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Drives: Network Drives Overview PDF of this article

Last modified on 02/19/2017 2:37 pm CST

What are Network Drives?

Rather than saving your documents on your computer's hard drive and backing up on an external drive, you can save onto a drive which is backed up nightly by LTS. These drives are accessible off campus via a VPN connection or through web access.

UW-Eau Claire owned Windows computers automatically map to your H drive and the W drive on campus. Mac users need to connect to drives each time the computer is disconnected from the network.

Please refer to the Digital Storage Tool for more detailed information on campus network storage locations available to you, including storage space available, the purpose of the drive, quota policies, how to access drives, and pertinent security information.

Network Drive Addresses

Home Drives (H:)Each UW-Eau Claire student, staff, or faculty member has an H drive for storing personal university-related documents. Only you can access your H drive; it is not meant for sharing files. Below are the addresses; insert your UWEC username where it says "username."

Windows - staff: \\\username$
Windows - students: \\\username$

Mac - staff: smb://$
Mac - students: smb://$
Department Drives (S:)Set up for university departments to share files among the department's staff members. Replace "dept" with your department's name.

Windows: \\\deptsh$
Mac: smb://$
Projects Drive (P:)Provides large amounts of storage space for projects, commonly video assignments. Note that there is an assigned deletion date.

Windows: \\\projects
Mac: smb://
People Pages (L:)Since this is web enabled space, do not store private information in this drive. (e.g. blugold card #'s, social security #'s, or grades).

Windows: \\\people$
Mac: smb://$
Instructor & Student Drive (W:)Allows for instructor/student collaboration and file sharing. Sometimes referred to as "deptdir" due to the address of the server.

Windows: \\\deptdir
Mac: smb://
Drive for Media Viewed from the WebWindows: \\\sharename$
Mac: smb://$
Departmental Software Drive (J:)Windows: \\\software$
Mac: smb://$
Archive DriveWindows: \\\archive$
Mac: smb://$

Windows 7

The process for mapping network drives on campus varies slightly depending on the computer you are using. The directions below should cover the different situations you may encounter.

Campus Windows computers (e.g. campus lab computers, classroom teacher stations, office computers) will automatically connect to your H: drive and the W: drive (deptdir) upon login. Here is how to connect (map) to additional drives you may wish to view.

Map Network Drives on Campus

In order to access a network drive, you must first map that drive.

  1. Click the Start menu icon. start menu icon
  2. Select Computer.
  3. In the Computer window, click Map Network Drive. 
    The Map Network Drive pane appears.
  4. In the Folder text box, type the server name. Insert your UWEC username where it says "username." See common server names in the Network Drive Addresses list.
  5. Use the Drive pull-down menu to select the appropriate letter for the drive you are mapping.
    NOTE: To preserve this mapping each time you log on, select Reconnect at logon.
  6. Click Finish.
  7. Before connecting to the newly mapped drive, you may be prompted to enter your username and password. Do so, and click OK.
    The drive is mapped and ready to be accessed.

Mapping on a Personal Computer?

If you are mapping a drive on your personal laptop on campus, you must add uwec\ before your username when you are asked to log in. If you do not do this, it will not let you access the network drive. Notice as you do this that the Domain changes to uwec.

EXAMPLE: uwec\username

Disconnecting a Network Drive

  1. In the Computer window, right click on the network drive you wish to disconnect.
  2. From the list, select Disconnect.


In order to access network drives, you must connect (map) to them. On a Mac, drives must be reconnected each time an Internet connection is lost.

Map Network Drives on Campus Computers

  1. Click Finder. finder
  2. On the top toolbar, click Go.
  3. Select Connect to Server. 
    The Connect to Server window appears.
  4. In the Server Address text box, type the address of the drive you wish to map. Insert your UWEC username where it says "username." See common server names listed in the Network Drive Addresses list.
  5. (Optional) Click the Add (+) button next to the Server Address text box to add the drive to your list of favorite servers on that machine. This will allow you to quickly connect to the drive the next time you wish to do so.
  6. Click Connect.
  7. Before connecting to the newly mapped drive, you may be prompted to enter your username and password. Do so, and click OK.
    The drive is mapped and ready to be accessed.

Connecting to a Network Drive from a Personal Computer

When on campus, the connection procedures for a personal computer are the same as those for campus computers. In step 3, make sure to enter the full domain when typing in the server address.
EXAMPLE: smb:// will work on personal machines and campus machines, but smb://mass/projects will only work on campus machines.

Disconnecting a Network Drive

To disconnect a network drive in Mac OS X, simply locate the icon for the network drive on your desktop and drag it down to the trash can. The trash can will temporarily change into an "eject" icon.
(Optional) You can also hold down the control key and click on the network drive icon. An option will appear to eject the drive.

Off-Campus Network Drive Access

When not on campus, there are 2 ways to securely access your Network Drives. You can map them from off campus, much like you would on campus, or you can use Web Access to view and edit the contents of your drives from any web browser.

Mapping Network Drives Off-Campus

If you are not on campus, there are two ways to map drives to a personal computer:

  1. You may establish a VPN connection and then proceed with mapping the drives using the standard instructions for Windows 7, Windows 8 or Mac OS X.
  2. Without a VPN connection you cannot connect to a specific network drive, but you can connect to the Webdav. In the field where a server address is usually entered, type if you are a faculty or staff member or if you are a student.

NOTE: Windows users will be asked to enter their username and password. Enter uwec\ before your username.
EXAMPLE: uwec\doej

Web Access (HTTP Commander)

This method provides Internet access to your H: drive and W: drive and allows read/write permissions. You can open, edit, save, create, and delete files just as if they were in a folder on your local computer.

NOTE: You do not need a Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection when using Web Access, even from off-campus.

  1. Open a web browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Safari.
  2. Type the appropriate URL:

    The Connect to dialog box appears.

  3. In the User Name text box, type your UWEC email address.

  4. In the Password text box, type your password.

  5. Click OK.
    The files and folders on your H: drive appear. If you look in the navigation drive on the left-hand side of the screen, you will also see your W: drive and projects drive available as well.

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