I have the opposite problem compared to the author of this question:

Hard drive access denied from Windows Explorer (but works from command prompt as Admin)

I can see all the drive letters for a particular server in Windows Explorer, and can navigate through them exactly as would be expected. The drive letters are displayed in Explorer in parens to the right of the path info --

finalpathportion (\\server\otherpathportions) (driveletter:)


jmerrill (\\server\users) (H:)

But the drive letters are not usable in a "Run as Administrator" command prompt. They have worked in the past, but I have since rebooted. I thought that perhaps I had to start a new command prompt having visited them in Explorer -- but that did not help. "net use" in the command prompt shows

Unavailable  H:        \\server\users\jmerrill   Microsoft Windows Network

with similar info for the other drives. I can do

net use h: /d
net use h: \\server\users\jmerrill

for each drive, and get the letters to be available in the command prompt. It is perhaps obvious that I don't think that it should be necessary to do that.

Does anyone have any ideas?

1 Answer 1


Start Explorer as an Administrator and navigate there once.

  • windows XP has issues when you try to connect to the same server as different users. it'll work if you use a different server "name" -- either a DNS alias, or use IP address instead of server name, etc. if win-7 has the same issues this could explain why this workaround/solution works. Commented Apr 15, 2010 at 12:20
  • @quack: Don't know about XP, I stay away from that as far as possible. But for Windows 7 the drives are not really there after startup, they'll be connected on first use. Explorer is smart enough to do that on its own, as is Far; but cmd obviously not. Add to that that network drives are per-user, they have to be connected for that user first; hence opening them once in Explorer (which makes the connect operation transparent if necessary) and then they should work until reboot.
    – Joey
    Commented Apr 15, 2010 at 13:05
  • CMD can auto-map drives temporarily if you use pushd -- i expect that'll be the same in vista/7 so maybe that's another workaround for the OP. and XP also connects on first use, but XP doesn't have as strong a "run-as" mechanism as vista/7 so maybe that drives-mapped-per-user isn't a hard/fast rule for XP. but that makes sense as an explanation for the OP's issue and your workaround. Commented Apr 15, 2010 at 13:35

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