There are times when an application will need access to a drive letter rather than a UNC to gain access to information that may be shared over the network. Many times, users are more comfortable using a mapped network drive instead of accessing a share by its path as well. Because of this, you will need to map the path to a local drive letter. There are multiple ways to complete this, and I will show you the GUI based method as well as the command line method, which may be useful when creating batch scripts to manually map network drives when the computer starts up. This guide was created using Windows 8 as a reference, but the instructions will be similar for Windows 7 as well.
If you are working in a domain based environment, it is recommended that you use Microsoft’s Group Policy to configure mapped network drives. This can be done with either a batch file that runs when the user logs in, or by specifying the mapped drives in the group policy preferences added in Windows Server 2008 and Windows Vista.
GUI Based Configuration:
1. On the desktop, right click on This PC (Computer in Windows Vista and Windows 7) and Choose Map Network Drive…
2. Choose the Drive Letter that you would like to use for this mapped network drive
3. Enter the path to the share in the Folder box, or Browse to it by clicking Browse
4. Click Finish to Map the Network Drive
Command Line Method:
1. From the Start Menu, type cmd to search for Command Prompt
2. Right Click on the Command Prompt Icon and Choose Run as Administrator
3. Type net use \\ServerName\ShareName and press Enter
4. if you would like the drive to remain on the computer, use the switch /Persistent:yes
There are other options that can be used with this command, such as specifying a user or deleting a particular drive. You can get the help for this command by typing net use ?