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The network drives at Carleton allow you to store files on the network servers for access from anywhere on the campus network, or from anywhere in the world via the internet. Files saved here are backed up twice a day, so this is an excellent place to store important documents. The three most commonly used network drives are: HOME, COLLAB, and COURSES.

The bulk of this article is intended to provide step-by-step instructions for connecting to these drives from your own computer while on campus. Because these instructions vary according to the drive you're trying to map or mount and the version of your Operating System, please use the links in the Table of Contents to navigate to the specific instructions that you need.

IMPORTANT: COLLAB has been permanently decommissioned. HOME is now deprecated; only the Webpub folders within are intended for ongoing use.

The Network Drives


Historically, members of the Carleton community were provided with an individual, private folder on the HOME drive. Within this folder is a folder called 'Webpub' that provides a convenient way to serve files via the Carleton website. Material inside webpub is accessible via URLs of the following form:<username>

This is a limited but easy way to create simple websites. With limited exceptions, Webpub is a deprecated service; new HOME folders are not provisioned automatically; if you need one, please contact the ITS Helpdesk at 507-222-5999 for assistance. If you need help configuring your HOME folder, please reference the Webhub management page.


COURSES is a common storage area for files related to each course taught in a particular term at Carleton. The folders for a given course are only visible to instructor(s) and students enrolled in that course. Course folders are named after the department, course number, section number and term. For example, if you are taking Economics 233 Section 0 during the Fall term of 2014, then you can find course information under econ233-00-f14.

Course folders are no longer created automatically for every course in a given term. Instead, faculty are asked to request the (automated) creation of the folder via The Hub. Details on this can be found in the Faculty Course Resources article.

Access to course folders is granted via enrollment in the corresponding Moodle course. Most students who are registered for a course receive this access automatically based on registrar information, along with the appropriate Moodle privileges. When a person is manually added to a class as a teacher, student, or grader, they will automatically be assigned appropriate permissions on the relevant course folder via an automated process that runs on the following schedule:

5a, 7a, 9a, 11a, 5p, 7p, 9p and 11p

In a few rare cases, we provide additional folders on the COURSES drive. However this is done for a particular, special purpose such as Comps. Permissions on these specially-created folders are set manually and require ITS intervention to adjust. (For more information on the COMPS folder, please contact Paula Lackie.)


COLLAB has been decommissioned and is no longer accessible.


Protected is a specialized secure network storage area. Departments handling sensitive PII or FERPA/HIPPA protected data are the typical use case for this drive. If you have access and need to know how to map protected, click on the relevant operating system below for instructions. If you do not have access but believe you should, speak with your department's file management steward and ask them to contact the ITS helpdesk for assistance.

Connecting to Your Network Drives

The following instructions will allow you to connect your personal machine to the three network drives described above. (This is referred to as "mapping network drives" in Windows and "mounting network drives" in Mac OS.).  These instructions apply when you are on-campus or when your machine is connected to the network from off-campus using VPN.

For Carleton-owned machines, you will usually want to use the MapNetworkDrives application provided by ITS to do this. For more information on connecting to your network drives from off-campus, please see this page.

Windows 7 and Windows 10

 Click here for instructions...
  1. Right-click My Computer, and select Map network drive...
    1. If you are using Windows 10, open Windows Explorer, click 'This PC', then 'Computer' along the top, and finally 'Map Network Drive'.
  2. Select a letter for the network drive. Anything listed is fine, though the following convention is most commonly used on campus:
    H:\ for HOME
    K:\ for COURSES.
    P:\ for PROTECTED
  3. In the Folder field, type the network address of the drive you want to map (HOME, COLLAB, or COURSES respectively)
    • For HOME: \\\home
    • For COURSES: \\\courses
    • For PROTECTED: \\\protected
  4. If you want Windows to connect to the network drive(s) automatically any time the machine is restarted, check Reconnect at logon.
  5. Click Finish.
  6. You will be prompted for a username and password
    • Username:\<username> e.g.\kchapman
    • Password: <carleton password>
    • Note: on loaner laptops when using "map network drives", the password will not be visible on the screen. It is still being entered; just hit Enter after typing the password and it will process.
  7. Click OK.

Mac OS X

 Click here for instructions...
  1. From Finder, select Go > Connect to server ...
  2. In the server address bar, type the network address of the drive found below. Note: The mount points in OSX are CaSe SeNsItIvE.
  3. When prompted, enter your normal Carleton username and password.
  4. Click Connect.
  5. The network drive will appear on your desktop.


 Click here for instructions...
  1. Install Samba with whatever you normally use to install software on your distribution.
  2. If you want to be able to mount your network drives as user (not root) the samba binaries must be setuid. The exact binary names may differ per distribution, but are commonly named smbmountsmbmnt, and mount.cifs. If you cannot find these binaries, consult your distribution's documentation or help forums. Once you have located the executables, run the following as root, substituting the appropriate path for /sbin/mount.cifs:
# chmod u+s /sbin/mount.cifs
# chmod u+s /sbin/umount.cifs

To mount/unmount from the command line, run the following, substituting the proper executable and your actual carlnetid. You should prefix your carlnetid with *ads* in the username field. Note that you must be the owner of the location you wish to mount to.

$ mount.cifs // /path/to/mount/location -o username=ads\carlnetid

Your file manager may also have a means to mount network shares. In this case, you need not follow the steps to set up mount.cifs, but the address and username remain the same. Please note: if you wish to map Collab or Courses, you must change the path above accordingly


    $ mount.cifs // /path/to/mount/location -o username=carlnetid

Off-Campus Access to Network Drives

Click for instructions on how to access your network drives from off-campus.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much space is available in my network folders?

ITS has implemented quotas on most network folders in order to prevent one folder from growing so large as to consume all available space on the system. These quotas are not usually intended to be restrictive; if you have exceeded the allotted space on your folder, you can contact ITS for help, and we will often be able to increase your quota. What follows is a list of default quotas for folders on the various file shares offered by ITS:

  • HOME: 4 GB
  • COURSES: 5 GB by default with an automatic increase to 10 GB if the original quota is exceeded.

Why won't my network drives appear when I log on to a public lab machine?

Lab machines generally do not automatically mount the network drives at login time. You can connect to the drive(s) you need manually following the instructions in this article.

Why does it say "Access is denied," "Z: is unavailable," or "Unknown network connection" (Windows Only)?

If you receive these or any other error messages when attempting to map network drives, first make sure you are connected to the network and that your password is correct. If that doesn't help:

  1. Right-click My Computer and select "Disconnect network drive..."
  2. Disconnect all network drives.
  3. Restart your machine.
  4. Remap your network drive.

How can I get a comps folder?

Talk to one of the Academic Technologists or contact the ITS helpdesk (x 5999).

One of my files in my Home folder or other network drive has been corrupted or lost. What can I do?

Network folders are backed up twice every week day and once a day on weekends, which means that you ought to be able to recover recently deleted, or restore recently corrupted files, relatively easily.

You can perform what is called a self-service file or folder recovery from any Windows or Mac computer that is connected to the relevant network drive. On a Windows machine, this process is native to the system using a tool called Shadow Copies. On the Mac, you will first have to install a piece of software called Shadow Connect. Instructions on both methods can be found in the following article: Restoring Corrupted, Lost, or Deleted Files and Folders.

Alternatively, you can contact the ITS Helpdesk at x5999, and Helpdesk staff can recover the file for you.

I can't save to the HOME folder. What can I do?

The HOME folder is read-only except for the Webpub folder and its contents. HOME is a deprecated service; only Webpub is intended for ongoing use. Remember that any files or folders you place inside the Webpub folder are visible on the internet; please be cautious when using this service.

What if I switched classes and COURSES doesn't reflect that change?

If you dropped a course (let's call it Course A) and added another class (Course B), but your COURSES folder still has the folder for Course A, it's possible that the course change has not been processed yet. If you just submitted the drop/add, wait one day; the system updates each night, so you won't normally see any change until the day after your course change is processed. If you still have a problem, or you really need the folder right now, talk to the prof for Course B. That person can then take the necessary steps to add the Course B folder.