Carleton College



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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.



The Network Drives


Every member of the Carleton community has an individual, private folder on the HOME drive. This is the safest and most convenient place to store documents and other files that you want to be able to access from multiple locations on (or off) campus. It also serves as a safe and secure backup location for important files. You can store up to 4GB of data here.


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.

Granting access to course folders is done through Moodle. Most students 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, he or she 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 "mounting network drives" in Windows and "mapping 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 XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7

 Click here for instructions...
  1. Right-click My Computer, and select 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.
  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
  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>
  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 disks providing storage for the entire 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 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"?

If you receive these or any other error messages when attempting to mount 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?

It's important to SAVE OFTEN!

If you had a really important document that was inexplicably deleted off your network space (Home or Collab) or lost for some reason, there are several steps you can take to attempt to recover your file. In the Windows operating system, you can check for hidden or temporary files by going to Tools-> Folder Options-> View, and then check "Show hidden files and folders."

Also, do a search for the file on all drives including "Local" drives. If you are using Windows, click Start, then Search, then "for files and folders". Next, click on all files and folders and search for the file. If you are using Mac OS X, click the magnifying glass icon in the top-right corner of the screen and type in your search term. Click Show All to change your search parameters. In both options, it is possible to search for files modified that day, which can be helpful if you don't know the name of the file.

Organize results by "Date Modified" to find the files which you've most recently edited. Also, Word often saves before a crash. If none of this works, contact the ITS helpdesk and explain both what happened and the steps you've taken.

You can also perform a self-service file or folder recovery yourself, from any Windows or Mac computer with the relevant file share mapped. For instructions on this process, which uses a native Windows tool called 'Shadow Copies', please look at the following article.

If none of this works, you can contact the helpdesk and ask to have the file or folder restored from backups. This process may take a day or more, so please be sure that you have first tried the options described above. Network drive backups are taken nightly between 10:00 pm and 3:00 am, and are retained for 90 days.

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

If this happens, save the file to an alternate location (such as the scratch disk) and then copy the file from that location into your HOME folder.

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 help desk for information.)

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, odds are you are having problems with this access restriction. If you have already saved a copy of the document you are working on in this folder, you cannot save it again with the same name. Save it as whatever the original was called and perhaps add a "2" in the file name. If the problem persists, save the file to your hard drive (or to the Scratch Disk if in the labs) and attempt to edit the file from there in order to determine if you are having a connectivity problem or if there is a problem with the file. If at home, make sure you have an internet connection by trying to browse the web).

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, you may have a problem. 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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