Mapping a Volume to an NTFS Folder

In addition to (or in place of) a drive letter, you can assign one or more paths to NTFS folders to a volume. Assigning a drive path creates a mounted volume. A mounted volume appears as a folder within an NTFS-formatted volume that has a drive letter assigned to it. Besides allowing you to sidestep the limitation of 26 drive letters, mounted volumes offer these advantages:

• You can extend storage space on an existing volume that's running low on free space . For instance, if your digital music collection has outgrown your drive C, you can create a subfolder of your Music folder and call it, say, More Music. Then you can assign a drive path from a new volume to the More Music folder—in effect increasing the size of your original Music folder.

• You can make commonly used files available in multiple locations . Say you have an enormous collection of clip art that you store on drive X, and each user has a folder in his or her Documents folder where they store desktop publishing files . In each of those personal folders, you can create a subfolder called Clip Art and assign that folder's path to volume X. That way, the entire clip art collection is always available from any user's desktop publishing folder, and no one has to worry about creating shortcuts to X or changing drive letters while they work.

To create a mounted volume, follow these steps:

1. In Disk Management, right-click the volume you want to change. (You can do this in either the graphical pane or the tabular pane .) Choose Change Drive Letter And Paths from the shortcut menu

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2. Click Add to open the Add Drive Letter Or Path dialog box.

3. Select Mount In The Following Empty NTFS Folder. (This is the only option available if the volume already has an assigned drive letter.)

4. Click the Browse button. The Browse For Drive Path dialog box that appears shows only NTFS volumes, and the OK button is enabled only if you select an empty folder or click New Folder to create one.

5. Click OK to add the selected location in the Add Drive Letter Or Path dialog box and then click OK to create the drive path.

You can manage files and subfolders in a mounted volume just as if it were a regular folder. In Windows Explorer, the folder icon will be marked by a shortcut arrow. If you right-click the folder icon and choose Properties, the General tab will reveal that the folder is actually a mounted volume, as shown here:

And, as Figure 25-4 shows, if you click the Properties button within that properties dialog box, you'll see the status of the drive to which the folder is mapped.

If you use the Dir command in a Command Prompt window to display a folder directory, a mounted volume is identified as <JUNCTION> (forjunction point, another name for mounted volume), whereas ordinary folders are identified as <DIR> (for directory, the MS-DOS term for a folder).

Figure 25-4 The properties dialog box for a mounted drive identifies the volume that actually holds its files.


When creating mounted volumes, avoid establishing loops in the structure of a drive— for example, by creating a drive path from drive X that points to a folder on drive D and then creating a drive path on drive D that points to a folder on drive X. Windows allows you to do this, but it's invariably a bad idea, because an application that opens subfolders (such as a search) can go into an endless loop.

To see a list of all the mounted drives on your system, choose View, Drive Paths in Disk Management. A dialog box like the one shown in Figure 25-5 appears. Note that you can remove a drive path from this dialog box; if you do so, the folder remains in the same spot it was previously located, but it reverts to being a regular, empty folder.

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The following drive paths are currently set for the volumes listed below. Drive paths and volumes:

Drive Path

L3iWin7 x86 [D] \Clip Art

Shared Media Files (G:)

Figure 25-5 This dialog box lists all the mounted drives on a system and shows the volume label, if any, of each mounted drive.

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  • patrick bailey
    What is windows 7 new volume folder?
    7 years ago

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