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Author Topic: Does anyone have know why you cannot map a drive letter to an FTP drive  (Read 2370 times)
questorfla
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« on: November 15, 2014, 09:59:04 PM »

If this setup had worked as described in Windows it would have solved a long running problem with remote access to network resources.  This is the other half of why I needed that utility to change the mapping for a drive letter depending on which network the user was connected to.

Due to the speed (or lack thereof) i had put off even trying until recently.  The service we use for CLOUD storage of these fies has to run a client program to function.  This "client" effectively hides "what is really happening" so the user thinks their files have magically popped up in their cloud storage in seconds.  Naturally they keep loading more till done.  All that really happens is that the title of the file (or maybe not even that) is loaded long before all the data is transmitted so it LOOKS like it is there, but only to the person who just uploaded it.

No one wants to see the REAL speed of a 10MB upload to a cloud drive over a wifi connection running off a cellular router that probably is not even connected to 3G.

Network speed is always going to be a problem but i would rather the Users SAW their file was "in transit" and not THINK that they can shut down their system and forget it.  The others in their group who are patiently waiting for those files to show up in the shared folder eventually complain.  To me of course.  The UPloader swears they saw the file "Go uP" so it must be IT 's fault? 

Windows 8.1 plainly offers the option of creating a "network Place" just like Windows 7. Then adds the extra magic of offering to "View Ftp Site in File Explorer" which THEN offers you "Easy Access"  to "Map as Drive".

Wow.  If only it worked.

Everything works as it should including the user and password verification (which you have to do twice though it doesn't tell you that).  This would  not be quite so bad if it were not for the fact that if you BUY a 3rd party program, ( Like WebDrive )you CAN do it just as easy (or easier) than above.  But only with their help.
 
No one I have asked seems to know why.  Webdrive sure isn't going to tell me but why would MS put in something that useful and then NOT make it work?   Can't even map a drive letter to MS One Drive as far as I know. mad

Anyway, if anyone has a clue as to what the issue is, it would be appreciated. So many people have posted that the thing works when all they are getting is the same old "Network Place" which will not work as a reference point in a database program.  It MUST be on a specific drive letter referenced path.
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4wd
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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2014, 11:11:50 PM »

Not the answer to your question but perhaps a free alternative: ftpuse

Quote
The FTPUSE command maps a remote share (FTP server) as a local drive, so you can use the FTP server of your choice as a local hard drive. FTPUSE is a free application which was developed during production of the network backup suite Ferro Backup System, but disks mapped using FTPUSE can be accessed by any application (e.g. Windows Explorer, Total Commander, MS-DOS command shell).

Works here under Win8.1 Pro x64.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2014, 11:16:52 PM by 4wd » Logged

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questorfla
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« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2014, 01:15:53 AM »

Thanks and Sorry it doesn't work for me.  And it seems it doesn't for many others as well..  It would have been nice.  I tried it to even thought the explanations of why it worked sounded a but "off?"  
Have you managed to get t to work?  I researched it through StackOverflow and many others and found all kinds of people getting odd problems yet there would always seem to be one or two who got it to work.  You would think they would be the MOST popular program on the market.  

My "pet Peeve" is still with MS in that if they can;t do it why do they tell you how to do it and provide all the prompts just to fail.  This has all the signs of being a disabled capability
 Like something they put in and decided it was a bad idea but too late to get it all back out so they crippled it.  I'm just paranoid in my old age.

But if you have ever tried to map to your own OneDrive, you will get an idea of what I mean.  it is so convoluted that by the time you finally get it to work, it isn't worth it.
I'm going to keep looking on this one.  Maybe try some of the weird settings in FTP use like it says to use a non standard ftp port.
If I find the solution I will be sure to post it here first.

If you could get it to work, you could run your own drop-box.  ELDOS is the company that has something to do with the "trick" to get the network place to show as a network drive letter.
Setting the FTP to a network place is a breeze but i MUST have a REAL drive letter designation.  How did you get by with that DOKAN file System and what is it?
Also what FTP server did you connect to.  That may be my other problem.  Maybe I have to do something at the server end?
If your FTP site is one I can test to, please send me the coordinates.  I have FTPUSE loaded along with netdrive, webdrive and a few orthers.  Webdrive was the ONLY one that worked without a flaw but.. Not Free.
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4wd
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« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2014, 01:53:20 AM »

Have you managed to get t to work?

I installed it, it worked ... it was that simple.

UAC did pop up asking if it was OK to install but that was about it.
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questorfla
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« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2014, 03:25:19 AM »

just to confirm.  What you got was a normal drive letter thn could be accessed just any other.
If you go to a dos cmd prompt, you can type in x: and it open to yout ftp folder.
once there, you can create folders, copy files into them and have no issues doing so.  They upload when sent & download back if pulled.?

For all intents, a Normal Shared Network folder accessed with a drive letter.  If so, i m doing something very wrong.
Please send me the link to dl the copy you got maybe mine was corrupted?
You did not have to  setup  anything odd?, you are using port 21?  On the FTP server, was it remote from your home.
If I still cannot get in to work I will IM your with credentials to access the FTP server at the office here and give you a login to see if you can get into it.
if you can, then Christmas came early!

This is a normal windows 2008R2 Box with IIS setup for FTP.  I can access the shared folder with no problem while on the same local network
That is essential for this to work.  This means people IN the office have the full 1GB data throuput for all access to those files as a normally mapped network drive to letter R:.
BUT
when they leave the office to travel or go home as soon as they try to connect to R: the NetSet program i found will switch their mspping to FTP-USE.  Same drive-letter , same files.  Just slower.  When they come back to office, the NetSet program switches them back to the local High Speed drive mapping.  I would be a Real Hero for a change. smiley

I still don't know why WINDOWS wont work when it plainly says it will.

Looking forward to the PROOF of the Pudding (Hope it is 180Proof smiley) Thmbsup
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4wd
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« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2014, 06:11:07 AM »

You might be out of luck, I couldn't get it to create a folder, nor could I copy something to it - I wonder if it was a permission thing at the other end?

Would it not be better to connect to an office VPN when they're out roaming and then use UNC addressing?
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40hz
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« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2014, 11:01:04 AM »

Would it not be better to connect to an office VPN when they're out roaming and then use UNC addressing?

4wd beat me to offering that suggestion. Grin
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wraith808
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« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2014, 12:03:52 PM »

I use ExpanDrive... though there are several others.
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4wd
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« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2014, 06:23:37 PM »

DirectNetDrive - works OK, can read/write  you get a progressbar down near the systray whenever something happening, (WebDAV, SFTP, and FTP).  Free for personal use.




I'd still go with the VPN + UNC myself ... as a bonus it requires no mapping of drives as long as the programs understand UNC - and they should unless they're old or very poorly programmed.  Wink
« Last Edit: November 16, 2014, 06:33:26 PM by 4wd » Logged

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questorfla
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« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2014, 12:36:18 AM »

OK.
I fought the good fight but I know when to give up. (Sometimes).
go here

This may be the same thing some others have posed but I will state for the record that I tried a multitude of these with no success.  This one says NetDrive V 2.3.2
Each one has it's own odd way of wanting ever single piece of the path structure to be laid out.  Some wanted the name in front of the IP (I am just using the IP rather than a domain name for now).
But at any rate, at the end of my ROPE (the one my wife has around my neck) out of he blue, the LAST one, finally clicked.  I got everything in the right order, it opened perfectly, and best of all made a neat menu to allow for multiple other drives which will be fun to try later.  In theory I can give my SkyDrive it's own letter, my DropBox its own letter etc ad infinitum.  (or ad nauseum)

But the darned thing worked.  I went in and created a bunch of files and folder and remoted into the server to check and be sure they were there.

Nothing like Success before going to bed smiley

Thanks to everyone for their input .  I never knew thee were so many alternatives.  Even if they don't work for ME  I am sure they work for someone.

4WD.  Highly suggest you check this one out on whatever you were trying.  it took me a few tries to get the config right but the layout is so intuitive it did not take that long.
Just like the old days.  And it auto loads on startup.

NOW  I just have to get it to auto switch from the LOCAL map to the Netdrive  when the employees leave the office and.. Another One Bites The Dust! smiley Thmbsup

Thanks ALL
\
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4wd
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« Reply #10 on: November 17, 2014, 01:24:24 AM »

4WD.  Highly suggest you check this one out on whatever you were trying.

Already looked at NetDrive but considering its cost I thought DirectNetDrive might work out a bit cheaper for you  Wink

But I don't need something like this since I don't do any mapping of drives ever, (direct S/FTP or UNC for me).
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questorfla
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« Reply #11 on: November 17, 2014, 10:06:51 AM »

and you are right!  The problem is I cannot get any of the others to work.  And as a matter if principle I am sort of "upset" that the built in functions of Windows do NOT work at all.  That is the real kicker.  This isn't supposed to need anything extra and MS has been far less than forthcoming to all their loyal customers who asked WHY!
All I know is that when you TRY, the connection between the two systems is made but fot one reason or another you end up with no communication.  The errors all indicate a problem with authentication . 
But always the same 0x00..... stuff.  I think I read ever report from every user but no one got a single nit of help.

you are right about your DirectNet I wish I could have gotten it to sonect and I do not know why it would not.   I can tell you something else too.
I DID find one case (ie: I got it to work ONE time) on one system where I made a single entry in the registry that fixed everything.
THAT system is at the office.  If I can find out WHY what I did worked for it....
Maybe I can post a Free fix for all.

The info I got to make the change came with some interesting material attached which I may just send the whole link to.  Worth reading if true.
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questorfla
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« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2014, 05:59:22 PM »

before I forget to do so, I may have just found out why it worked on the ONE system I tried at the office.
That one system uses Windows 7.  The only one left.  On that one, I can map a letter to an FTP drive with only a single registry edit change.  None of the Windows 8 systems will allow it though registry change or not
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BenTekk
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« Reply #13 on: November 18, 2014, 09:12:26 AM »

If you are looking for another option, try WebDrive.

I use it at work and home. Isn't free, but I use it to map drive letters to FTP, SFTP, and lots of my cloud services like Google Drive and I still have tons of space left.
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MilesAhead
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« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2014, 01:55:59 PM »

before I forget to do so, I may have just found out why it worked on the ONE system I tried at the office.
That one system uses Windows 7.  The only one left.  On that one, I can map a letter to an FTP drive with only a single registry edit change.  None of the Windows 8 systems will allow it though registry change or not

You probably already tried this but did you try installing it in Windows 7 compatibility mode?  Not everyone knows there's also compatibility settings for the install(not sure if that's for windows installer only or all installers though.)
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SouthRiverTech
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« Reply #15 on: November 20, 2014, 11:26:16 AM »

questorfla,

One thing to keep in mind about your difficulties doing the mapped drive through Windows 8.1 is that this isn't Microsoft's core focus.  Their revenue comes from selling Office and operating systems.  

We appreciate your comments that WebDrive worked so easily.  Because this is our core business, and is how we make revenue, we have to make it work.  We've also been doing drive mapping to FTP and other remote servers since 1998 (long before MS was doing it).  Microsoft does many things, but sometimes it's better to find a specialist.
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x16wda
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« Reply #16 on: January 04, 2015, 07:42:06 PM »

I know this is a late addition, but happened to see this comment from Gizmo about NetDrive and thought of this thread:

NetDrive is available at http://www.netdrive.net/download.html and is a 49 MB download.  The program is malware-free according to VirusTotal and Web of Trust.  Prices start at $40 after the 30-day evaluation period ends. However, after the evaluation period, the program will continue to work and will allow you a single connection. So if you only need to create one external drive letter, such as to your web site or your Google Drive, the program still remains very useful indeed.
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rmanning4
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« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2015, 07:36:49 PM »

I use this every day both at work and at home The best!

The File Transfer Client You Already Know How to Use

WebDrive makes accessing and editing files on corporate SFTP, WebDAV and SharePoint Servers as easy as editing any file on your computer. Easily update files on Amazon S3 or other cloud servers.  Open, edit, save. It’s that simple.

Easy to Use

WebDrive’s instantly familiar interface lets you fluently work with cloud storage, local files and files on remote servers through one common access point. Use WebDrive instead of the traditional FTP Client, WebDAV Client or SFTP Client to reduce the steps of updating remote content. Connect to popular cloud storage servers through the convenience of a drive letter.

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WebDrive was created with IT managers in mind, so supporting WebDrive on a large number of desktops is simple.

No more installation insanity. WebDrive lets you preconfigure settings and distribute them to your users. Protocols, ports, IP Addresses and other settings are configured once by the IT group. Users don’t need to know any information except their username and password. This avoids installation errors and manually configuring dozens or hundreds of PCs.

Reduced Training and Troubleshooting. Since users already know the WebDrive interface, you reduce the training time often associated with implementing new applications. WebDrive’s cost-effective multi-seat licensing allows easy standardization of your file transfer software, rather than having users download a variety of applications that your IT team has to support.

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