You may have several folders that you frequently access on your computer and they may be buried deep within various other folders. Folder Drives is a free tool that allows you to mount and unmount frequently used folders as virtual drives, making your files easily accessible from My Computer, Windows Explorer, and from within programs. You can create virtual drives for any folder on your local computer and on network drives accessible on your computer.
Download Folder Drives from
Folder Drives runs in all Windows versions back to Windows 95. We tested the program in a 32-bit version of Windows 7 Ultimate.
To install Folder Drives, double-click on the .exe file you downloaded.
If the Open File – Security Warning dialog box displays, click Run to continue with the installation.
The Welcome screen on the setup wizard displays. Click Next.
Read through the Software License and click Next.
The Destination Directory screen displays. If you want to install Folder Drives to a different location other than the default location listed in the edit box, use the Browse button to select another location. We accepted the default location. Click Next to continue.
When the Start Installation screen displays, click Next.
The final setup screen displays when the installation is finished. Click Finish to close the setup wizard.
Double-click the Folder Drives icon added to the desktop to open the program.
The main Folder Drives window displays. To select a folder to mount as a virtual drive, click the Browse (…) button to the right of the Select Folder edit box.
The Browse for Folder dialog box displays. Navigate to the folder you want to mount as a virtual drive, select it, and click OK.
By default, the first available letter, alphabetically, is selected as the drive letter for your virtual drive. If you want to use a different letter for the virtual drive, select one from the Available Drive Letters drop-down list.
To mount the selected folder as a virtual drive, DO NOT click Mount All. We will explain later why you should not do this. Click Create Drive, instead.
Clicking Create Drive adds the folder to the list of Virtual Drives in Folder Drives…
… and adds the virtual drive to the list of Hard Disk Drives in My Computer.
To unmount a virtual drive, select the drive in the Virtual Drives list in Folder Drives and click Remove Drive.
NOTE: If you have trouble removing a drive, see the end of this article for a method of forcefully unmounting a virtual drive using the command prompt.
There are some options available in Folder Drives that allow you to automatically start Folder Drives and/or automatically mount virtual drives when Windows starts. To access these options, click Options.
If you want to automatically run Folder Drives when Windows starts but not automatically mount virtual drives, select the Run Folder Drives in the System Tray but don’t mount virtual drives radio button.
You can also choose to automatically mount virtual drives when Windows starts but not keep Folder Drives open by selecting the Mount Virtual Drives and then close Folder Drives radio button.
To run Folder Options automatically when Windows starts AND automatically mount virtual drives you have defined, select the Run Folder Drives in the System Tray and Mount Virtual Drives radio button.
If you would rather run Folder Drives and mount virtual drives manually after Windows has started, select the Don’t run Folder Drives or Mount Virtual Drives radio button.
When you have selected the desired option, click Back to go back to the main Folder Options window.
NOTE: If you choose one of the On Windows Startup options that runs Folder Drives in the system tray, the close (X) button in the upper, right corner of the Folder Drives window does NOT close the program. It minimizes Folder Drives to the system tray. However, if there are no folders in the list of Virtual Drives and you click the close (X) button in the upper, right corner of the Folder Drives window, the program closes.
If you have no virtual drives in the list in Folder Drives, and you select a Windows Startup option that automatically mounts virtual drives on Windows Startup, the following dialog box displays. You must specify at least one folder to be mounted as a virtual drive to select an option to automatically mount a virtual drive when Windows starts up. Click OK to close the dialog box.
NOTE: Because you must specify at least one folder to be mounted as a virtual drive to select one of the options that automatically mounts virtual drives, the Windows Startup option defaults back to Don’t run Folder Drives or Mount Virtual Drives if you remove all folders from the Virtual Drives list.
If you have NOT selected a Windows Startup option that runs Folder Drives in the system tray, clicking the X button in the upper, right corner of the main Folder Drives window closes the program. Otherwise, the program is minimized to the system tray.
If you chose to run Folder Drives in the system tray, you can close the program by right-clicking on the Folder Drives icon in the system tray and selecting Close Folder Drives from the popup menu. Left-clicking the icon or selecting Show Folder Drives from the popup menu opens the Folder Drives main window.
We found that the Mount All button in Folder Drives actually removes the mounted folders from the list of virtual drives. This causes a problem when you want to unmount the folders, or remove the virtual drives. If you find that you cannot remove the virtual drives, open a command prompt by entering “cmd” (without the quotes) in the Search box on the Start menu (or in the Run dialog box in Windows XP). Enter the following command at the prompt and press Enter.
subst F: /d
Replace ‘F’ with the letter you selected as the drive letter for the virtual drive you cannot remove.
by Lori Kaufman