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Network Drive (Mac)

If you frequently access a file server from a Mac, it is helpful to map the network drive to your desktop. There are two ways to do this. One method is only mapped for one time use and will reset after a reboot. The other method is a more permanent route that allows the mapped network drive to always appear and mount on your desktop after system reboots and user log ins.

Method 1: Mapping a network drive to Mac OS X

This method maps a network drive that will disappear if the network connection drops or if you reboot your Mac:
  1. From the Mac OS X Finder, hit Command+K to bring up the Connect to Server window.
  2. Enter the path to the network drive you want to map, e.g. smb://fileshares/data
  3. Click Connect
  4. Enter your userID and password (type ad\before your userID:ad\userID) and click OK
    to mount the network drive
  5. The drive will now appear on your desktop and in the Finder window sidebar under Shared. ( If not visible on the desktop, see below.)

Method 2: Mapping a network drive to Mac OS X that remounts after system reboots

This method allows you to reboot your Mac and have the mapped network drive automatically remount and appear on the desktop. This is more persistent than the above method.
  1. From the Finder, hit Command+K
  2. Enter the path to the network drive you want to map, e.g. smb://fileshares/usr/userID
  3. Click Connect
  4. Enter your userID and password (type ad\ before your userID: ad\ userID) and click OK
  5. The drive is now mounted. Continue on to map for system reboot persistence
  6. Now enter into System Preferences, from the Apple menu
  7. Click on Accounts
  8. Click on Login Items
  9. Click on the + button to add another login item
  10. Locate the network drive you previously mounted and click Add
  11. Exit out of System Preferences
Your network drive will now be mapped and automatically remounted when you reboot
your Mac.
 

Making the mapped network drive visible on the Mac desktop

It is possible that the mounted drive will not appear on the desktop due to a system setting. If you want the mapped drive icon to be visible on the desktop, take the following additional steps:
  1. From the Finder, open Finder Preferences by hitting Command+, (hold down Command and press the comma key)
  2. Click the General tab
  3. Select the checkbox next to Connected Servers
  4. Close Finder Preferences
Selecting the checkbox next to Connected Servers ensures that you will see the icon on your Mac desktop. Otherwise, it will only be visible in the Finder window sidebars and Open/Save dialogues

Remounting the mapped network drive with a click

A useful additional step for either method is to create an alias of the mapped network drive. This allows you to reconnect to the share with just a click.
Follow these steps:
 
  1. Right – click on the mapped network drive on the Mac OS desktop
  2. Select Make Alias
Now you can double – click that alias to reconnect to the network drive instantly. Another way to connect to the shared drives is to click on Finder, choose Go from the top menu, then click on Connect to Server. You will see a list where the server address can be added to your Favorite Servers. Click on the saved server, then choose Connect. The far right icon (which looks like a clock) has a drop – down menu to choose recent servers.
As you may have guessed, shared network volumes are treated differently by the OS than external drives and disk images, which is why this is a different technique than what you use to. You can also mount an ISO in Mac OS X access and mount smb, which allows for scripting possibilities, if you are shares via the command line interested in a more technical approach.

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