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windows vistaIf you use a Windows folder a lot, I have just got a tricks to turn it to a hard disk drive. This is very useful because it lets you access the folder easily, even from My Computer. It will also be easy to gain access to that folder from the Command prompt since all you will have to do is type the letter of the drive!

  1. Click Start.
  2. In the Search box field, type CMD and press Enter.
  3. In the Command Prompt, type: subst (the letter you want to assign to your folder): (the path where the folder is located).
  4. As an Example, let’s pretend that the folder you use a lot is called test and this is its location C:\test.
  5. The final string to type in the command prompt will be:  subst x: C:\test and hit Enter. (Mind the slash direction!)
  6. If you want to know if it worked, go to My Computer. You should see a new drive called X
  7. If you want to delete the “fake” drive, type subst (the letter of the drive you created): /D In our case it will be subst x: /D
  8. Done!

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7 Comments to “How to Turn a Folder to a Hard Disk Drive In Windows Vista and XP”

  1. tblount Says:

    Too bad Vista and 7 fixed windows explorer so that it didn’t fail to open a file or folder when an alt key pad character… like alt + 255 was renamed from dos. That was the best old time security trick to making files and folders unaccessable.

    You can still use the trustedinstaller security options to restrict files
    or even hide an entire partition with Diskpart.


  2. Gregg DesElms Says:

    Age has its advantages. [grin]

  3. Web Talk Says:

    Thanks Gregg for your great comment. You are right! I am basically re-discovering old tricks which, for young users, are quite cool but rather unknown!

  4. mel Says:

    yes, and it is nice and cool! 🙂

  5. BeHI Says:

    Does it works for windows 7?

  6. Gregg DesElms Says:

    This “trick” may be new to you, but those of us who are old (I was 53 last time I checked), and who were working in the computer industry back in the old PC-DOS and MS-DOS days, before Windows, are very well aware of this “trick.” It’s been around since… well, I’d have to look it up, but I suspect the SUBST command datesas far back as version 3 of DOS… maybe further. It’s certainly older than 20 years, in any case.

    Today, for Windows users, there’s the steps on this page, of course; and they’re fine. But there’s a quite slick little freeware utility which super-simplifies the task by visualizing/graphicalizing (is that a word?) it.

    The freeware Visual Subst utility, by ntwind Software (sometimes called “vSubst,” for short) is probably all anyone needs in order to avail oneself of the power of the SUBST command in Windows.

    It’s important to realize, however, that the SUBST command — no matter how invoked — doesn’t really imbue to the SUBST’d virtual drive all the characteristics of a real hard drive. It has its limitations. Certain DOS or NT-style command prompt commands which would normally work on an actual physical (or partitioned) drive letter will not work on a virtual drive created using the SUBST command.

    The SUBST command was mostly created just to save DOS users from having to remember/type long pathnames. Using the SUBST command, one can assign a drive letter to a folder buried down several levels in the folder hierarchy (and so, therefore, the DOS path to it would be a very long one) and could then get at said folder just by typing its virtual drive letter name at the DOS prompt. This worked out nicely in batch files, for example, when one wanted, as part of a process, to copy or move files to/from the deeply-nested folder which was given a virtual drive letter to simply things; or to add, remove or rename files therein.

    Its use under Windows is just as potent. Your steps in this article clearly explain how to do it manually, but that requires a willingness to dabble at the command prompt (which is nothing more than a modern Windows version of the old DOS prompt). Some Windows users who don’t consider themselves particularly techie might balk at that… as well they should since there are commands possible there which can end Windows itself… and all the data on the machine, too. It’s not rocket science, of course, but those who don’t know what they’re doing should definitely stay away from the command prompt.

    Enter, then, the aforementioned freeware vSubst utility which will allow non-technical Windows users (or even technical ones who would just rather do it visually) to avail themselves of the powerful SUBST command without having to be command prompt experts.

    To visit the vSubst product page, point your browser at:

    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

  7. links for 2010-01-06 at DeStructUred Blog Says:

    […] How to Turn a Folder to a Hard Disk Drive In Windows Vista and XP | Web Talk (tags: windows hacks) […]

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