Windows 7 comes with a new interesting user friendly option in the “Homegroup” feature that can be used to share files and folders between computers that are part of the same Workgroup.
[ Tip: Restore Windows 7 In Stable State by System Restore Point ]
However, it might be necessary to map a network drive in order to access the contents of a folder directly. Data accessibility options are enhanced if a drive is mapped from Windows XP to Windows 7. We here, take a look at the process of mapping a network drive between two Windows 7 users, and from Windows XP to Windows 7.
Before initiating the process make sure that all the computers, on which the process is going to be carried out, are part of the same workgroup on a home network.
[ You might also like to read: Difference Between Windows 7 32-Bit And 64-bit Version ]
Mapping a Network Drive in Windows 7
Open “Computer” and on the toolbar, at the top, select “Map Network Drive”. You can also press “Alt+T” after opening “Computer” and then select the “Map Network Drive” option from under the “Tools” menu. The “Map Network Drive” wizard opens up.
Specify the drive letter (indicating the drive you want to map onto). Type in the location or browse to select the specified folder to be mapped. Select “Reconnect at logon” if it is preferred to be available after a reboot. Then click “Finish”.
In case that the two computers aren’t in the same workgroup, it may happen that you are asked to enter a username and a password to carry out the mapping process.
Select your option to remember your credentials if you preferred to be logged in every time you want to access the folders. Click OK. The drive is mapped onto and the contents of the folder opens up.
When “Computer”, is opened, the mapped drive is shown under the “Network Location” group.
The above mentioned process also works in case you connect to a server drive. We’ll see how to connect to a “Home Server” drive.
Mapping a Windows XP drive to windows 7
In some cases, to increase the accessibility to folders and files , it is needed that you map your Windows XP drive to that of Windows 7. However, some problems might be faced when you try to map this XP drive with Windows 7. A message appears declaring that “You don’t have permission to access the specified folder”. We here, look upon the problem and discuss its solution when you try to map onto an XP folder on your network from Windows 7 system. Even if you try to map directly, you are asked to enter a username and a password, which you on entering are shown to be not valid and that the logon has failed. This is irrespective of whatever username or password you enter.
To discuss the problem and to solve it, we take a simple example. We, here, try to map a XP Media Centered Laptop from a Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit computer, where each machine has a different password.
Fixing the problem, needs setting up the Windows 7 local account as a user on the Windows XP computer to make it a part of the Administrators group. This enables it to access the full drive. In the Windows XP computer, right click on “My Computer” on the desktop and select “Manage”.
The “Computer Management” box appears. Navigate to : System Tools> Local Users and Groups> Users. On the right hand part of the box, right click on an empty area and select “New User”.
The “New User” screen appears and here you have to fill the user credentials (Username, Full name, Description and Password). Click to disable the option “User must change password at next logon” and to enable the option “Password never expires”. Then click “Create”.
Notice that the new user created is added to the list of users in the “Computer Mangement” box. Exit from the box and reboot your system.
After the Windows XP system resumes from restart, you can access the shared folders on the XP computer from the Windows 7 computer. However, you may not be allowed to access the whole drive.
To access the shared folders in the Windows XP machine, first select “Map Network Drive” from the toolbar in “Computer” or from the “Tools” menu by pressing “Alt+T” in “Computer” in the Windows 7 computer. Click to browse for a folder in the “Map Network Drive” and select the Windows XP Media Centered Edition. You can now enter the username or password you have specified earlier in the Windows XP system.
You are now permitted to browse and share the Shared Folders on the Windows XP computer from the Windows 7 one. However, on trying to access the full drive, you find that you are restricted to do so. It is shown that you are not enabled to log in with your credentials and that “Access is denied”.
To access or to map the full drive, it is mandatory to add the Windows 7 user to the “Administrators Group” in Windows XP. In order to do so, right click on “My Computer” in the Windows XP computer, and select “Manage”. In the “Computer Management” box that appears, navigate to System Tools> Local Users and Groups> Groups .On the right hand part of the “Computer Management” box, double click on the file “Administrators”.
This opens the “Administrators Properties” box. Click on “Add”.
Enter in the name of the user you have created and click on “Check Names”. The path of the location will be entered by default. Click OK.
The created user is now seen as a member of the Administrators Group. Click “Apply” and then OK.
In the Windows 7 machine open “Map Network Drive”. Specify the drive letter for the connection and the folder you want to connect to. Make sure to add a “$” sign after the local drive letter in the “Folder” box. Select to enable “Reconnect at logon” and press ENTER.
Log in with your credentials ( Username and Password). You are enabled to access or map the full drive. The contents of the drive in Windows XP opens up in your Windows 7 machine allowing full accessibility.
Similar to a mapped network drive in Windows 7, the network drive of XP is also shown under the “Network Location” group in Windows 7 when you open “Computer”. If you want to disconnect or remove a mapped network drive, just right click on the drive in “Computer” and select “Disconnect”.
This process of mapping network drives between two different versions of Windows comes to help when you have these different versions of Windows running in the same network.