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Storing your document and data files on a Smith network drive is much safer than storing them on your computer's hard drive, a CD, or a flash drive. Hard drives and storage devices can fail, and files can become corrupted.  You have a choice, so why take the risk of losing your work?

By storing your files on the Smith network, you protect them from unauthorized access and ensure that they are routinely backed up. Files in your network space can only be accessed using a valid user name and password. These files are also backed up by ITS staff every workday, and the backups are secured in a locked, fireproof vault.

This document explains how to take best advantage of your Smith network storage space.

Logging on and off
Network drives
Moving your files to the H drive
Setting your default file location in Word
Recovering lost files

Logging On and Off

If you ever need to leave your Windows computer running but unattended, you and the network will be best protected if you take a simple precaution before you leave your office:

  1. From the Start menu, choose Shut Down.
  2. In the Shut Down window, choose Log off [username].

Choosing this option ensures that your network files can be accessed only by someone who knows your username and password. And, of course, you can quickly log back on as soon as you return.

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Network Drives

A network drive is just like the hard drive on your local computer, except that it sits on a secure network server and is backed up regularly. Smith network drives include both personal and shared drives.

H:\ Your Home Drive (For Personal Use)
This is your own file space, and can only be accessed with your user name and password. Each H:\ drive is unique to one user name and one password. No one else on the network can see or access the files on your H: drive. If other users log onto the network from your PC, they must use their own user names and passwords, which make their own H:\ drive available - not yours. Conversely, you can't see or access other people's files stored on their H:\ drives. Files on H:\ are more secure than if they were on your hard drive, because only you have the password to your account and access to your home directory.

P:\ Public Drive (For Sharing Files)
The P:\ drive is shared by everyone in your department. All departmental users can copy files to this area, and everyone in the office can read the file, copy it, change it, or delete it. Unlike the H:\ area, which is distinct to each user, this area is common to all.

Note: Users must communicate among themselves as they update documents on P:\. There is no automatic notification of updates.

Subdirectories accessible only to specified users may also be created under P:\. To set up this kind of subdirectory, contact ITS at extension 4487. If you are a member of a group that uses a particular subdirectory, you will see the subdirectory listed under P:\. Users not authorized to use the subdirectory will not see it.

T: Department Dropboxes (For Exchanging Files)
The T:\ drive has an electronic dropbox for each person in your department. Each dropbox appears under T:\ as a folder named for the individual user who controls that space. Anyone in your office can copy a file into anyone else's T: directory. Once it has been copied there, however, only the owner of the dropbox can delete, read, or copy it.

Dropboxes allow other members in the office to leave you a copy of a file. Anyone in your office can see the files in your dropbox (to verify that a file has been sent to a dropbox, for example), but only you can make changes to them.

Note: Your dropbox is designed to be used as a temporary location. Please remove files from your dropbox to H:\ or P:\ as soon as you receive them from another party.

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Moving Your Files to the H Drive

To move your files to your network home space:

  1. Double-click My Computer.

  2. Double-click the drive where the files to be moved reside.

  3. Double-click folders until you open the one where the files to be moved reside.

  4. Select the files to be moved. To select contiguous files, click the first file name, move the pointer to the last file name, press Shift, and click. To select multiple noncontiguous files, click the first file name, then press Control and click the remaining file names.

  5. Put the pointer in the selection, right-click, and choose Cut.

  6. In My Computer, double-click H:\, then double-click folders until you can see inside the folder that is to receive the moved files.

  7. Put the pointer in an open spot in the folder (not on a file name), right-click, and choose Paste.

Note: Do not move applications (Word for Windows is an application). Move documents only.

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Setting Your Default File Location in Microsoft Word for Windows

In Word, setting the default file location to your H:\ drive ensures that you files are stored in a protected network location. To set the default location:

  1. Office 2007: Click the multicolor Office button in the upper right and choose Options.
    Office 2010: Click the blue File button in the upper right and choose Options.

  2. In the Word Options window, click Save.

  3. In the Default file location field enter H:\ and click OK.

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Recovering Lost Files: ITS Backup Policy and Procedures

Network files (those on H:\, P:\, and T:\) are backed up to tape every work day by ITS staff. The tapes are then placed in a locked, fireproof safe. This means that if you lose a file or delete a file you want back, it can be recovered from tape.

Note: ITS cannot recover a file that is created then accidentally deleted on the same day. This is because the day's backup tapes are created at night, starting at 6:00 pm. For the same reason, ITS cannot recover a file that is created then deleted between 6:00 pm and 7:00 am each day.

Here's how the backup system works:

  • There are three sets of backup tapes; each set stores one week's files. Then Set 1 is overwritten and the sequence begins again. So, if you need a file recovered, please make the request immediately.

  • If you can retype a file from hard copy in 2 hours or less, please retype the text yourself. It generally takes ITS staff at least 2 hours to recover a file from tape.

  • If you do not have hard copy, or if your file is too long to scan conveniently, ITS will try to recover the file for you.  Give us a call at extension 4487 (4ITS).

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Copyright © 2015 Smith College Information Technology Services  |  Stoddard Hall   |  Northampton, MA 01063
413.585.4487  |  Questions or comments?  Send us email
 |  Last updated April 9, 2013

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