Effective Living > EducationIowa CityUniversity of Iowa

Introduction

These instructions for mapping drive letters manually were originally written back in 2008 as an alternative to the instructions provided by ITS at the University of Iowa. There are generally two ways to map and refer to network drives: (1) by drive letter or (2) as a network resource. With computers there are often several ways to accomplish a given task, so these instructions were intended to offer a simpler and shorter method for mapping drives.

Given the numerous device operating systems in use today, and ongoing changes to campus policies, practices, systems, and resources, it’s generally best to first seek out instructions provided by ITS. If you’re unable to find online materials, you can try contacting ITS by calling 319-384-4357 or via email to its-helpdesk@uiowa.edu.

Departmental computers should be configured so that network drives are automatically mapped. If you’re using a personal computer for work-related tasks, you may want to consider switching to a departmental or lab computer. These generally have the latest software and should be more secure than a personal computer. Network printers and other resources will be more readily available. Support staff will be more able to help you.

If you must use a personal computer for work, make sure it’s secure and that nobody else uses the computer. If you do share the computer with someone, make sure they use their own user account and that all accounts on the computer are set to ‘Standard’ for daily use and have a separate user account on the computer for Administrative tasks (updates and software installation). If you need help with this, and are unable to get assistance elsewhere, feel free to contact us.

Resources

The following articles on the University of Iowa ITS website are the most recent as of 3 March 2017.

Overview

Computer users at the University of Iowa typically work with files stored in two or three network storage areas. The process for manually accessing these is called “mapping” the drives. This means that drive letters (such as H and L) will be assigned to network storage areas. Drive H is assigned to ‘personal’ work-related files (a home directory) and Drive L is assigned to files you share among members of your office, division, department, or program. In some office environments, it may be possible to work only with a shared drive. If you have work related documents that you don’t want others to have access to, you can use your personal H: drive. There are some office environments where a folder will be accessible to only a few people in the office. An example would be HR files.

Instructions

Below are the Windows instructions for mapping drive letters to access network storage. These instructions were originally written in 2008. On 3 Mar 2017 they were revised to be more generalized for a variety of situations.

  1. Right click on my computer and choose Map network drive.
  2. Select H from the drop-down list as a drive letter.
  3. For the server information, use \\home.iowa.uiowa.edu\hawkid (replace hawkid with your own HawkID).
    • Note: The actual syntax for the server address will be different based on college and department. This is where you really need to contact someone at the Help Desk or your local IT support administrator, or perhaps a colleague who already has successfully mapped their network drive.
  4. Click the different user name link and provide iowa\hawkid then password. Click Finish. A window should open up showing you the contents of your H drive. Close the window.
    • Note: Even with a local home network or business network, you will want to used this feature so that Windows remembers your login credentials. Some systems have security configuration that doesn’t permit saving login credentials for network drives so you’ll need to authenticate again when connecting later.
  5. Continue to map the L: drive by right clicking on my computer and choose Map network drive.
  6. Select L from the drop-down list as a drive letter.
  7. For the server information, use: \\shared.iowa.uiowa.edu\CLAS_Departmental\department
    • Note: Replace department with your own department name. This is where you really need to contact someone at the Help Desk or your local IT support administrator, or perhaps a colleague who already has successfully mapped their network drive.
  8. Click the different user name link and provide iowa\hawkid then password. Click Finish. A window should open up showing you the contents of your H drive. Close the window.

The drive(s) should be mapped automatically the next you start the computer, although you may need to authenticate again by entering your HawkID and password.

Benefits to Drive Mapping

Using drive mapping makes it easy to find the location by going to My Computer. Some programs require an actual drive letter to be assigned for network folders rather than a network location. So, mapping a drive helps for this reason.

Apple Settings

Apple users can select Connect to server from the Go menu while in Finder, then provide \\shared.iowa.uiowa.edu\CLAS_Departmental\departmentname (Replace department with your own department name) to map a drive.

  • Note: The actual syntax for the server address will be different based on college and department. This is where you really need to contact someone at the Help Desk or your local IT support administrator, or perhaps a colleague who already has successfully mapped their network drive.

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Document History

  • 20170303fr1821. Added links to the most recent UIOWA ITS documents. Rewrote the document to be more general and applicable for the long-term.
  • 20110311fr1024. Revised to be more concise and correct for changes in drive mapping syntax.
  • 20080407at1120. Document created.