Tag Archives: Windows

Mounting a drive as a directory

Many people may know Windows has a subst.exe command which allows you to temporarily substitute a folder on your computer for another drive letter.

Windows 7 (may be available on other operating systems too, it’s probably alway been there but I’ve not noticed it before!) has an additional interesting feature that lets you map a complete hard drive to a virtual folder on another drive. Assuming you have two drives in your computer, To enable this, first go to Control Panel > System and Security > Create and format Disk Partitions. This loads up the disk management console:

Disk Management Console

From here, right click on the drive you want to mount as a virtual directory, and select ‘Change Drive letter and paths”:

Right-Click menu

To mount a partition as a virtual directory first the existing drive assignment must be removed. Click on the existing drive letter and select the Remove button. Assuming you’ve read the warning about removing a drive letter assignment and clicked yes to remove, enter the drive letter assignment menu again, and this time select the ‘Add’ button. (Tip: you must create a directory first, click the New Folder button under the Browse for directory dialog to create one.)

Assigning a directory

Click ok and open Windows explorer. It is now possible to see this directory as a linked folder:

This is especially useful to extend the space on an existing machine while not requiring operating system upgrades, re-installs and so on.

Windows 8 developer preview

I recently downloaded the developer preview version of Windows 8 and installed it into a Virtual machine. Obviously I was expecting some teething problems as I installed it, and I got them!.

First problem was that I downloaded the 64 bit version, with the intention of trying this in Oracle VirtualBox, however I could not get as far as the setup before it crashed with an unrecoverable error!.

Not to be deterred, I downloaded the 32 bit version instead. At this point I thought I’d try it in Virtual PC instead, the thought being that a Microsoft product is more likely to work with a Microsoft Virtualisation engine than an Oracle one!. When I tried this version in VPC, I entered the setup only to find an error “HAL_INITIALIZATION_FAILED”. Again, I was stopped dead!

I did get the 32 bit version installed and working under VirtualBox, and I did get the 64 bit version working on a Hyper-V instance.. This enabled me to get it installed and up and running…

During the install, I found some interesting things. One thing that could be nice is the ability to log in via a Windows Live ID. This should mean that things like bookmarks, favourites, personal settings etc should all be synchronised between devices. I guess that could be useful, although probably not if you have a Windows 8 computer and an iPhone/Android I guess! 🙂

Options for logging into the computer
Options for logging into the computer

Having gone through the setup options which are mostly very similar to other Windows installations, I was presented with the Welcome/login screen. This is much prettier than previous versions of Windows so I thought I’d share it!

Windows 8 Welcome Screen
Windows 8 Welcome Screen

So, from beginning starting to install the Virtual Machine to being ready to login took a little under 20 minutes – this is much quicker than previous versions of Windows, easily as quick as if not quicker than most Linux installations that I’ve done, and I’m told is quicker than a Mac install, although I’ve no personal experience of this. Next post will concentrate on some things that looked a bit different to previous Windows versions once I logged in.