What is a Network Drive?
The term network drive or network share refers to data storage space located on Tufts University servers. When you store files from your computer on a network share and log in to the Tufts domain, your stored data is accessible, no matter where you are physically connected. In addition, the data you store on network shares is backed up nightly, providing data redundancy in the event that your local drive crashes. Finally, access to data stored on network shares is restricted by a user’s network access rights, ensuring that only those who should have access to the data can see, copy, or edit it.
Accessing Your Network Drives
All Tufts University faculty, staff, and students are assigned an Active Directory (AD) Account when they join the university. Your AD Account includes a Tufts Username (formerly called a UTLN) and Tufts Password. Typically, your Tufts Username is comprised of your first initial, the first five letters of your last name, and two digits, such as 01, 02, etc.
Jane Smith = jsmith01
John Doe = jdoe02
Robert Johnson = rjohns01
Logging in to the Tufts domain with AD Account credentials (username and password) authenticates you as a valid user and defines what directory locations and services you may access. Available Active Directory services include printing, network storage, access to network shares, Exchange Email, and Tufts VPN.
To log in to your network share, you must know your Tufts Username and Tufts Password. Tufts Tools, located at http://tuftstools.tufts.edu/, is a suite of Active Directory (AD) password and email management web applications. If you've forgotten your Tufts Username or Password, need to change your Tufts Password, or wish to forward your Tufts email, Tufts Tools provide quick and easy self-service options with links on the home page to help you select the right tool for your needs.
The P: and Q: (or R:) Drives
Traditionally, network administrators pick a letter in the second half of the alphabet for users to define their drive mappings and these letters, which are originally an arbitrary selection, become associated over time with the use of a particular network share. At Tufts, the convention is the use of the letters P:, Q: and R:. Although all home shares are mapped with the letter P:, the Tufts login scripts use both R: and Q: to designate departmental shares.
The P: drive, your personal drive, is also called your home share. No one except you may access this data. This is an excellent location for any documentation that needs to be edited or retrieved from multiple locations. Each faculty member is allotted 1 GB of space for their individual P: drive, but may request more space if needed. Contact your departmental IT Support provider for more information
The R: or Q: drive is an area with shared access by members of a particular project or department. Uses for R: drive storage include shared project files, databases, applications, and other departmental-specific documentation.
Some users, such as research faculty and groups involved in special projects, have additional network areas that they access that are not mapped by a login script.
To Map or to Mount? To access data stored in your directories on the remote server you must map (or mount) a drive. Mapping defines the LAN path to the server location, allowing you to treat your remote folders and data as you would any other drive (A:, C:, D:, etc.). This process creates a virtual drive on your computer. You can then copy, edit, and print your data as if it were located on your local system. Macs use the term mounting to refer to the process of creating a link to a network drive.
Windows users who are directly connected to the Tufts network via a LAN cable or wireless connection automatically map their network drives with a script that runs behind the scenes every time they log in to the domain. Mac and Tufts VPN Client users do not have the advantadge of an automated login script and must manually map or mount ther network drive paths. To learn more about mounting your Tufts network drives on a Mac, see Network Drives for Mac Users.
Network Research Storage Drives
Network-accessed research storage is available for the UIT High-Performance Research Cluster and also for departmental and individual use. Use the following links to learn more about UIT Research Computing and your storage options:
Your Tufts Account Password
There are many services at Tufts that require authentication with your Tufts Username and a password. The most common provider of services is the Windows Active Directory Service (LAN). Your Tufts Password is the one requested during your Windows domain, Exchange email, and Tufts VPN login. Your Tufts Username and password authenticate you as a valid user of the Tufts domain and provide you with access to Exchange email services, printing services, network drives access (P:, Q:, R:, etc.), and more.
You will receive a pending password expiration email every day for the 14 days prior to your password expiration date. In this time frame, Windows users directly connected to the LAN via a network cable or on-campus wireless connection will be prompted to change their password during the login process. Mac users and those connecting via Tufts VPN Client should use the Tufts Tools online password change option.
Faculty and Staff who need support for a Tufts Username or Tufts Password issue should contact the their FSP or the UIT Support Center at 617-627-3376. Students should contact Student Account Support at (617) 627-3701 or (800) 207-2194.
Tufts Complex Password Standards
Changing your Tufts LAN Password
Using the Tufts Network - Students
Using the Tufts Network - Faculty and Staff