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How to Turn Your iOS Device into an External Drive for Your Windows PC

You use the operating system and associated gadget that best fits your needs.  Thus it’s not so uncommon to maintain both Windows PC for the heavier work and an iOS mobile device like an iPhone or an iPad for when you’re on the go. The problem however is how to get the two almost mutually exclusive types of machines to work together. Fortunately, there are various solutions available and the following outlines a method to turn an iOS device into an external drive for a PC that’s running on Windows XP.

The essential intersection between your PC and your iOS device would be a cloud-based storage and file management service like Avatron’s Air Sharing. Since this service supports WebDAV (Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning), to get your Windows XP connected to this service you can use Windows’ WebDAV client support feature called Web Folders.

Web Folders

WebDAV support was introduced as early as Windows 98. With XP, the feature was enhanced and allowed for shared directories to basically function as a separate drive. Take note that you should have Microsoft’s Software Update for Web Folders installed first. You can easily get this driver update from the Microsoft website. Once you’re done putting in this latest patch proceed with creating a new connection with Air Sharing.

  1. Select My Network Places from the Start menu
  2. Click on the ‘Add a Network Place’ option found in the Network Tasks left- hand panel of the window. This will open the associated wizard utility.
  3. Select the option ‘Choose another network location’.
  4. The succeeding dialogue box will ask for an address. Enter the IP address for Air Sharing. The format should be: http://x.x.x.x:8080.
  5. If you’ve turned on password protection in your Air Sharing account, you may be prompted to enter your username and password.
  6. Designate a name for this new connection.
  7. On the final dialogue box of the wizard check the ‘Open this network place when I click Finish’ option.

NetDrive alternative

This is a third-party drive mapping program that can be an alternative to the method shown above. This program carries the benefit of being able to use the iFolders protocol. Here are the steps for connecting to Air Sharing using NetDrive.

  1. Download and install the program.
  2. After installation the program’s icon should appear on your system tray. Double click this to launch NetDrive.
  3. Click on the ‘New Site’ button found at the bottom of the main section of the program’s interface.
  4. Enter your Air Sharing information on the form to the right of the main section.
  5. Click on the ‘Connect’ button at the bottom of this right-hand panel. You’ll be prompted to enter a username and password but you can simply click ‘Ok’ if this hasn’t been set yet.
  6. Your iOS device registered on Air Sharing will then appear on windows explorer as a separate drive.

Connecting a device from a different platform to your Windows XP PC can be risky. So it’s important to remember in all of this that a device’s smooth operation and functionality is significantly dependent on the driver or software application enabling it. In this case, making sure that you have Microsoft’s patch for WebDAV client support is critical. One way to guarantee this is to use a utility program that can automatically find and install the correct driver for your system and update any outdated drivers as well. One such utility program is available right here. With such an application you can maintain the integrity of your system even when cutting across different operating systems.

Sources: Using Web FoldersUsing NetDrive


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