How to map network drives in Windows 95

I think we all know that Windows NT based operating systems, such as Windows 2000, Windows XP and Windows 7, provide the option to map network drives. But what you probably didn't know is that you can also map network drives on 9x based operating systems like Windows 95. See? Windows 9x isn't as useless and outdated as you thought it was.

What the hell is a network drive?

A network drive, or network attached storage drive, is a storage device that can be accessed by PCs on a local area network (LAN). A server houses the drive while other machines on the network, known as clients, access the drive remotely and view files stored on it. It can be a great way of speedily transfering files between network devices. It's like having your own private cloud storage services, only without the seizure-inducingly high subscription fees (yes, I'm looking right at you, Microsoft) and with added security since files can only be accessed by devices inside the local area network. However, in order for clients to see the drive and access its files, the user has to map the drive to the client. This article teaches you how to do just that... on Windows 95.

Please note, you may require the help of your network administrator since you will need to know both the name of the network server and the specific share name of the drive (more on share names in a future guide). However, if you're running your own server and you know both these details, then you're fine to proceed.

Please also note, this article also applies to Windows 98 and ME but it specifically covers Windows 95.

  1. Press Windows + E to open My Computer
  2. Press Alt + T, go down 1 and press Enter/Return.
  3. Pick a drive letter, any drive letter! This doesn't have to be the exact drive letter of the drive connected to the server. Also, drive letters that are already applied to drives on the client PC won't show up in the list, so don't worry about drive letter conflicts. Use your up and down arrow keys to navigate through the list of available drive letters.
  4. Press Tab. You will find a text field called path. This is where the drive is located on the server. The path is entered in the format
    \\servername\sharename
    . For example, to map a drive named Mydrive that is connected to a server named Myserver, type
    \\Myserver\Mydrive
    . In case your screen reader cuts out certain characters, there are 2 backslashes before Myserver and 1 backslash between Myserver and Mydrive. The Backslash key is typically 1 place to the right of the Shift key which is 1 place above the Control key which is at the bottom left of the computer keyboard.
  5. Once the path is typed, press tab again and you'll find a checkbox labelled
    Reconnect at logon
    . This option allows you to decide if you want Windows 95 to automatically remap the drive when you sign into your user account. I highly recommend you check this box as it will save you having to manually map the drive every time you fire up your PC and sign into Windows. Doing it manually can get quite tedious. Press the space bar to check the box.
  6. Finally, Press Tab to find the OK button and press either the space bar or the Enter/Return key. Windows 95 will contact the network server and the drive will be mapped. To test it out, go into My computer and you should see the newly mapped network drive in the list of devices. Just press enter to access the drive.
Did you know?

Windows 95 is the first Windows operating system to include the My Computer feature. Before Windows 95, in Windows 3.1 and 3.0, the file manager was the primary way to explore and manage files and drives. Microsoft fired the file manager in Windows 95. The poor guy! He had a beautiful wife and 3 kids and now he's lost his house because he has no money to pay the bills.

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