Well you are right and wrong :) The underlying OS is Windows Server 2008 R2. Being Essentials means it has certain locks and limits. For example a lock is it can not be promoted to a Domain Controler. Limits such as 25 users and 25 PC’s.
WD has made some customizations to the dashboard for example. They also implement RAID on their boxes.
You have no choice on a WD box. When you first turn it on you will have a ~60gb C: partion and the rest of the space be it 2tb to 9tb will be the D: partion. As I said you can shrink the D: and “generate” unpartioned space. In this space you can create additional partitions, format them, and assign them drive letters.
What I don’t understand is why you want to create a partion for each user. A user cannot see a partition, they see Shares. So if you create 8 partions and Share them, they are all a fixed size. If you just leave the WD D: partion alone and make a folder for each user and share each folder, then some users get more space if they need it.
You can create these folders/shares in the Essentials dashboard and only give Bob access to Bob’s share.
So from any PC you click start> run> type [\servername](file://%5C%5Cservername) and press enter and all of the shares show up. But only Bob can get into Bob. Same if in windows explorer, clcik on network, clcik on Server, and all the shares show.
The only way to not show shares is to make the share name with a dollar sign BOB$ then it will not show up. Bob can see it by typing [\servername\bob$](file://%5C%5Cservername%5Cbob%24) in the run window. But not much use hidding them if they are all jane$, bob$, susan$, as would not be a big secret
Nothing shows as a mapped drive unless you map it. It shows as any other share on your network?
This help any? Just holler if you are still have questions