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MSU-Northern students, faculty and staff - Use the ITS Help Desk as the first point of contact for your technology problems, questions & services!

Information Technology Services Help Desk
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Last Updated: 18-Jun-2009
Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services: Network Drives

What is a Network Drive?

A network drive is a folder on our network attached storage device to which you or your department have exclusive, individual rights. This folder is a place to store files that only you or your department can access. Each student, faculty & staff member on campus have such a folder. Because this folder is located on a server, it is separate from all the workstations here on campus: it does not matter where you happen to be doing your work. Once you log onto any computer on campus, you are connected to your folder on the server. This folder can be thought of as a separate disk drive that behaves just like the hard disk in the workstation itself.

Why use a Network Drive?

  • A computer’s local hard drive is a mechanical device that can fail. Our network drives, on the other hand, are "redundant" - this means the information is "striped" across multiple drives and the loss of a disk drive will not result in data loss.
  • Network drives are backed up regularly.
  • Network drives are accessible from any computer on campus.
  • Network drives store more than floppies, Zip Drives, CDs and USB drives, are more reliable, plus you won't misplace your network drive.

What can I put on my network drive?

Network storage is provided for all files related to University work and course work. (see sidebar on the right --> for what you should NOT put on your network drive)

How much can be stored my network drive?

You have 10 GB of storage space on your personal Z: drive.

How can I save data to my network drive?

When you log in to a computer on the Northern campus, you are automatically connected to your network drive (your "Z:" drive). Documents can be saved to the network just like an ordinary disk. In most programs, this can be done by opening the File menu of the program you are using, (in Office 2007 programs, click the button in he upper left) then choose Save As... A Save As window will appear. Near the top of this window (next to the words Save in:) click the downward pointing arrow. A list is displayed showing all of the drives available on the computer. Your network storage area is identified by your user name. Select the network drive, give the file a name, and then click the Save button.

How do I move files and folders from my computer to my Z: drive?

On a PC, use Windows Explorer. (Right-click Start and choose Explore). Select a file or folder from My Computer then right-click and choose Cut. Then right-click on your Z: Drive (or a folder within your Z: Drive) and choose Paste. Dragging and dropping files or folders only copies the file or folder, it doesn't move them.


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At a Glance...
Individuals have 10 GB of space to store data.

Storage is available for departmental collaborations.
To find out how much free space you have in your network folder, open Windows Explorer (Right-click Start and choose Explore) and navigate to your Z: drive. Right click in the open area and select Properties.
Your Z: Drive
Your Z: drive is NOT for:

» Backing up your desktop computer.

» Storing audio, image, or video media files. If there is a compelling business need, these files can be stored, but ITS should to be notified of the need to store such files.

» CD images or program installers. If the software is freely available, please download it from the Internet as needed.
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