Hot – Map SkyDrive folders as Drive letters on your PC using WebDav!

Well… this is the coolest thing I’ve seen in a while – So I have always thought that the Office Web Apps were using WebDav to pass the files back and forward, but I’ve just been too lazy to investigate it.

While suffering from a bout of insomnia (I’ve been up since 1:30am this morning), I noticed (while converting my Kids DVD Collection to DivX) that there were some new network places in my “Network Places” folder in the format xxxxxx.docs.live.net@SSL (where the xxxxxx were 6 random alphanumeric characters). “Blast!” I thought, “Bloody Spyware on my PC!”

Happily, not the case – Using Office 2010 with Web Apps is what seems to create them. As I was looking through the search results, I saw an article from a guy called Mike Plate who’s created a little tool that allows you to explore the WebDav URL’s of your own SkyDrive… and all of a sudden my eyes started to sparkle…

As the connection protocol is WebDav, there’s nothing stopping you from connecting your SkyDrive folders up as drive letters on your local machine – and leveraging the 25GB free storage space to store… well whatever the hell you want!

  • Automated Remote backup location
  • Shipping large files between PC’s
  • Shipping large files or collections of files between friends (because remember, you can secure these SkyDrive folders to whomever you want)
  • Any data that could benefit from cloud storage

However – Live Mesh does not run on Windows XP, 2003 or earlier (Microsoft’s way of giving private enterprise the bird for hanging onto XP for so long). Office 2010 and Web Connectivity still works with SkyDrive though… and it runs on XP… so if you are leveraging the SkyDrive as one of your synched storage locations, there’s nothing stopping you from hooking up that same SkyDrive folder as a drive letter on your XP computer and using RoboCopy (With or Without the GUI), RichCopy (better than RoboCopy – here’s a link directly to the tool – both are free from the boys in blue) or some other such tool to keep things in perfect harmony (like the SyncToy for XP users)… provided someone can work out how to get it working on XP. I’ve tried converting the URL to a UNC path, and while I could then create a drive mapping I could not transfer files in or out of it.

It really tweaks my melon that MS want to try and encourage people to upgrade by simply preventing the use of these value-added tools on older systems. I’ve heard the “Untested, unsupported Operating System” story before (a good example of more late night drivel from me) – but if the only reason to do it is forced obsolescence, that can make companies look really bad. So… has anyone tried installing IE9 on XP yet? I did yesterday – tried hard, got barred. Another example of forced obsolescence…

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About Brad Saide

I'm a SharePoint consultant. I'm also slowly going bald, seem to have a permanent spare tyre around my waist and enjoy socialising with friends over a beer or 10. The last 2 may possibly be related. Started working with SharePoint when the first version was in limited beta release (participated in the Technology Adoption Program while at Woolworths) and have been committed to the adoption of the technology as a business enabler ever since.
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One Response to Hot – Map SkyDrive folders as Drive letters on your PC using WebDav!

  1. Pingback: Direct Linking to assets on SkyDrive | SharePoint Blog

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