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I am writing a procedure telling users how to insert a hyperlink into a Word document. Since our corporate network allows users to create their own drive mappings, not everyone has the same drive letters for the servers.

If I select a path in Windows Explorer, I get the drive letter

If I right-click on the drive letter and select Properties, I get some funky server name that does not include the path where the mapping actually starts.

The only way I can find to get the full path is to access the drive letter information via Map Network Drives, but then I can't see the entire qualified mapping path... and I certainly cannot copy it using XP.

I found a clever setting in Word 2007 Word Options (Customize Quick Access Toolbar) that will put the full path of the currently open Word document into the toolbar. Only problem is I need users to link to ANY file, and not everyone has Word 2007.

What is the EASIEST way to get the FULLY QALIFIED file path out of Windows XP?


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You can use the command net use to show all mapped drives. Run it from the command line.

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Sorry, in my rush to leave work I forgot to mention that the solution needs to be RIDICULOUSLY EASY. Easy enough for a computer-challenged person to do. Our user base doesn't necessarily represent the sharpest tools in the shed and I don't even know if IT allows users to access the command line at all :-) – JenS May 17 '11 at 13:54

Create a simple batch

Net use>>%userprofile%\desktop\drivePaths.txt

You can make this a batch by opening notepad and saving this as Get Drive Paths.bat

This will drop a text file on their desktop which will read out all the drive paths.

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For our network we developed a quick visual basic script to return the full path name, and add the registry settings to add it to the context menu for files and folders. The script basically takes the path, if the drive it is on is a network drive, then it determines what was mapped.

The script uses the URL style syntax for PATHs, so that the links can be easily embedded in email or our Intranet.

If you want to take a look at GetNetworkPath script it is available here. There is another script there gpo_install, that we use to actually deploy GetNetworkPath. It copies the file, and adjusts the registry.

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I forgot to mention that NOTHING can be installed on the user's computers. I am not even allowed to access the "Normal" template on my own computer. All PCs are locked down so I need a native solution. (Sorry for not saying this before!) – JenS May 17 '11 at 13:52
Ah, how annoying. Still, you could possibly send a request to your IT department and have them evaluate this tool and decide if they are willing to deploy it. The script is pretty simple, and you can see exactly what it is doing. – Zoredache May 17 '11 at 16:25
Hahahahahaha! Oh that's a GOOD one. I wish it were that easy, but I work in a Dilbert cartoon (seriously). It took three days just to get access to my own shared folder. But I digress... hopefully your advice will help someone; alas it does not help me. – JenS May 20 '11 at 21:19

In the short term, since my extensive research and verification with the IT department indicates that there is no "easy" way to get the absolute path, I simply documented the easiest method in my instructions. Sharepoint link procedure: 4 steps. Network drive link procedure: 13 steps. Just another reason to use Sharepoint :-)

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