NetUse


NET USE command is used to associate a local drive letter or device name with a shared network drive or device. Most often, the NET USE command is used for network drive mapping.

The NET USE command can be used also to disconnect a computer from a shared resource, or to display information about computer network connections.

The NET USE command also controls persistent net connections.

What network resource can I connect to using NET USE?

When connecting to a network device using the NET USE command or the NET CONNECT command, you can connect to any of the following:

  • printer – LPT1 thru LPT4,
  • serial port – COM1 thru COM4,
  • AUX1 thru AUX4
  • logical drive – A: thru Z:

Logical drives are most commonly referenced devices when using the NET USE command.

Difference between NET USE and NET CONNECT

The commands NET USE and NET CONNECT are interchangeable. Originally IBM introduced the NET USE command and Microsoft used the NET CONNECT command. The NET USE command is being used more often now and is the preferred method these days.

Where NET USE is used?

The NET USE command is only available on client computers, that is most often on desktop workstations. A “client computer” in this context refers to the relationship of the computer not to the physical configuration. A client computer is the one that connects to somewhere, the one that relies on the target resource. The NETWORK.COM or CLIENT.COM modules need to be loaded for this command to work.

Before you can use any network device or drive, it must have been previously shared using the NET SHARE command from the server machine.

How do I display a list of network connections on my computer?

When you use the NET USE command without parameters NET USE retrieves a simple list of network connections. Go to your Start menu, click Run, type cmd and hit enter. Then, type NET USE and you will see a screen similar to the following output:

Status Local Remote Network
——————————————————————————-
OK H: \\client-0001\C$ Microsoft Windows Network
OK O: \\client-0105\shared Microsoft Windows Network
OK P: \\192.168.10.128\QRM Microsoft Windows Network
OK S:  \\1-nas01\teamddm Microsoft Windows Network
Disconnected X: \\01-antivirus-s\mcafeedat Microsoft Windows Network
The command completed successfully.

The NET USE is very useful to get a list of connected network devices. If  you need information about some particular network resource that you are connected to, you can use the following command:

NET USE [DeviceName]

For example, this would be the output for “NET USE H:” where “H” is your network drive.

Local name H:
Remote name   \\client-0001\C$
Resource type Disk
Status OK
# Opens 1
# Connections 1
The command completed successfully.

How do I make network connections persistent (available after reboot)?

When mapping a network drive, you can tell the computer to remember your mapping after you restart the computer. If you want to make all future connections are persistent (auto-reconnect at login), use the following:

NET USE /Persistent:Yes

or

NET USE /P:Yes

If you want to make all future connections non-persistent, use the following:

NET USE /Persistent:No

or

NET USE /P:No

In this case, mapping will be lost when the computer is restarted.

How do I connect a user to his or her HOME directory?

Connecting a user to his or her HOME directory is often used in corporate setting where each user is allocated some space on the network in addition to his or her personal computer. Making this network location available every time the user logs into his or her computer can be accomplished using the NET USE command in a login script. The following is the way it works:

NET USE [devicename | *] [password | *]] [/HOME]

for example:

NET USE H: /Home

The devicename in this case is the HOME server/folder that is defined in Active Directory (ADUC).

In case you need to use the NET USE command to connect to a password protected file share, use the following:

NET USE [driveletter:] \\ComputerName\ShareName[\volume] [password | *]

[/USER:[domainname\]username] [/PERSISTENT:No]

The following are a few examples of this:

NET USE H:\\CorporateFileServer\Users\%Username%

NET USE W: \\CorporateFileServer\GroupShare /Persistent:No

Are you wondering what the /USER is?

How to specify USER in NET USE?

If you deal with enterprise security, you may need to provide user name to the NET USE command. There are two notations for giving it the user name. In the NET USE command /USER can be specified as:

[/USER:[dotted domain name\]username][/USER:[username@dotted domain name]

Both work the same way.

Another example is:

NET USE X: \\client-0001\ernesto /USER:cappello

This command map the disk-drive device name X  with “ernesto” folder shared from “client-001” server using “cappello” account.

If you use SAMBA to share a folder from the server, you have to use:

NET USE X: \\SERVERNAME\FOLDER <SAMBA PASSWORD> /USER:<SAMBA ACCOUNT>

therefore

NET USE X: \\client-0001\xarabas_shared ********* /USER:xarabas

How do I disconnect from a share using NET USE?

If you no longer need a connection to the network share, it is a good idea to disconnect from it so that it does not drain system and network resources. You can do so by using the following NET USE command:

NET USE [driveletter:] /DELETE

This should disconnect.

Important note: You cannot disconnect from a shared directory if you use it as your current drive or if an active process is using it. You can find out whether anything is using your drive by typing the NET USE [driveletter]:

Possible problem with NET USE

Mapping to a resource shared on the network using the NET USE command has some peculiarities. You can encounter a problem when trying to connect to a network share right after you map to it (when doing so in a script).

This is because the execution of the NET USE takes some time. When using the NET USE command in a script to map to a network drive, you may want to wait until the mapping has completed before continuing with further scripting commands.

START /wait NET USE [driveletter:] \\ComputerName\ShareName

In our example we have:

Un altro esempio più specifico è :

START /wait NET USE X: \\client-0001\ernesto

The start /wait switch ensures that files can be read from the mapped drive immediately, in other words that subsequent commands in your script execute only after mapping is complete.

Syntax problem with NET USE

When using the NET USE command, you can run into some syntax-related errors. The System error 67 occurred is a very common one.

Also, if the ServerName that you provide contains spaces, you need to use quotation marks around the text. (that would be for example “Server Name”) Not providing quotation marks results in an error message: System error 85 has occurred.

Are there other related useful networking commands?

The NET SHARE command is used at the server to share a folder to others. If you want to access this shared resource from a client, you would use the NET SHARE command.

This page provides an overview of all available networking server commands: server NET commands.

NET USE syntax

The following is the syntax for NET USE:

net use

[{DEVICE | *}]

[\\COMPUTER\SHARE[\VOL]]

[{PASSWORD | *}]]

[/USER:[DOMAIN\]USER]

[/USER:[DOTTEDDOMAIN\]USER]

[/USER: [USER@DOTTEDDOMAIN]

[/SAVECRED]

[/SMARTCARD]

[{/DELETE | /PERSISTENT:{yes | no}}]

net use [DEVICE [/HOME[{PASSWORD | *}] [/DELETE:{yes | no}]]

net use [/PERSISTENT:{yes | no}]

That is about it.

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