March 2005 Reader Challenge

February 2005 Reader Challenge Winners

Congratulations to the winners of our February Reader Challenge. First prize, a copy of "Securing Windows Server 2003" goes to Trish Carroll of Iowa. Second prize, a copy of "Windows Server 2003 in a Nutshell," goes to Jorge de Almeida Pinto of The Netherlands. Both books are from O’Reilly Associates Publishing. Visit http://www.windowsitpro.com/articles/index.cfm?articleid=45158 to read the answer to the February Reader Challenge.

March 2005 Reader Challenge

Solve this month's Windows Client challenge, and you might win a prize! Email your solution (don't use an attachment) to [email protected] by March 16, 2005. You must include your full name, and street mailing address (without that information, we can't send you a prize if you win).

I choose winners at random from the pool of correct entries. I’m a sucker for humor and originality, and a cleverly written correct answer gets an extra chance. Because I receive so many entries each month, I can't reply to respondents, and I never respond to a request for a receipt. Look for the solutions to this month's problem here on March 17, 2005.

The March 2005 Challenge:

During one of those “funny stories about users” sessions that IT professionals tend to engage in, one Help desk supervisor sheepishly told an amusing story about himself. He regularly holds classes to help users learn how to perform basic tasks so that he doesn't need to teach each user individually from the Help desk. During a class on mapping drives in Windows XP, he explained that instead of using My Network Places many times each day to attach to the same shared remote resource, users could get to a mapped drive quickly from the My Computer window. He told class members to open My Network Places, right-click the icon for the shared resource they’d been using, and choose Map Network Drive. He followed that with the easy instructions for assigning the drive letter.

Everyone in the class was enthusiastic about the concept of mapped drives and expressed their satisfaction about doing something so useful with just a couple of mouse clicks. For the next hour, this poor guy took phone calls that started with “it doesn’t work.” Why didn’t his instructions work?

The March 2005 Challenge Answer:

When you open My Network Places, the icons you see are shortcuts to the shared remote resources you’ve accessed. You can't map a drive to a shortcut. In fact, the shortcut isn’t dynamic, and the shared resource it represents might not even exist anymore.

To map a drive, you must use the icon for the shared resource itself. This means you must select Entire Network in the My Network Places window, and drill down through the ensuing windows to get to the computer that holds the shared resource you want to map. When you open that computer, Windows XP displays icons for every shared resource on the computer, and you can map the one you need.

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