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OS X Concepts for Windows Users: How to Map a Network Drive — Windows Style

June 28, 2010DavidOS X0

I’m a lifelong Windows user and I just purchased my first Mac — a 21.5″ iMac — 3.06/4GB/500GB. In this series I’ll list some tips and concepts that will be valuable to Windows users who are moving to the Mac and OS X for the first time.

As a Windows user, I like to map network drives and have the shortcut icons appear on my desktop. In OS X 10.6, getting the network drive configured and setting up the share was easy — it was getting the icon on the desktop that was difficult and took time to figure out.

First, establish your network share and note that in OS X 10.6, you no longer have a Windows Share option in the Sharing section of System Preferences — so don’t waste your time looking for it.

Now if you have a workgroup configured on your Windows machine, and you have sharing enabled (it doesn’t matter what type of Windows sharing you are using), then 10.6 should automagically pick up your network shares in the finder.  You can read this post to see how to connect OS X to a Windows workgroup.  If you go to the finder, you should see the name of the device with a computer icon under SHARED.

Once you have the shares established, the getting them to show on the desktop as icons (as we had in Windows) is as easy as going to Finder, and then selecting Preferences. Once you are in Finder > Preferences, head down to the SHARED section. There you will see a Connected Servers option. Make sure this box is checked and you should see the shares on your desktop. I can’t tell you how long it took for me to figure this out but I found it by digging around.

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