Network Drives (H and i drives)

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Every user has a 'home directory', or H: drive, for their own individual files and folders.

Shared folders for groups are also provided, through the i: drive.  Mostly, this is administered by departmental/Faculty IT staff.  All users can connect to the i: drive : whether you see any folders inside it, and which folders you see, depends on which folders have been shared with you.

Features

  • Automatically available from any Windows desktop/laptop in Active Directory, e.g. library PCs, lab PCs, most staff machines.  (Appears as H: and i: when you log in).
  • Can be accessed both on-campus and off-campus (see here for details).
  • Can be accessed from Linux/Unix machines, Macs, mobile devices, and from Windows machines which are not in Active Directory (see here for details).
  • Hosted on resilient storage within the University, replicated between two buildings and backed up nightly to a third building. All of this happens automatically, under the supervision of ISD staff, so there's no need for you to make your own additional backups. 
  • If you delete a file accidentally, you can usually restore it yourself (see the FAQs).

More information

How to connect to Network Drives, on-campus and off-campus, on different types on device

FAQs about Network Drives

How do I access the Network Drives from the computer labs, or from any other Windows PCs on-campus in Active Directory?

Just log into Windows with your DS account, open Windows Explorer/ File Explorer / Computer, and it will be there. The H: drive is your own individual filestore and the i: drive contains the shared files of any groups you may be a member of.

My Windows PC isn't in Active Directory - how do I access the Network Drives on-campus?

If you are a member of staff/postgraduate researcher, then for ease-of-use, we would strongly recommend that you contact your departmental/faculty IT staff to get your PC joined to Active Directory (also known as the 'DS domain'). If that isn't possible, or if you are an undergraduate using your own personal computer, then do the following:

Map a network drive to the following paths:

  • H: drive:
    \\ds.strath.ac.uk\hdrive\<last-two-digits-of-your-username>\<your-username>

So, for example, if your username was ras12345, then you would map to: \\ds.strath.ac.uk\hdrive\45\ras12345

  • i: drive:
    \\ds.strath.ac.uk\idrive

(Please note : when on-campus, we do not recommend that you use Pegasus or Webdrive to connect to the Network Drives, as these interfaces give slower performance, and more limited upload/download-sizes. Use the instructions above, instead.  You should only use Pegasus/Webdrive for off-campus access).

How do I access the Network Drives on-campus from a Linux/Unix machine, or from a Mac?

(Please note : when on-campus, we do not recommend that you use Pegasus or Webdrive to connect to the Network Drives, as these interfaces give slower performance, and more limited upload/download-sizes. Use the instructions below, instead.  You should only use Pegasus/Webdrive for off-campus access.)

Linux/Unix :

Mount your filestore using the following paths:

  • H: drive:
    //ds.strath.ac.uk/hdrive/<last-two-digits-of-your-username>/<your-username>

So, for example, if your username was ras12345, then you would connect to: //ds.strath.ac.uk/hdrive/45/ras12345

  • i: drive:
    //ds.strath.ac.uk/idrive

The exact commands you use may vary according to the flavour of Linux/Unix you are using : but you should use whatever commands are normally used for establishing SMB or CIFS connections.  Please contact your local/departmental IT support in the first instance, if you require further help with this.

Macs :

On Macs, go into the Finder Menu, then click "Go", then "Connect to Server".

Input one of the paths below, depending on which drive you want to map :

  • H: drive: 
    smb://ds.strath.ac.uk/hdrive/<last-two-digits-of-your-username>/<your-username>

So, for example, if your username was ras12345, then you would connect to: smb://ds.strath.ac.uk/hdrive/45/ras12345

  • i: drive: 
    smb://ds.strath.ac.uk/idrive

Input your DS username and password when prompted.

Once the drives have mounted on the desktop, you can add them as a favourite, and/or you can drag them to the dock, for future use.  (Note, if you do not see the drives mounted on the desktop, you may need to go into Finder, Preferences, General, and check the "Connected Servers" checkbox).

How do I access the Network Drives from off-campus?

If you are using Windows/Internet Explorer, then the easiest way is to log into PEGASUS, then use the links provided under the 'Webdrive Filestore' section.

If you are using another browser or operating system, then you can connect using Webdrive, or Strathcloud connectors.

Another approach, is to connect to the VPN, and then follow the "on-campus" instructions above, for your operating system.  This requires a little more setting up, but typically gives you the best performance.

I've accidentally deleted a file - how do I get it back?

Usually you can do this yourself, as follows:

  1. Logon to any Windows PC in Active Directory, on campus.
  2. Navigate to the folder which contained the file, before it was deleted
  3. Right-click the folder, click 'Properties', then select the 'Previous Versions' tab
  4. A list of 'folder versions' will be displayed, along with dates and times
  5. Click on the date/time you want to restore from, then click Open
  6. A new window will display showing the old contents of the folder at the date/time you selected. From there, you can 'copy' the file you want and 'paste' it back into the original window.

The above method will work for recently-deleted files. If the file was deleted longer ago, then you may need to contact the IT Helpdesk and request a restore from tape. If the file was deleted a very long time ago (e.g. several months), then it may not be possible to restore it all.

Note that 'previous versions' are only taken three times each day at approximately:

  • 8am
  • Midday, and
  • 4pm

Therefore, if you both created and deleted the file between these times we cannot get it back for you. Similarly, if you have made changes to the file today, then deleted it before a back-up, then the restored file will not contain your most recent changes. 

Tape back-ups are usually taken overnight each night, but may in some cases be less often.

How much space do I get on my H: drive?
  • Staff - 20GB
  • Postgraduate research (PGR) students - 20GB
  • All other students - 2GB

Quotas are 'auto-increased' overnight: if you are within 1GB of reaching your current storage space limit, we will automatically allocate an additional 1GB to your H: drive.  This auto-increase can happen an unlimited number of times, but note that it is not immediate, it happens overnight.

If you require a larger increase, you are welcome to ask for more space by contacting Information Services Enquiries. In most cases, requests are granted without difficulty.

How much does it cost to get more space on my H: drive?

Nothing! See the above FAQ - as long as it's a reasonable request, we can usually give you more without difficulty.

Can I share my H: drive with others?

No, your H: drive is only visible to you, and you cannot share it with other users. To share files, you can use the i: drive.

How do I get started using the i: drive?

While you can start using the H: drive straight away, the i: drive is different - the i: drive is for shared/group files only, and is made up of different sub-folders for different departments and groups. So you need to be a member of at least one of those groups, or have a new group set up for you, to start using i:.

To request membership of an existing group, or the creation of a new group, you should contact your local/departmental IT support. If you do not know who this is, see the FAQ below or contact Information Services Enquiries.

Who is the contact for the i: drive in my department?

In academic departments, this would usually be your departmental/faculty IT staff. In Professional Services, this would be the Professional Services IT Helpdesk.

Who else can see my files?

The files which you put into your group folder can only be seen by other members of that group.

When we say that the i: drive is for 'shared' data, that definitely does not mean that everything in it is shared with everyone. If you are not clear who can see files in which i: drive folder, you should contact your local/departmental IT support.

The i: drive seems to be organised into departments/faculties, then into groups, but the users in my group are in multiple departments - so can the i: drive be used for this?

Yes - we can always deal with this, either by creating a shared folder under one of the departments involved, or creating it in a separate folder completely outwith any department, depending on the details of your requirements. 

Either way, there is no barrier to users collaborating across departments/faculties, and access can still be restricted to only the individuals that you want.

To discuss further, please contact your departmental/faculty IT staff in the first instance, or in case of difficulties, contact Information Services Enquiries.

I want to share files with users outwith the University - can I use the i: drive for this?

Yes - first you would get the group/shared folder set up in the normal way, through your local/departmental IT support (see earlier FAQ). 

Next, each of the users outwith the University needs to be issued with a 'limited access account' (LAA) - this is a special type of account in Active Directory, which cannot access all the same services as University staff and students, but which can be enabled for certain services, such as i: drive, SharePoint, WiFi, Myplace, etc. 

IT staff in several departments already have the ability to create LAAs, so you should approach them in the first instance. If nobody in your department can create LAAs then please contact Information Services Enquiries, so that this can be set up for your department. 

Next, once the LAAs are created, your local/departmental IT support can add them to the group in the normal way.

Finally, you can tell the external users how to access the shared folder. If they are physically located off-campus, then this will usually be through Webdrive, or Strathcloud connectors.

What other options are available to me, for storing my files, apart from H: and i: drive?

Other options include :

  • Strathcloud - file-storage, sharing, and sync with your local device.  Mainly targetted at staff and PGRs. Works like Dropbox, OneDrive, GoogleDrive, etc, but stores your data on-campus.
  • Sharepoint - rich-featured system for information sharing, collaboration, storage, data collection, communication and reporting.
  • Pure - for long-term deposit or publication of completed research data.
  • Office 365 - mainly for undergraduate and taught post-grad students.

Click here for a more detailed comparison of H: and i: drive, Strathcloud and Sharepoint