With Windows, you can easily specify a drive letter to a folder to create a logical drive. The folder will be considered by Windows and apps as a physical drive. There can be many reasons why you may like to mount a folder as a drive.
Special usecase for us
Power BI - If loading files from local computer, you like to have same address for all different computers (With no need to use parameters). You will utilize approach like:
We as IT guys with access to other systems, are often using:
In this tutorial, we are going to show you how you can mount a folder as a virtual drive using Windows
In Windows this feature can be executed using the Subst command (Wiki link). You will have to create a shortcut in the Windows Startup folder to execute this command. To access the Windows Startup folder, you need to go to the following location:
Here “username” is the login username that you accessed at Windows startup. In our case, it is Administrator.
You can also access the folder directly by pasting the above mentioned directory location in Windows explorer search and replace “username” with your actual username.
Once in the startup folder, right click in a blank area and from the context menu, hover your mouse cursor over “New”. Now, from the side menu, click on “Shortcut” and a wizard will open up.
In the wizard, you will see a blank field where you are required to enter the location of the folder which you would like to mount as a drive. Here, type the following command:
You need to replace “Location of your Folder” with the actual location of the folder which you would like to mount as a drive (along with the quotes) and “X” with the letter of the drive that you would like to give to the folder. If you don’t know the location of the path of your required folder, just access the folder and copy the path mentioned at the top.
Paste the folder inside the quotes (like in the picture below) and click on Next. Give a name to the shortcut on the next step and click on Finish.
Now, you need to open the new shortcut to create the virtual drive. You will see a new drive next to all your other physical drives and opening it will open the specified folder.
The virtual drive will automatically load whenever you will restart your PC. If you would like to delete the drive, you will have to delete the shortcut that you created, and then restart the PC to take effect.
The above method works like a charm, but it can be a bit tedious task. Especially, when you have to restart your PC to get rid of the Virtual drive. Fortunately, there is an app for doing the same that can make the process a whole lot easier.
NOTE: This software is paid with Trial for 30 days. Price is 20 USD (only lifetime access payment option)
In this tutorial, we are going to use the app Visual Substring. It is a completely free tool and doesn’t require any kind of installation. Just go to the Official website and download the zipped file (78kb).
Extract the .zip file and run the application. In the interface, click on the drop down menu below and select the Drive letter which you would like to give to your virtual drive.
Now, click on the tiny magnifying glass icon on the bottom right corner of the window and select folder which you would like to mount as a drive.
Check the checkbox below, if you would like the PC to always mount the specified folder as drive whenever you startup. Now, simply click on the green “+” icon and the folder will be mounted and displayed.
If you would like to unmount the folder, just select the folder in the interface and click on the Red “X” icon to unmount it (no Restart required). It will be removed from the interface, and you will have to go through the same process again to add.
You can also mount multiple folders using this tool. Just repeat the process and select a new folder each time to mount it as a Virtual drive.
Link to software:
We create this article as updated version of article below: