automatically filled in with the name of the folder. This is the name which will be visible from other computers. You may change this name, but keep it short.
    3. With the name still appearing in the "Share Name" box, click "Permissions." On the "Permissions" page, make sure that the top box includes the people who will be using this program, and that when they are selected, the check in the bottom box is set for "Modify," "Change," or "Full Control."
  4. Exit from "Properties" with the "OK" button.
  5. We now must determine the name of this computer, so that we can find it on the network:
    1. Locate the "My Computer" or "Computer" icon. (It is usually found in the upper left corner of the desktop.)
    2. Right-click on the icon and left-click on "Properties."
    3. Click on the "Computer Name" tab. (Depending on the version of Windows, you may first have to click on "Advanced system settings.")
    4. Find the computer name and write it down.  For this example, we will use the computer name "MyServer."

Step Two: Mapping the Drive

Once you have created the share point on your server, you will be able to access and map it from the workstations on the network. At each workstation where mapping is needed:

  1. Open Windows Explorer (right-click on the Windows Start button).
  2. Locate the server computer (in the above examples, "MyServer") under "Network" and open it.
  3. Locate the share-point folder on "MyServer" and right-click on it.
  4. Left-click on "Map network drive..."
  5. In the "Map Network Drive" dialog, select a drive letter, and make sure the "Reconnect at logon" box is checked.
  6. Click "Finish."

Follow the same procedure for other workstations. It is best to use the same drive letter at each workstation, but that is not required. If you use different drive letters for different workstations, make sure the user name is tied to the computer. The configuration associated with a user name includes the path to the data. If John's computer accesses the database on the J: drive, that information will be in John's profile. If Mike's computer accesses the database on the M: drive, that information will be in Mike's profile. If John logs in on Mike's computer using his own profile, the program will attempt to access the data on the J: drive, which is incorrect for Mike's computer.

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