Windows

Video: Quickly map drive letters in Windows XP with SUBST, PUSHD, and POPD

Mapping drive letters is a common task for most Windows XP users and administrators. In this IT Dojo video, Bill Detwiler demonstrates three old DOS commands that make mapping local folders and network shares a snap.

Mapping drive letters in Windows XP is a common task. It's not a complicated process, but you can save time with a few easy shortcuts. In this IT Dojo video, Bill Detwiler demonstrates two old DOS commands that making mapping folders and network shares a snap.

First, Bill looks at the SUBST command. SUBST lets you quickly and easily map a local, nested folder to a drive letter. Second, he examines the POPD and PUSHD commands. PUSHD lets you quickly map a network share from a Windows command prompt and POPD disconnects the drive.

Once you've watched this IT Dojo video, you can read the original TechRepublic articles, print the tips, and learn more ways to manage files and folders within Windows with the following resources:

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

28 comments
rjones
rjones

It's pretty funny that the IT dojo normally focuses on Windows, all the file, the green screened image has a bunch of AS400's.

jkiernan
jkiernan

Does anyone else think this is overkill? Multimedia is useful for demonstrations that may be too complex or too visual to appreciate in print alone. Simply reading "SUBST X: C:\PATH" is far simpler and not so difficult to grasp.

jeff.henry
jeff.henry

Thanks for the tips. I already see many uses for these. As for the video vs. txt I do like to read things like this as it allows me to easily read something again in case if I just did not pick up on something but I also do like that these are offered as videos as well. I was eating when I watched this so for me it was a mini lunch and learn. Sometimes it is nice to just sit back, take the hands off the keys, and just watch something.

Dan Aquinas
Dan Aquinas

I did not even bother to watch the video for some very basic reasons: how long is it? Compared to text based content, video is at a disadvantage for with text, I can generally determine within 10 seconds or so how long the content will be, and whether or not it is worth my time to read it. With video, the speaker is still making opening remarks at the 10 second point. In general, I find I can consume text content faster; i.e., I can read/skim/re-read at *MY*PACE*, not at the pace of the video producer/lecturer.

aureolin
aureolin

You know, I could have read a paragraph or two on this and had sample commands to show the syntax in about a tenth of the time it took Bill to talk about this in the video. And, I'm guessing that it would have taken a lot less time and effort to write a paragraph than produce a video. Video may be 'cool' but it is definitely content light.

msree9
msree9

Thanks you your postings.How would you un-map locally mapped driver?

rasmusdj
rasmusdj

Thanks for the tip. Nice to know :)

guy.kerckhoven
guy.kerckhoven

I'm an old-time command line user but didn't know that one ! Very useful.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

Mapping drive letters in Windows XP is a common task. It's not a complicated process, but you can save time with a few easy shortcuts. In this IT Dojo video, I demonstrate a few commands (SBUST, PUSHD, and POPD) that making mapping folders and network shares a snap. Original post: http://blogs.techrepublic.com.com/itdojo/?p=122 There are dozens more Windows XP command prompt shortcuts. What's your favorite?

canopic@clear
canopic@clear

If you want to waste time on video for illiterate readers ok, but give the reader the choice - don't treat us all as incapable of reading about a few simple commands.

canopic@clear
canopic@clear

I watched this video - but was irritated that the examples of subst and popd in the video were not repeated in the text. I like to print any useful tips and stick it in my tips hardcopy folder. In this case I had to re-view the video three times and write down the verbal and picture-based information by hand. No more please. Video is OK as long as it is optional. But all information should be included in the accompanying text. And I don't want to be told I need to find links to other articles [and wait for them to load] just to get what was only 3 or 3 lines of the most important information, omitted from the text. It is just poor marketing by Dojo to get off-side with a lot of viewers/readers.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

Dan, I appreciate your preference for text, but I would ask you to remember that many people prefer visual communication. If people didn't like visual communication mediums, our world wouldn't be filled with drawings, paintings, photographs, movies, television programming, and Internet videos. Our goal is to provide information in a variety of formats. If you read the IT Dojo blog post in which this video is embedded, you'll find links to TechRepublic articles that cover the SUBST, PUSHD, and POPD commands. You'll also find links to other articles on managing files and folders in Windows. I encourage all TechRepublic readers to choose the format that they like best.

MartyL
MartyL

But, since I'm using a MS system, I just assume out of hand that every little difficulty is Windows' fault and give whatever or whoever a second chance. I reloaded the page and the video ran fine. All the ones I've seen so far are handy tech tidbits (tidbytes?) that usually make life easier.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

If you read the IT Dojo blog post in which this video is embedded, you'll find links to the two TechRepublic articles that discuss the SUBST, PUSHD, and POPD commands. You'll also find links to several other articles that provide tips for managing files and folder within Windows. If you prefer text to video, read the linked articles online or print them for later reference. For those who prefer visual information, we offer photo galleries and videos.

clavius
clavius

Just use the SUBST command with the /D switch. Suppose you have Z: mapped to some path, to release the Z: logical drive mapping, use: SUBST Z: /D

clavius
clavius

This is a great tip. I use SUBST all the time, and I've been using PUSHD and POPD for managing local directory switching for a while. But I didn't know the bit about PUSHD auto-mapping a drive to a network resource. That should come in handy. OTOH, I don't quite get why these are being done as videos. This tip would be better suited to a standard text article than a video (IMO). I know videos are all the rage, but there are drawbacks to them in a work environment. The most conspicuous is annoying your neighbors with the audio that comes with it (or making yourself inaccessable with headphones). If you want to provide videos in order to be cutting-edge, that's fine, but I'd like to also see an alternate version that is just text that can be read silently on the screen.

aa8vs
aa8vs

If the command extensions are not enabled the PUSHD does not work quite as advertised.

dl8453
dl8453

It is a nice tool while working on the fly but is there a second command line you can type into obtain the driver letter that was just assigned? If not, then I don't believe this can be used in scripting and netuse would be necessary. Right?

jhumphrey
jhumphrey

I personally use the 'NETUSE' command quite a bit in scripts to connect to password protected remote share. I found it works quite a bit better when put in the Startup folder then trying to use the Explorer 'Map Network Drive' when the Username/Password for the share is something completely different than what the PC is set up for or is not a member of a Domain. Only downfall is that the Username/password combo is in clear text.....:-

Diggory
Diggory

pushd and popd look like they'd be very handy for scripting, save me hunting around for which drive letter not to use.. cool

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

If you read the blog post, you would have seen links to TEXT articles on the SUBST, PUSHD, and POPD commands. You would also have seen links to several other TEXT articles on managing files and folders within Windows. TechRepublic offers content in multiple formats (text, gallery, audio, and video). You can choose which format you want to use.

alex.a
alex.a

>> If people didn't like visual communication mediums, our world wouldn't be filled with drawings, paintings, photographs, movies, television programming, and Internet videos.

PureCoffee
PureCoffee

I agree with the Netuse. Works real well. What advantage does the others offer?

john.range
john.range

Bill, your video is fine, as are the other formats. It's good to have editors and contributors sharing ideas on how to do things. Don't worry about the detractors. Perhaps they could spend their time writing their own contributions and share them in this forum. Kind regards, JR

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

I respect your preference for text, that's why we offer full text for the tip. No, I don't reprint the entire text of the original tip in the IT Dojo blog, because that's mere duplication without adding anything to the original tip. I do believe that providing a video of the tip DOES add value. It gives TechRepublic members a more realistic representation of the tip's process and the outcome.

canopic@clear
canopic@clear

If you read my post 19, I gave a more complete explanation of why I found it irritating. Among other points I mentioned I don't want to have to click on links to other web pages and wait another 30 secs or so for them to load, just to get 3 or 4 important lines of text that should have been included with this article.

jkiernan
jkiernan

There's a description of your video presentation in the blog text, but not a transcript. Assorted links to other various articles doesn't really tell us your take on it. If it's just a rehash of other content, then why bother in the first place? The description was long winded enough to make me wonder why the commands weren't just described and examples given. Visual representation for these very basic typing tasks was not necessary - there was no drag'n'drop, no popups, and nothing that needed a capture of streaming visuals. Successful execution of a command from a DOS prompt simply returns another DOS prompt. Where's the need for video in that?

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