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Mapping drives and file shares to your PC

Questions and Answers

What is a drive mapping?

Drive mappings are network resources which are seen by your computer as virtual local drives. Drive mappings are assigned letters chosen by the user.

The network system tells your computer what local drive assignments are mapped to what network resources.

How do I map a drive?

Double click "My Computer" or click Start -> My Computer. Click Tools -> Map Network Drive...

Choose a letter from the Drive: dropdown list.
Enter a share name in Folder: field. Previously entered shares will be available as a dropdown list.
There are specific instructions for the University filestore , also know as "H drive".

What letter should I use?

Any letter you want - drive letters can be chosen arbitrarily after your system has allocated letters to local physical drives. You will only be offered letters that can be used.

However there are certain letters that are considered standard across campus and should only be used for these purposes. These are:

h: -> Your home directory on the central file server.
g: -> The campus software repositry
w: -> The central web server.

How do I know what share to map to?

You will be told by whomever has given you permission to have access. Some shares are universally accessible, eg \\rumba\driveg, some are only accessible by small groups of individuals or a single individual if it is a share on someone else's PC that you have been given access to.

I'm confused by the syntax of these share names - can you explain more?

A share name consists of the name of a machine followed by a share and the folder or directory. The scheme is called the Universal Naming Convention or UNC.

The UNC format calls for two backslashes followed by the computer name, the share name, the folder names and the file name separated by single backslashes. For example


Not all of the above has to be specified and very often you will just be quoted a machine name and share name - eg:


I'm denied access - I keep getting "Incorrect username or password"

Then your username or password (or both) is incorrect, or the share is restricted to a certain group of users of which you are not a member. A common error is not logging into the PC with your Computing Services username. By default this username will be used to log you in to any shared drives.