007: How do I access my files on a network drive?

SOLUTION
Video and written instructions for connecting to some network files on Windows and macOS computers can be found here: http://ccit.mines.edu/CCIT-Files.

Linux users can try the following:

Open a terminal window and type this command, substituting your personal information for the information in brackets:

     nautilus smb://files.mines.edu/users//

Once your Nautilus file manager window appears and you log in successfully with your MultiPass credentials (domain name, if asked, is ADIT), you can drill down to your username by first letter. So, for example, user Joe Student (jstudent) would click on the s directory followed by the jstudent directory and end up here:

     nautilus smb://files.mines.edu/users/j/jstudent

Note: If you are off campus, you should first make a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection to the school network. To do so, login to the Mines VPN (https://vpn.mines.edu) with your MultiPass. Starting the VPN first is not necessary when you are already connected to a Mines network. If you are connecting on campus, in a campus computer lab, from a residence hall, Mines Park, or some fraternity houses, you are already on the campus network and do not need to use the VPN.

"Mapping" or "mounting" network drives can be a complex topic, so don't hesitate to ask for help via  a Mines Help Center "Helpdesk" (http://helpdesk.mines.edu) request or by visiting the CCIT Technology Support Center (CT156) for personal help.

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The instructions below are appropriate to advanced computer users.

To access your files stored on a remote network drive you will then need to "map" (Windows) or "mount" (Unix/Linux/macOS) the remote directory first. There are several ways to do so, depending on your operating system, OS version, and particular task at hand. The instructions below cover some of the most common cases. If your particular combination is not addressed, or if the instructions below are too difficult to follow, feel free to ask for help via the Mines Help Center (http://helpdesk.mines.edu).

Instructions for Windows users:

When logging into Windows computers on campus that are already attached to the ADIT domain (as in schoolwide computer labs or on an office PC accessed via ADIT), your "Z:" and "Y:" (or possibly "H:" and "I:") drives will be "mapped" automatically. Look for them in your Windows file manager. Within ADIT the Z: drive (or H: drive for some) denotes your personal drive space. The Y: drive (or I: drive for some) denotes a shared drive to which multiple people have access.

Alternatively, if your computer is not already attached to a domain, these remote drives will not be mounted automatically unless you take steps to do so. To manually access your files stored on the ADIT domain, or on another Windows domain, you need to map the remote disk drive so that it appears as a drive on your local computer.

In order to do this you must know the full "path" to your files on the remote system. You can obtain this information when you are physically logged into the domain that holds your files. For example, if you are logged into the ADIT domain on a CCIT lab computer, you can discover the location of your home directory by double clicking the "My Computer" or "Computer Name" icon. Look for the information next to the "Z:" drive listing in the Name column. It will look something like:

     username on 'hornet\users\' (Z:)

where "first letter" refers to the first letter of your username.

With this information, you can map the Z: drive by doing the following:

1. Open Windows Explorer, My Computer or My Documents.

2. Locate the option to map a network drive. The method for doing this will vary with different versions of Windows. Typically, it will be either:

     Options > Tools > Map Network Drive or Tools > Map Network Drive

3. A "Map Network Drive" (or similar) panel should appear. The first item identified will usually be the "Drive" letter to be assigned on your system. This will be the virtual drive drive letter that you will later use to access your files on the remote domain. Usually the last available drive letter will show up. Systems throughout CCIT labs use "Z" as the designated letter for your personal directory space online. You can pick Z: or any other unassigned drive letter in the drop-down list.

4. The second item requested is the "path" or "share" that tells your computer where to look on the network to find your files; this is the "full path to your files" that you obtained earlier in this FAQ. For the ADIT domain, you should enter the information in this format:

     \\hornet\users\u\username -- or you may need to use this variant in some cases: \\hornet.mines.edu\users\u\username

5. If the "Reconnect at Login" box is checked, you should check or uncheck it as appropriate. For desktop machines constantly on the Mines network, this is a good choice. Laptops that travel off the Mines network are more problematic.

6. Press the "OK" or "Finish" button.

7. If the information you provided is correct and the drive is available, you will be prompted to enter your ADIT password (or username and password). Submit that information and press the "OK" button. You may need to enter your username as "ADIT\username" instead of just "username"-- indicating the domain where your account is found (ADIT in this case).

8. If the system validates your username/password, the drive letter you selected will now be mapped and you should be able to navigate to that virtual drive and access your files, just as if it were a local drive on your computer.


Instructions for macOS Users:

To access a remote drive using macOS, determine the path to the remote network drive. The methods noted above may be useful for discovering the path if it is not already known.

1. Using the Mac Finder, click Go > Connect to Server.

2. Type the server address in this format:

     cifs://servername.mines.edu/directory

3. If you are successful, click the [+] icon at right to save the address permanently.

Note: If asked for login credentials, use those for the system to which you are trying to connect, not your local Mac username and password (unless, of course, they are the same).


Instructions for Linux Users:

There are many ways to mount network drives using a Linux system (such as the way noted above). Some Linux distributions have graphical clients for this purpose. Others require command-line solutions. In general, when mounting Windows shares, the "Samba" protocol will be used. For help with your particular Linux distribution, and a particular network file system, please submit a support request at Mines Help Center (http://helpdesk.mines.edu). Describe as completely as possible the variety of Linux you are using and the file system you are attempting to access. Or proceed using the hints found below.

The method specified has been tested to work with the Unity and Gnome flavors of Ubuntu Linux, which by default use the Nautilus file manager (also known simply as "Files" in some versions of Ubuntu Linux). In some cases, when using other Linux configurations, you will need to specify the name of a different file manager. Other Linux distributions and file managers may or may not function in a similar fashion.

To access remote Windows file shares, the Samba package "smbclient" must be installed on your computer. If necessary, install it (and its required dependencies) using the package manager appropriate to your Linux distribution. Note that smbclient is already installed by default on many Linux distributions, including Ubuntu.

Open a terminal window and type this command, substituting your personal information for the information in brackets:

     nautilus smb://hornet.mines.edu/users//

So, for example, Joe Student would type:

     nautilus smb://hornet.mines.edu/users/j/jstudent

Enter. You will be asked to supply your ADIT username, domain name (ADIT), and ADIT password. You will also specify how long the system should remember your ADIT password (choose "Remember forever" for maximum convenience). Then click Connect and your ADIT directory on Hornet will now be available to you via the Nautilus file manager.

Depending on the choices you've made to this point, you may need to repeat all or part of that process each time you restart or log into your system. Or you can automate some of the process by inserting the above command into a startup file. Details of that process are beyond the scope of this document.

In summary, this process involves a lot of variation between different Linux distributions and configurations. Let us know if you have problems with the instructions above and we will try to help if your version of Linux is one with which we are familar.

NOTES
Firewalls: If you are using an operating-system-based firewall (such as those that ship with Windows) or a commercial host-based firewall (such as ZoneAlarm, Norton Internet Security, BlackIce, Tiny Personal Firewall, or others) you may need to configure your firewall application to allow any server to which you map a drive, to communicate with your system. Typically this may be done by defining servername.mines.edu (for example) as a trusted system.

The process described above should work for other servers if the server administrator has set up the server to permit remote access to files. You will need to obtain the server name and partition information from the server administrator and use it instead of "hornet.mines.edu". Also, you will need to use your username and password for the system to which you are connecting.

Security tip: If you have mapped any network drives from a laptop checked out from CCIT or borrowed from any other source, it is important that you disconnect them before you disconnect the laptop from the network. Most laptops are not username/password protected, so the next time it is connected to the network the person using the laptop may have access to your home directory space since the drives will remain mapped. To prevent this security breach from occurring, be sure you disconnect the mapped drives. To disconnect a mapped network drive, click on the following and then choose the virtual drive letter from the list that you want to disconnect:

     Tools > Disconnect Network Drive

Browsing, where different Mines campus domains, workgroups and machines appear in a Network Neighborhood, may not work for you. It is beyond the scope of this FAQ to describe how to configure your machine to browse in that case. However, if you know the domain name, server name, share, username and password, you can connect directly as described above.

Access to your files on the ADIT domain or on other servers does not mean that you can run software applications housed on those servers on your local system or download those applications. Software licenses generally apply only to servers and systems located in CCIT-managed computer laboratories.

Disk storage quotas on central servers are enforced as appropriate and at the discretion of system administrators. Excessive use of storage and network bandwidth, especially for non-academic activities, may be restricted or prevented by various methods including disciplinary action.

Mines systems are not to be used to store or transfer copyrighted material without permission of the copyright holder. Copyright holders are increasingly prosecuting students for illegally obtaining and distributing copyrighted material such as music and videos.

AUTHOR
MH/DF

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Last Updated: 05/17/2017 10:56:25