Saturday, November 06, 2010

Mapping a Network Drive Attached to Your Belkin N+ Wireless Router's USB Slot

1. Plug the external harddrive into your computer first.
2. Give the drive a SIMPLE name... no special characters, no spaces, and 10 characters or less.
3. Click on properties and SHARE the drive.
4. Make sure you have installed the cursed and mysterious BELKIN STORAGE MANAGER. (I found it at If that link doesn't work, Google it.
5. I'm a little hazy about this damned BELKIN STORAGE MANAGER. All I know is that somehow I got it working. But there's almost no evidence of it being alive, except for an icon in the toolbar. If you don't see the icon, then it's not working, and you will NOT be able to connect your drive. So... uh... get it working. And make sure it's set to run when Windows starts. (Sorry if you're not running Windows. I know nothing about sorting this out for Mac or Linux. And I really wish I knew how to get my Android phone to see it too. Oh well.)
6. With BELKIN STORAGE MANAGER running on your computer, plug the external harddrive into your router's USB port.
7. NOTE: It WILL NOT WORK if you plug it into a USB extender. In other words, if you plug one of those USB hubs into your router's USB port, and then try and plug the drive into that hub, it won't work. No matter WHAT you try. (And if you DO somehow get that working, PLEASE let me know how.)
8. Now go to MY COMPUTER, and click on MAP NETWORK DRIVE. 
9. Assign it a letter. I used one in the middle of the alphabet, and I made it easy to remember.
10. Where it says 'FOLDER', type in \\\diskname
11. Please note that those are backslashes (\), not forward slashes (/). The numerical part of the address is pretty much a default setting. If your setting is different to that, you'll probably know it. If you DON'T know it, then you've got problems, I think. 
12. The easiest way to see if you've got that address right is to open up a web browser and type in
13. If the address is right, your Belkin setup page will appear in your browser. That's a good sign. If it doesn't, then you've either got the wrong address, or you're not connected to the router for some reason.
14. The 'diskname' part of the address you type into the FOLDER field is the name you gave the drive when you had it plugged into your computer.
15. The default in Windows Vista is for 'Reconnect At Logon' to be ticked. I'm happy with that. Means the drive will be accessible whenever you switch your machine on.
16. Click 'Finish' (not 'Browse'), and you should see the drive listed as one of the destinations in your 'Computer' folder in file explorer.

Please let me know if I've left out any steps. I THINK I've gotten it all in. But there might be some esoteric settings I forgot regarding the firewall or other stuff.