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 individual use. 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 configured 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 manually configure the connection (details below).

Note that to access AD data files while 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

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

  1. If you are 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 university Internet ID and password) as normal.
  3. In a File Browser window, under "This PC", you should see the following AD drives:
    Shared (N:) Shared data (if this drive appears to be empty, see above about Requesting File Access)
    Home (P:) Personal data (if this drive is not present, see above about Requesting File Storage)
    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 PC account and password, if necessary).
  2. If you are off campus, sign in to UMD's VPN service.
  3. On your keyboard, hold the Windows Key and press "R"
  4. Type in the following and select OK:
    \\ad.umn.edu\D\
    Screen shot of windows run menu
  5. When prompted to authenticate, enter your Internet/email name and password as follows:
    User Name: ad\username (For example: "ad\jdoe0011")
    Password: your university password
  6. You may need to select "More Options" and/or "Use different account" to be able to type in your username, as instructed above.
  7. Select Shared for your Department (N:) folder or Home for your Home (P:) folder.

Macintosh Computer

Older versions of Mac OS may not provide functionality with AD file shares. If your Mac is prior to OS X 10.8, please visit the ITSS TechCenter to schedule an OS upgrade for your workstation.
  1. Switch to Finder.

  2. From the Go menu, select Connect to Server...
    Screen shot of finder with Go menu
  3. Type the following path:
    smb://ad.umn.edu/D/
    Screen shot of connect to server screen
  4. When prompted to authenticate, enter your Internet/email name and password as follows:
    User Name: ad\username (For example: "ad\jdoe0011")
    Password: your university password
    Uncheck the "Remember password" box

Optionally, check these options to make the drive easier to locate 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. Check the box next to Connected servers and/or the box next to your computer name (under devices)
    Checkbox screenshot
  5. Close the preferences window
  6. In a Finder window, you should now be able to see the D drive when you select your computer (under devices) and/or when you select ad.umn.edu (under shared).