Connecting via Windows 7, XP, 2003, and 2000

Windows offers a number of methods to make connections to remote computers. Some of these methods are simpler than others and consistent across all Windows platforms, while others can vary slightly depending on the version of Windows you are running. This web page details three of the most common methods and provides simple instructions for each method's use on Windows 7, XP, 2003, and 2000. At the end of the page there is a troubleshooting section.

Methods:

Start --> Run
Probably the simplest and most platform-independent of all the methods. A quick and easy way to connect to a computer but only designed for temporary (logon session) connections.
Internet Explorer
Similar to Start-->Run, except with this method you use Internet Explorer to browse the remote machine. Again, only designed for temporary connections.
Mapping a Drive
This method varies slightly between all versions of Windows and, as such, we have created different directions, depending on which version of Windows you are running. The main advantage of this method is that it can be used to create permanent connections by mapping the remote resource to a drive letter - making it appear as if that resource were a local drive on your machine.

Method 1: Start --> Run

1. Click the Start menu in the lower left corner of your desktop, and select the Run... option, as in Figure 1.1.

Figure 1.1 - Select Run from the Start Menu

2. In the Run window, enter the UNC path to the share you are trying to reach (e.g. \\server\share) as in Figure 1.2. Where possible, you should use the full DNS name of the server (e.g. \\files.caltech.edu\share). Although NetBIOS names should resolve (e.g. \\files\share), DNS is the preferred method of name resolution. For example: \\files.caltech.edu\username.

Figure 1.2 - Enter the share path in UNC format in the Run box

3. If the account you are logged on with does not have permission to access the resource, an authentication window may pop up, requesting a username and password, as in Figure 1.3.

Figure 1.3 - The prompted authentication window may appear

4. Please enter your username in the form ITS\username, along with your IMSS password, as in Figure 1.4a & 1.4b. In the event that the authentication window has a Domain field, simply enter your username in the Username field and "ITS" in the Domain field. You should be connected to the resource shortly. If not, please see the Troubleshooting section at the end of this document.

Figure 1.4 - Enter username in the form ITS\username


 


Method 2: Internet Explorer

Please note: To use this method you must be running Internet Explorer 5 or greater. However, for all platforms except Windows 95, IMSS highly recommends upgrading to Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1. It can be downloaded directly from Microsoft's Website.

Please note: Windows XP Service Pack 2 updates this operating to Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 2. IMSS highly recommends upgrading to this version, if possible.

1. Open Internet Explorer and, in the Address box, enter the UNC path to the share you are trying to reach (e.g. \\server\share). Where possible, you should use the full DNS name of the server (e.g. \\files.caltech.edu\share). Although NetBIOS names should resolve (e.g. \\files\share), DNS is the preferred method of name resolution, as in Figure 2.1.

Figure 2.1 - Enter the UNC share path in IE's Address box

2. If the account you are logged on with does not have permission to access the resource, an authentication window may pop up, requesting a username and password, as in Figure 2.2.

Figure 2.2 - The prompted authentication window may appear

3. Please enter your username in the form ITS\username, along with your IMSS password, as in Figure 2.3. In the event that the authentication window has a Domain field, simply enter your username in the Username field and "ITS" in the Domain field. You should be connected to the resource shortly. If not, please see the Troubleshooting section at the end of this document.

Figure 2.3 - Enter username in the form ITS\username


Method 3: Mapping Drives on Windows 2000, 2003, and XP Computers

1. Select and then right-click the My Computer icon, found on either the Desktop or on the Start Menu, and then select the Map Network Drive... option to open the Map Network Drive window, as in Figures 3.1a & 3.1b.

Figures 3.1a & 3.1b - Access the Map Network Drive Dialog Box

or

2. The Map Network Drive dialog box will appear. Choose a Drive letter to use as the mappped drive for the remote resource, as in Figure 3.2.

Figure 3.2. - The prompted Map Network Drive window will appear, select a drive letter

3. In the Folder field enter the UNC path to the share you are trying to reach (e.g. \\server\share) as in Figure 3.3. Where possible, you should use the full DNS name of the server (e.g. \\files.caltech.edu\share). Although NetBIOS names should resolve (e.g. \\files\share), DNS is the preferred method of name resolution. If the account you are logged on with does not have permissions to view the resource and you wish to specify an alternate username and password with which to connect, click the different user name link.

Figure 3.3. - Enter the UNC path to share in the Folder field for Windows 2000, 2003, and XP

4. The Connect As... box will appear, as in Figure 3.4.

Figure 3.4 - The Connect As... Dialog Box

5. Please enter your username in the form , along with your IMSS password, as in Figure 3.5. In the event that the authentication window has a Domain field, simply enter your username in the Username field and "ITS" in the Domain field. You should be connected to the resource shortly. If not, please see the Troubleshooting section at the end of this document.

Figure 3.5 - Enter username in the form ITS\username

 


Troubleshooting

Error: "Network path not found"
This usually indicates a name resolution problem. Check you have the correct path to the share and that you have spelled it correctly. If both are correct, check your network settings - i.e. that you have the DNS and WINS servers configured correctly. If you cannot connect using the DNS form (\\server.caltech.edu\share), try using the WINS form (\\servername\share). Finally, if all else fails, you could try using the server's IP address (\\131.215.x.x\share).
Error: "Incorrect password or unknown username"
Check you have the necessary permissions to view the resource you are trying to connect to. Also, make sure you have typed your username and password correctly. Make sure you are connecting with your username in the form ITS\username.
Error: "You are already mapped to the resource" or "conflicting credentials"
This usually indicates you are already mapped to the server with a different username. Windows will only allow you to connect to one server with one set of credentials (username and password). For example, you cannot connect to \\server1.caltech.edu\share1 with one username and \\server1.caltech.edu\share2 with another. However, you could connect to \\server2.caltech.edu\share1 with a different username, since it is a separate server.
If you need to change the credentials you are mapped to a resource with, you can either:
1. log off - if you have only made a temporary connection (if you used Start->Run, IE or mapped a drive without choosing reconnect at logon)
2. disconnect the network drive (if you mapped a drive and chose to reconnect at logon)