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We have a Windows 2003 server with about 30 clients. I am trying to re-organize our network shares when i began wondering: Why are we even using mapped drives? why not just use network shares e.g. \servername\documents, \servername\photos etc. I know nothing about the difference so please help. Thanks


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up vote 3 down vote accepted

The reasons I would like to have mapped network drives for frequently used shares:

  1. Less typing
  2. Quick access through "My Computer"
  3. CMD.exe does not support UNC paths as current directories.
  4. Programs and scripts expecting paths to begin with a drive letter
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Points 1 and 2 would definitely ring true for the end-users I work with. – Chris_K Dec 30 '09 at 5:49

Using a drive letter is more convenient than just having to use \\servername\ all the time. Also updating the drive mappings would be easy if you were using a logon script or something similar.

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+1 for realizing that some people are simply "used to" the drive letters and need them for the sake of comfort or something. – mrduclaw Dec 30 '09 at 4:59

In the old days, there was a small performance problem with machines running Windows 98/Windows 2000 when not directly mapped to the share.

These days, the mapping is there for nothing more than human interaction, and old school programs needing to have a specific drive mapped for the program to use.

I'd recommend migrating everything over to a UNC drive mappings when you feel the need, because there is only 24 available drive letters, and an unlimited number of UNC drive mappings

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I'd note for completeness and emphasis (like you mentioned) that some applications...programmed by programmers who suck...INSIST on drive letters in order to work. – Bart Silverstrim Dec 30 '09 at 4:12
Sometimes drive letters are also just plain easier for training purposes, if you don't have too many shares to create. – Bart Silverstrim Dec 30 '09 at 4:14
Those programmers will be second up against the wall when the revolution comes... First will be the lawyers. – Stephen Thompson Dec 30 '09 at 8:46

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