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In Win XP, I can very easily map a network drive to the root of my NAS server. I browse to it in Explorer (\, choose "Map Network Drive", choose the drive letter, done.

In Vista, this does not seem possible. I have to go "Map Network Drive" from 'Computer', then enter the address, but it will only let me map to specific shares (sub-folders off of the server root) and NOT to the server root share.

Since my NAS has built-in shares (music, photo, video, etc.) then I would have to have drive letters for all of these, which I absolutely don't want.

Can anyone tell me - how come I can easily map to the server root from XP, but not in Vista? Is there something fundamentally different in the networking across the two OS's? Or do I just need to do things a different way?

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migrated from Jul 28 '10 at 21:40

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As far as I'm aware, Vista makes it illegal to access a share without a full path (host + share). – user3463 Jul 29 '10 at 2:02
Aren't administrative shares available in Vista? \\\c$ May need professional version or some other hack to get it working. To get it working in my Win8 & Win10 LAN I had to make a registry change. Not familiar with Vista, sorry. – adampski Nov 16 '15 at 18:16

\\hostname is not actually a valid "share". You need something after the host in order to map it.

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Add a new share to the server (i.e.: root) that contains all the other shares as subfolders/links. Then you'll be able to map a drive letter to it.

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HI, Sure, I understand that would kind of work but: a) this would mess up my built-in share structure (movie, photo, video) that the NAS software requires b) this still doesn't explain how come it's possible in XP and not in Vista – Andy T Jul 28 '10 at 21:39
Have you tried \\host\c$ – Matt Freeman Jan 16 '11 at 12:08

Using a File Manager may help?

Servant Salamander (shareware) has a "Change Directory" command (Shift+F7) that allows you to enter something like: \\NAS which does take me to the root of the NAS. (I cannot confirm that this works on W7 at this time, cause the NAS is on an XP system, though it does work on XP & I seem to recall it working on W7.)

(Additionally Salamander can see the Windows Network links so something like \\NAS\MUSIC or \\NAS\VIDEO are available.)

(I named my Buffalo NAS, "NAS".)

"Altap Salamander"

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I have been able to automount distinctive sub directories in Samba shares on my computer at login by using the terminal. The question and accepted answer can be found here. Read it to get details around my answer.

In short what I am suggesting you to do is open a command shell and make a link to the share by entering the following line in cmd or powershell: mklink /d C:\path\to\your\directory \\Server\path\to\share. Note that for powershell you will have to insert at the beginning of the command cmd /c

This solution requires that your username and password are the same on the NAS as for the login on your personal computer. You might be able to specify username and password, but I have no idea how to do this.

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This is not direct answer, but what helped me to address the issue when the one would like to easily access all the fileshares on a server, but can't or does not want to type/remember server name or create multiple individual drives for each subfolder.

Step 1: Create a shortcut anywhere: Right click Desktop → Create shortcut (for example)

Step 2: Open a File Explorer window and drag the newly created shortcut to favorites section.

Note: In newer versions of Windows (eg. Windows 10), you can right-click on the newly created Shortcut on your desktop and choose 'Pin to Quick Access'

Windows Favorites/Quick Access Screenshot

While it isn't exactly a mapped drive, you do get a place where all your shares are easily accessible.

This solved what I wanted, and when I searched for an answer, this topic popped up in google first which is why I decided to put the answer here.

Works in Windows 7, Vista, 8 with classic shell, etc

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It works for me:


Enter the user credentials in the next window. Share data is some kind of root in the Netgear ReadyNAS.

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