WebFileBrowser can show files from both local drives and from network shares (Windows) or mounted drives (Linux,UNIX), but the right permissions must be given to the web server.
If you installed WebFileBrowser and it is not working correctly, it is likely that the problem resides with the setting of the root variable: siteVARrootDir. Entering the pathname of this variable in the browser is a good way to test if the pathname even exists (to check for typos, for example), but doesn't give you any indication of problems with permissions.
When you enter a pathname (for example: \\mymachine\adir) directly in the browser, without going through the web server, you are reading the directory information using the permissions of the current user (the one you used to log on to the local machine.) However, when you put that path in the WebFileBrowser server script, the server will use its own "user" (IUSR_servername for IIS for example).
Setting the right permissions for the Web server is something you should feel comfortable with before you purchase WebFileBrowser. However, if you are a Windows user, and if you installed WebFileBrowser and it is not working properly, there is a simple tool called diagnostics.asp that ships with the product. Open it in a text editor and follow instructions. See also next section.
The most common setup for the WebFileBrowser is one where all users see the same tree and where no user authentication (passwords, etc.) is needed. In this case, the only requirement is that the web server must be running under a user that has the right permissions for the directories and files being browsed. For the ASP version, this user is IUSR_servername. For PHP, it is System, or whatever user is associated with the Apache service.
If you are using the ASP version and don't know how to setup file permissions in Windows, here are some further instructions:
For those cases where the web file browser is deployed on an Intranet, or where different users have different file permissions, some further steps can be taken. With correct settings, the web file browser will open files and folders according to user permissions, and it will show different trees for different users.
The objective is to enable the following sequence of events:
If your files are in some company's web-hosting account, you may not know the file-system pathname that is "behind" a given URL, and you will not know what pathname to put in siteVARrootDir. Below is a short script that will help you map URLs into pathnames. Open an editor and copy and paste the following one-line-long ASP script: