Active Directory - Accessing Files

Computer Management


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File storage on the Active Directory (AD) file server provides secure, backed up data storage for faculty and staff. Personal file storage (P: drive) is set up for those who have a computer on Active Directory. Shared file storage (N: drive) is set up for departments.

You can access data stored on the AD file servers from any computer on the University network.

  • On computers that have been added to AD, the N: and P: drives will be automatically mapped when you sign in to your computer with your AD credentials.
  • On computers that have not been added to AD, to access files you will need to type in the full folder path, including the AD server name (details below).

Note that to access AD data files from any wireless network or from off campus, you must first sign in to the UMD VPN service.

Requesting File Storage/Access

P: Drive:
Personal folders (P: drive) are created on request for faculty or staff who have workstations on Active Directory.

To request a personal folder for youself, complete the online form at: AD Manage Files.

N: Drive:
Shared folders (N: drive) are created for each department that has workstations on Active Directory. Access to department shared folders must be requested by the person in the department who manages the folder data.

To request or update access to a shared folder, the data owner should complete the online form at: AD Manage Files.

Following are details on how to access AD data files from:

  • Windows Computer - On Active Directory
  • Windows Computer - Not On Active Directory
  • Macintosh Computer - Not On Active Directory

Windows Computer - On Active Directory

If you have a Windows computer that has been added to Active Directory:

  1. If you are on UMD wireless or off campus, sign in to UMD's VPN service. 
    The AnyConnect VPN client allows you to sign in to the UMD VPN service immediately on starting up your computer (prior to signing in to AD). For details, see: Connect to VPN Prior to Signing In
  2. Sign in to the computer with your AD credentials (your Internet/email name and password).
    Windows log on
  3. Under My Computer, you should see the following AD drives:
    Shared (N:) Shared Network data 
    Home (P:) Personal data
    Share N: drive and Personal P: Drive

Windows Computer - Not On Active Directory

If you have a Windows computer that has not been added to Active Directory:

  1. Sign in to the computer as usual (with your workstation account and password).
  2. If you are on UMD wireless or off campus, sign in to UMD's VPN service.
  3. Select START - Run
    Windows START - Run
  4. Type in one of the following and select OK:
    \\ad.umn.edu\D\Shared\ (to access your \dept\common\ folder)
    or
    \\ad.umn.edu\D\Home\ (to access your personal Home folder)
    Windows mapping
  5. When prompted to authenticate, enter your Internet/email name and password as follows:
    User Name: username@ad.umn.edu (For example: jdoe0011@ad.umn.edu)
    Password: your Internet/email password
  6. Select your Department or Home folder.

Macintosh Computer

Older versions of Mac OS X
The newest versions of Mac OS provide the best functionality with AD file shares. If your Mac is prior to OS X 10.8, please contact the ITSS Help Desk to schedule an OS upgrade for your workstation.

If you have a Mac OS X 10.8 or newer computer:

  1. Open up Finder.
  2. From the Go menu, select Connect to Server... (or use the "command+k" key combo).
    Mac Connect to Server
  3. Type the following path:
    smb://ad.umn.edu/D/
  4. When prompted to authenticate, enter your Internet/email name and password as follows:
    User Name: username@ad.umn.edu (For example: jdoe0011@ad.umn.edu)
    Password: your Internet/email password

To make the drive visible in the Finder:

  1. Go to the Finder menu -> Preferences...
    Finder Prefs screenshot
  2. On the General tab, check the box next to Connected servers
    Connected servers screenshot
  3. Click on the Sidebar tab
  4. Uncheck the box next to Connected servers
  5. Check the box next to your computer name (under devices)
    Checkbox screenshot
  6. Close the preferences window
  7. In your Finder window, you should now be able to see the D drive when you click on your computer name (under devices)
    Devices screenshot

To connect to Active Directory immediately upon startup:

  1. Go to your Apple menu - System Preferences...
    System Prefs screenshot
  2. Click on Users and Groups
    Users and Groups screenshot
  3. Select your username and click on the Login Items tab
  4. Drag the D drive from your desktop into the Login Items list
    Login Items screenshot