Connecting via Windows 95, 98, ME

Introduction

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, whilst 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 95, 98, and ME. At the end of the page there is a troubleshooting section.

Important! If you are running Windows 9x (Windows 95, 98, or ME), you must first configure your computer to logon to the "ITS" domain. If you have not already done so, please see the Logon from Windows 9x Computers to Active Directory guide.

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
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\\username). Although NetBIOS names should resolve (e.g. \\\\files\\username), DNS is the preferred method of name resolution. You should be connected to the resource shortly. If not, please see the Troubleshooting section at the end of this document.

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


Method 2: Internet Explorer

Please note: To use this method you must be running Internet Explorer 5 or greater, however, IMSS has some specific recommendations depending on which 9x version of Windows you are running on your computer.

For Windows 98 & ME systems, IMSS highly recommends upgrading to Internet Explorer 6, Service Pack 1. It can be downloaded directly from Microsoft's Website.

For Windows 95 systems, IMSS highly recommends upgrading to Internet Explorer 5.5, Service Pack 2. Internet Explorer 6.0 will not run on Windows 95, thus Internet Explorer 5.5 Service Pack 2 is our recommendation. Unfortunately, Microsoft is no longer offering Internet Explorer 5.5 Service Pack 2 for download, as noted in their Knowledge Base, 276369 - How to obtain the latest service pack for Internet Explorer 5.5. With that, the update can be made availalble to the Caltech community by contacting the IMSS Help Desk at x3500.

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\\username. Although NetBIOS names should resolve (e.g. \\\\files\\username), DNS is the preferred method of name resolution, as in Figure 2.1. You should be connected to the resource shortly. If not, please see the Troubleshooting section at the end of this document.

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


Method 3: Mapping Drives on Windows 95, 98, and ME Computers

1. Right-click My Computer and select Map Network Drive... to open the Map Network Drive window, as in Figure 3.1.

Figure 3.1 - Map Network Drive

2. Choose a Drive letter to map the remote resource to. In the Path field, 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\\username. Although NetBIOS names should resolve (e.g. \\\\files\\username), DNS is the preferred method of name resolution, as in Figure 3.2.

Figure 3.2 - Enter Drive letter and UNC path to share

3. If you want the drive to automatically be mapped every time you log on, check the Reconnect at logon checkbox, as in Figure 3.3. You should be connected to the resource shortly. If not, please see the Troubleshooting section at the end of this document. You should be connected to the resource shortly. If not, please see the Troubleshooting section at the end of this document.

Figure 3.3 - Reconnect at logon


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 (e.g. 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 have configured your machine from the guide, Logon from Windows 9x Computers to Active Directory.
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)