I have a very specific case here where a piece of software needs to access files on the network but will only take files coming from local drives, not the network or mapped network drives. It will also ignore symbolic links so the "mklink" solution will not work in this case, but that does not create a local drive anyway, simply a folder/shortcut.

How can I take a mapped network drive and make it appear as a local, physical drive?

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Is this some sort of performance testing software, I can't think up many situations where software would restrict the use of a normal mapped network drive.

I have found a program that might do what you are looking for though. http://www.ntwind.com/software/utilities/visual-subst.html

Perhaps you could setup an ISCSI device on your network storage device ? This seems to be supported by windows 7 and would allow a more natural solution.

Fair warning there is something to be said about fooling windows into thinking you have a local drive that is on the network and it starts treating it like one you might cause some inherent serious slowdowns on your overall PCs performance if not setup well ( I cannot vouch for any of the software ).

Some very old issues on server fault go into this for example: https://serverfault.com/questions/30669/winxp-map-network-location-to-local-folder

Please let me know if it helps you.

  • The program appears to simply be a GUI to replace the command prompt and run the "subst" command, the other answer tells me how to do this in a command line. I will try that solution and see if it works, unfortunately the network storage device is a WD MyCloud device and has a web interface and no OS. The software is software to backup my computer to that device and will only backup contents in local drives, however I would like to backup a computer running an unsupported (from WD MyCloud) OS to the device, so I need to map that computer to appear as a local drive. – Keagan Dalley Jun 29 '17 at 16:35

Having exited the Windows world in 2003, not sure if this still works or the command still exists, but the subst command might help: it allows you to create a new drive letter from a local path. It has helped me trick programs into using network storage in NT4 and Windows 2000. You probably want to make sure the software doesn't make assumptions that are broken when on a network such as concurrent access by multiple users.

  • Yes, this command still exists in Windows 7. subst v: n:\current\network\path works. I don't know if the software will recognize it as a local drive or not. – davidmneedham Jun 29 '17 at 16:05
  • Unfortunately it did not work, subst made another drive however it appeared as a network drive and not a physical drive. – Keagan Dalley Jun 29 '17 at 16:44

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