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Files and storage questions

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Files and storage

Types of University storage for staff and students

  • U:Drive - individual secure filespace on a central fileserver.
  • OneDrive for Business - cloud storage where you can collaborate with staff, students or external contacts.
  • N:Drive (staff only) - All Professional Services, Colleges and Departments are also allocated shared network file space for collaborative working and file sharing purposes. This is generally available on staff PCs or laptops as your N: Drive.

Please note: University storage should be used for storing your work-related files only, please do not load your music collection or personal photo albums to it.

OneDrive for Business

All Staff, Associates and Students are  able to access a secure online file sharing tool called OneDrive for Business via Office 365 on a Windows or Mac computer.  Please note that this is separate from your personal OneDrive if you use that.

OneDrive for Business is perfect for working collaboratively with staff, students, or external contacts. External contacts do not need to have a OneDrive for Business account themselves; they can be sent a Guest link to access an individual document or a folder.

OneDrive for Business provides you with 1 Terabyte of online storage and is simple and easy to use, like other online files sharing tools, for example, Dropbox and WeShare.

The University of Exeter has signed up to Microsoft's via JANET's terms and conditions to ensure that our data is stored in the EU and UK. Other cloud storage providers such as Dropbox do not guarantee that, and are not supported by the University's central IT department.

You can access OneDrive for Business securely using your university login details on any computer or internet-enabled device via either iExeter or via the app launcher menu in Office 365

You can also download the OneDrive app to your tablet or smartphone via iTunes, Google play and Windows Store.

Once you’ve uploaded your work files to your OneDrive for Business account, you’ll be able to access them at home, in the field, or anywhere when you are on the move. 

Help guides

Shared Network Filespace (N: drive)

Staff and Associates in all Professional Services, Colleges and Departments have access to a shared network filespace for collaborative working and file sharing purposes. This is generally available on Staff PCs and laptops as the N: drive.

Please note: your N: drive is for storing University-related files and should not be used for storing personal files, photographs, videos or music.

The advantages of using the N: drive to store files are:

  • You can access shared files from any internet-connected computer
  • Permissions and access to files and folders on the N: drive can be carefully managed by your local N: drive Administrator
  • Specific groups of users can be assigned specific read or write access to any files or folders
  • There is no need to remember which copy of a file is the latest one if several people are working on a single document
  • There is no need to distribute files around via email or on CDs, memory sticks or floppy disks, which can get damaged or lost

How to access your N: drive

The best way to get access to your N: drive is via a staff PC or laptop. However, the N: drive file space is also available from the MyExeter page as the Shared Drive under the My Files tab.

Note that when using the portal to download and edit N: drive files it will be possible for a colleague to alter the 'master' file before you upload your edited copy, so you will need to make sure that only one person edits a file at once.

The N: drive is not directly available from open-access PC clusters.

How big is the N: drive?

The allocation of N: drive filespace is shared between the Professional Service, College or Department.

The local N: drive Administrator is generally responsible for the management of the N: drive file space ensuring that it is distributed effectively. 

If the file space nears its quota, a warning message will appear when you access your N: drive.

Network file space (U: Drive)

All Staff (including Associates) and Students are provided with an individual secure filespace, stored on a central fileserver, known as your U: drive.

The advantages for using U: drive to store your files are:

  • Access your files from any internet-connected computer
  • You don’t have to remember which copy of your file is the latest one, if you work on several computers
  • No need to carry your files around on portable devices
  • Regular back-ups that can be retrieved
  • U: drive files can be synchronised with your C: drive to allow offline working

How big is my U: drive?

  • Staff - 20 gigabytes
  • Students - 400 megabytes

If you get close to using up all your filespace you will see a warning message when you access your U: drive. You should perform regular housekeeping on your U: drive to keep it to a minimum and delete personal or unwanted files. Staff should think about moving departmental-related files to your N: drive.

How to access your U: drive

  • Staff PCs and laptops which are connected on campus should have a U: drive mapped automatically on login.
  • Staff working offsite can access U: drive files through the U: drive application, via the MyExeter page under the My Files tab, or via VPN
  • Students can access U: drive by logging into iExeter, going to My Files, and selecting U:drive. Students can also access U: drive files from the open-access PC clusters (see below).

Accessing your U: Drive on open-access PCs

When you log in to a PC in one of the Academic Services open-access ‘cluster’ rooms with a student username, the PC connects automatically to your personal secure network filespace. Your secure space is given the identity U: on the PC (in the same way that the PC’s hard disk is drive C:, a CD-ROM drive is usually D: or E:, and so on).

You can treat the U: Drive in the same way as any other storage space, for example by saving files to it from a program like Microsoft Word, or viewing the contents using Windows Explorer or My Computer.

On the open-access cluster PCs:

  • You can open your U: Drive by clicking the Undergraduate OneDrive for Business icon on the desktop.
  • You can also get to your U: Drive using My Computer, but make sure that you choose the Undergraduate OneDrive item, not ‘Temporary network file space for [your username]’, which is marked as the S: Drive.
    • You can save files to the S: Drive, but this area is not secure, is not the same on all PCs, and files saved there may be deleted without warning!
  • The My Documents folder is stored on your U: Drive– you can create other folders within it as you need to.
    • If you also access your U: Drive from your own PC from outside the University, for example, be careful not to confuse the My Documents folder on your own PC with the one with the same name on your U: Drive on an open-access PC.
  • Any Favourites or Bookmarks you save while browsing the Internet on an open-access cluster PC will be saved into your U: Driveso that you can access them from other open-access PCs.
    • Favourites and Bookmarks you save while browsing on your own PC will be saved to the PC’s hard disk, not to your U: Drive.

If you have problems with the U: Drive on the open-access cluster PCs, please Contact us for more information.