Sharing and Mapping

by Johannes Helmig [Published on 24 March 2001 / Last Updated on 24 March 2001]

After you have made all required Network setup on the "Control-Panel","Network" for Installing the MS PC-to-PC Network, you are now ready to connect.

Access Control:
When the network drivers are loaded, it is configured for a default 'Access Control':

On a Windows95/98 network, you can ONLY use the simple 'Share-level access control', but NOT the more advanced 'User-level access control' (for that, you need to be connected to a NOVELL or Windows NT server, from which Windows95/98 can 'borrow' the user-database.
I received some suggestions to install PWS (MS
Personal Web Server), use it to set up
user-accounts and use them to define 'User-Level Sharing'. I was
NOT able to get that
to work, but if somebody did, would you please tell me how it works and
contact me , nobody did it in the last 12 months).

Sharing:
Before data can be accessed, it is required to give permission, that it can be accessed. This process is called "Sharing".
You can share a complete disk or just a directory (with all its sub-directories)

Identify the disk or directory, which is to be shared, and RIGHT-click to get the content menu:

You should see the menu-item "Sharing" (if it is NOT there, then the "File and Print Sharing" is not installed or somebody deactivated File-Sharing), which you select:

Declare the disk/directory as "Shared as", you can define/modify the "Share Name" (make it a good explanation), then define the "Access-Type":
- do you allow other people to only read or to read/write your data ?
- do you want to ("try to") secure it with a "password" ?
- ending your Sharename with a $-sign will make it a Hidden resource
Selecting now "ok" make the drive/directory available on the network.

As an indication, that a disk/directory is "shared", it is now marked with the special icon (the hand "giving away" the access to the data).


Accessing/Mapping:

To be able to use the Network Neighborhood, you MUST login to the Network !
So, you need to get this login window, enter your name (and password, if you
have defined one), and then click on the OK-button.
( If you just press the ESC-key or click on the Cancel-button, then you are NOT
member of the network, and then Network Neighborhood will not display anything )

Once a system has shared something (a disk, a directory or a printer), it becomes visible in the "Network Neighborhood" on the desk-top.

( If you get only error-messages, when opening the "Network Neighborhood", check which system is the Browse-Master , the Browse-Master list may not yet be updated and you either need to wait for the Browse-Master to update the list, which can take a while, or you use Find Computer to locate the system, which you like to connect to).
Select now the system, on which you like to access the data, by selecting/double-clicking on it.

It shows now all "available" items on that system, select it and the info will be displayed, as on your local disk. You can now use the full "Windows Explorer" function (copy, delete, run,..). But it is often more comfortable (and for some programs even requested) to declare such a network connection as a "virtual disk", a disk, which does NOT exist on your own system, but which is only "emulated", while the data is actually stored on the disk on a system somewhere on the network.
This process to declare a "virtual disk" is called "mapping".
Select the item on the FIRST level ( displayed after selecting the computer name) with a RIGHT-click to call up the content-menu:

and select the menu-item "Map Network drive":

Windows proposes the next available drive-character (which you can change to any un-used drive-character). You can also define, whether this "drive-mapping" should be "reconnected on restarting your system (which is usually done).
That's it. Once you select "OK", you have "another disk", but is has a "network Disk" icon.

You can now use this "Network Disk" like your own local drives (of course only within the permissions defined during "Sharing").

If the network drive was created ("mapped") with the option to "Reconnect at logon" , the Restart/Reboot with mapped Network drives may require some more configuration (to avoid error messages in case the system sharing the resource
is powered off).


Mapping a drive to your local disk:

In some configurations, users work on different computers, and it is then confusing for them, if on one system, the data is on drive C:, while in the other systems it is on G:.
To make it easy for such users, they should have on all systems the SAME drive-definition.
But although your own system with its shared items shows up in the "Network Neighborhood", you cannot map it, getting the error-message:


Windows 98 gives the same message:

(some people advised me, that this behavior is a 'bug' in the first Windows95 versions, but I still have the same with the Windows 95B OSR2 release).

There is a work-around: use the "SUBST" -command in your Win95-AUTOEXEC.BAT:
SUBST G: C:\
Now, your local system has also an additional drive G:

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