Table of Contents


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: HOME and COLLAB will be permanently decommissioned on June 29, 2018. You must move any materials you wish to keep before that date.


The Network Drives


Every member of the Carleton community has an individual, private folder on the HOME drive. This is perhaps the most convenient location for storing documents and other files that you want to access from multiple locations on- or off-campus.

Your HOME folder is also a great backup location for important, academic files. This folder is backed up twice every day by our automated systems, so you can easily recover corrupted or deleted files either by yourself or with the help of ITS Helpdesk staff. At present, this folder is limited to 4GB of space which, while less than a number of online backup systems, is enough to handle most of your academic files.


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.

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 is a common storage area for files which are not personal and are not related to courses. Departments and student organizations commonly have their own folders on COLLAB. These folders are visible on a "need-to-see" basis; that is, only members of the corresponding department or student organization have access into to these folders.

ITS can adjust permissions on COLLAB folders on an as-needed basis. Please visit or call the ITS HelpDesk (x5999) if you have a request of this kind.


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 Vista, 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
    I:\ for COLLAB
    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 COLLAB: \\\collab
    • 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:

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.

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:



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
  • COLLAB: Varies and widely influenced by historical concerns. Contact the ITS helpdesk if you want information about your department or organization's Collab folder quota or if you need to increase the quota to allow for storing additional data.
  • 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?

This is a technical anomaly and is usually fixed by restarting the machine. If you have work that needs to be saved before restarting a computer, save it to the scratch disk or email it to yourself. If you save it to the scratch disk, it will not be deleted upon restarting.

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, Collab 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?

If this happens, the first thing you can try is to save the file to an alternate location (such as the scratch disk) and then copy the file from that location into your HOME folder. If that does not work, disconnect (Windows) or eject (Mac OS) the network drive from the machine and try re-mapping it.

You may also encounter this problem if you fill up your HOME drive. You will receive a quota warning email when you exceed 90% of the maximum capacity of your HOME folder. If you have run out of space, ITS can work with you to remove unneeded files. In some cases, we can increase the quota for a given HOME folder in response to a clearly articulated need. (Please contact the ITS Helpdesk for information at x5999.)

Why can't I save my work in my Course or Student Work folder in COLLAB?

If you are having trouble saving to a course folder, there may be a problem with your rights to that folder. If you have been able to save the document once, but are unable to modify it, this means that the rights have been set such that you can add ("hand in") the file to this folder once, but cannot modify it after that time. What you can do is to save the file under a different name (e.g. Assignment, Assigment v2, etc.), though you may want to check-in with the prof to ensure that they look to the desired file when it comes time to grade.

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.



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