First let me just say thank you to anyone who is willing to offer help. I haven't worked on computers in quite a while and I am very rusty. My new boss would like for me to change his computer network so that there is only one My Documents (networked) to save to on his computer. I looked at his computer and saw that his C drive is the shared drive, (has the hand symbol) he also has a backup external hard drive -- the Z drive. He is telling me that the other computers on the network have been saving to the Z drive (not a logical drive, again -- an external backup hard drive).

Is there a way to merge all documents from both the local My Documents and the networked My Documents and make it into only one place to save on his computer?

Please help -- I know that this is probably a simple, simple task but I'm not seeing the answers.

Also, what am I missing with the mapping? The C drive on his computer is marked as the shared drive, so why are the other computers using the Z drive as the network drive?

hey, welcome to Daniweb!

You're right, theoretically this should be a very simple fix. But remember, in the IT field things go as planned about 5% of the time.

To get your documents in one place:
Open the external hard drive and look at the files to ensure all is there and well. Minimize that and goto Start->My Documents and look at the files to ensure all is there and well also. Once you're confirmed the data you're working with you could simply highlight everything on the external drive and drag it over to the My Documents folder.

things to lookout for:
1. When prompted you'll click "Yes to All" to overwrite all the duplicates BUT be careful because if you do, any versions of the files on the external drive that are OLDER than the file to be overwritten on the local drive will OVERWRITE that file.
2. Make sure you have enough space on the local computer to save all the data from the external drive.

Be very careful with #1; make sure you read it carefully ;) If I didn't explain it well may you could ask and someone else could do a better job.

also dealing with your mapped drives. Look at the letter of a mapped drive as nothing more than a label; a place holder. Since everyone has C as their primary drive it wouldn't make sense to make C go to someone elses computer, right? That's why when mapping other people's drives to your computer, you usually start at Z. Does that make sense?

sorry if this isn't very detailed, i'm on my way out. let me know if this didn't help at all lol

Hi Duki:

Thank you! I do understand the difference between a logical drive and a physical drive, I am simply lacking confidence in my abilities since it's been so long. I really just need to be sure that what I "know" and what is correct are in agreement.

Thanks again!! :-)


No problem!
So, did I answer the question you asked or are you still unsure about something?

I am still unsure, but more clear than I was, if that makes sense. If the network drive is the Z drive, then shouldn't the backup drive be a different drive?

Once all of the documents from My Documents are in one spot ... a shared file, I guess the easiest thing to do to make sure that he saves all My Documents files to the correct place is to actually change the name of My Documents to My Documents Shared? Obviously as with all the files, he's not going to want to lose a backup of important files, but at this point he's not sure which My Documents file he's actually saving to and he's confused -- hence only wanting to have one My Documents period.

I hope my rambling hasn't confused you.

Thanks again.


hm i'm a bit confused. Tell me if this is right.
Your boss has a documents folder on the external hard drive and everyone has a mapped drive on their computer labeled (Z:) that points to that external drive. What drives show up on your boss's computer?

Okay, sorry for the confusion. I guess it's because this is what is confusing me. Everyone saves to the Z drive ... aka, the network drive, but when I look on his computer the network map shows that the Z drive is the external backup hard drive ... it even has the memory icon displayed (just as the C drive has the hard drive icon).

This is a tiny network which consists of two desktop computers, a printer, and a laptop ... as far as I know. I really only looked at the system for about 10 minutes, but I found it confusing that the network drive is also the backup external hard drive????

but I found it confusing that the network drive is also the backup external hard drive????

We sort of have the same thing on my small home lan

e.g in my house:

1x desktop pc with a USB hard disk
2x notebooks

the desktop uses the USB hard disk for storing big files on for sharing with the notebooks (e.g huge videos that wouldnt fit on the notebooks disk)

the USB hard disk is also used as a backup for the desktop pcs my documents (the notebooks just use memory sticks for backups)

is your system anything like mine above?

go to each pc and type in this command
(er, start, run, cmd)

net use

do not put anything after that.

do a screenshot or screenscrape or just type the response for each pc.
list which pc is which - ie, bosses, mine, yours, etc.

r click my computer on each pc
list whats there, sans the stuff you just listed in the net use, above.

lastly, physically, what is plugged into each pc
boss has humongous external thingy, mine has nothing, etc.