Using Mapped Drives with IIS

We strongly recommend that all users upgrade to Microsoft Internet Information Services (IIS) version 7.0 running on Microsoft Windows Server 2008. IIS 7.0 significantly increases Web infrastructure security. For more information about IIS security-related topics, visit the following Microsoft Web site:For more information about IIS 7.0, visit the following Microsoft Web site:


This article contains information about using mapped network drives for Web sites and virtual directories with IIS.

When you create or administer a Web site or virtual directory, the option to browse for the physical location where the content is stored for that site or virtual directory includes mapped drives. This may be interpreted as a way to keep the content on a network share accessible through the mapped drive; however, because the nature of drive mappings, this is not a viable option. If you prefer to keep your content on a remote computer, then create the Web site or virtual directory with a universal naming convention (UNC) path to point to the share on the remote computer.

More Information

Drive mappings are an extension to the net use command and are created on a per-user basis. That is, the entries for drive mappings exist under the Hkey_Current_User registry key for the user who maps to the network drive. Also, drive mappings are created with the credentials of the user who is currently logged on.

A possible work around is to log in to the console of the Web server as a user who may need to be authenticated through the Web server, and then create the mapped drive as a persistent drive (Reconnect at Logon) for that user account. This can cause performance degradation because the user account that you are connecting with may need to be authenticated twice for access, once by IIS and a second time to create the mapped drive.

The preferred method of accessing content for the Web server that exists on a remote computer is to use shares that follow the universal naming convention (UNC).
For additional information, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

222069 IIS 4.0 Requires Username and Password When Using a Remote Computer
207671 Accessing Network Files from IIS Applications


For additional information on mapped drives and the net use command, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

135665 Connection Established in MS-DOS Session Is Not Reconnected
149984 Accessing Network Drives Created in Services Under Windows NT
103390 Network access validation algorithms and examples for Windows Server 2003, Windows XP, and Windows 2000

154738 Connect Network Drive Caches First Credentials Supplied