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Mapping a Drive Letter in Windows 98

Working complete PC
Blank Diskette
Student Diskette, "New Boot A Ver 2.0+"
Student CD-ROM, "Room 6359"
The student will become familiar with:
The concept of Networking,
Configuring the File and Print Sharing Service,
Learn the nature and function of the Network Redirector.
This module is an integral component of the Windows 98 networking modules in which the student will understand the nature and function of the Windows 98 Network Control Panel applet and the related concepts including network components, protocols, services and clients and how to install and remove these Windows networking components, as well as be able to configure them in order to establish a Peer-to-Peer network. The student will gain experience in the installation of a Network Interface Card and connecting the cabling between the two systems to establish physical connectivity of networked PC's.
  1. Mapping a network drive letter, means that a resource that is available for sharing on another networked system will be assigned a local drive letter. For example, PC000 has shared a folder named ROSHARE as read-only. Network aware operating system functions and programs can refer to this shared resource by its UNC name: \\PC000\ROSHARE and gain access to the files in the folder on the other system. Functions and programs that are not network aware or compatible, will not be able to access the files. To make all files in the shared folder accessible to the all OS functions and programs of the local system assign the distant folder a local drive letter.

    The detailed operation below concerns mapping a network drive to a user's home directory on a Netware 3.12 server, but the same principles apply in mapping a network drive in a NetBEUI Peer-to-Peer network except of course that the UNC names will be particular to the names of the machines and their shares and the "Reconnect at Logon" should be left unchecked because a Peer machine will not be as reliable as a server. In the event that the peer is not available, this choice will result in very long delays while the service attempts and retries the attempts to contact the remote host during the startup phase.

    Obviously in order to perform this exercise then the system must be networked to at least one other system and both systems must have the File and Print Sharing Service installed, it does not install by default in Windows 98. See Setting Up a NetBEUI Peer-to-Peer Network, Renaming a Windows 98 PC, Sharing a Folder in Windows 98, Controlling Master Browser Elections in Windows, for related topics.

  2. Procedures
  3. Once the system has been completely setup (see the Preparation section above for details) then right click on Network Neighborhood, but instead of selecting Properties choose "Map a Network Drive..." instead (Properties is highlighted in this image):

  4. Choosing "Map a Network Drive..." This results in this window. Accept the offer create a new valid letter "E:" and assign it the path to your home directory on the server by typing into the path box "FS1\SYS:USERS\STAx" (where x is your station's number and the one you used for your login name). Be sure to check the "Reconnect at logon" so that the letter will become a "persistent" network resource and be available every time the system restarts. If this is left unchecked then this drive mapping will be lost upon reboot:

  5. Upon clicking the OK button Windows constructs the drive letter redirection pipe and that distant network resource can now be refered to as the local E: drive and Windows opens a new My Computer window with its contents displayed. This is a very good real world example of the Application Layer of the OSI model in action. As far as the user is concerned (you and your programs) you are saving to the local E: drive, but the Application layer interface or SAP - Service Access Point, is catching the read/write requests to this local drive letter that does not actually exist and then redirecting them down the protocol stack and ultimately out the wire to the server. Click the "up one level" button to return to the whole My Computer view and observe that the new drive letter appears along with the rest of the local system resources like the C: drive, but it has the network pipe attached to it so Windows "knows" better than to allow you to try to FDISK it or something crazy like that:

  6. At this point the E: drive is fully functional as a storage location for all local operating system functions and programs. See Redirecting My Documents to a Mapped Drive, Setting up a NetBEUI Peer-to-Peer Network, Setting up an IPX/SPX Netware Client in Windows 98, Setting up File and Print Sharing in Windows 98, and Controlling Master Browser Elections in Windows for related topics.

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