Using File Servers - Windows

This page has specific instructions for connecting to and using file servers in the Windows operating system. You may be looking for Macintosh instructions, or our description of Middfiles.

Connecting to a File Server Using a Windows Computer

Note: Lab or office computers at Middlebury connect automatically when you log-in - check the section on usage below first. For your personal computer, or if your network drives disappear, follow these instructions:

  1. Connect to the campus network on the fastest network available (preferably an Ethernet jack, or at least secure wireless.) If you are off-campus, you will have to connect to VPN before continuing.
  2. Right-click the "My Computer", "Computer", or "This PC" icon on your desktop, Start Menu, or Start Screen. If you are using a Windows 10 computer, right-click on the Start button and select File Explorer; then right-click on "This PC".
  3. Select Map Network Drive from the pop-up menu. The "Map Network Drive" window opens.
  4. In the "Drive" drop-down list, select an unused drive letter.
  5. In the "Folder" field type \\middcloud.middlebury.edu\middfiles
  6. To reconnect to the server each time you start your computer, click to check "Reconnect at login". This is helpful if you will use the file server on a regular basis.
  7. You can elect to connect using a different username than your own. If you are using a personally owned computer, you must do the following. This is also useful for persons who maintain files for a department or organization.
    1. Click "Connect using different credentials". The "Connect As" dialog box opens.
    2. In the "User name" field, type your College username in MIDD\username format.
    3. In the "Password" field, type the password for the desired account.
    4. Click OK. The "Connect As" dialog box closes.
  8. Click Finish.

Mapping a network drive creates a connection between your computer and the file server. Then you can move files back and forth to the network just like you would with a USB flash drive or other storage media.

  • Note: Usually you would only need to connect to the Middfiles server at the address above. For some specialized cases (large media files, departmental research, application-specific data that is shared for analysis) we support additional servers. To connect to a file server other than middfiles you will need to modify the steps slightly. In the instructions above, replace middcloud with the name of the file server you'd like to connect to, and replace middfiles with the name of the shared folder on that file server. For example, if you wanted to connect to the "work-dirs" folder on snowleopard, you'd need to use the following format:

The Contents of Middfiles

When you open the Computer window and double-click on middfiles (\\middcloud.middlebury.edu) you will see a list of folders like this one:

Middfiles folders.PNG

The most widely-used folders are the following:

  • classes is used by faculty and students for sharing files (handouts, paper submissions, collaborative writing projects, etc.)
  • home contains subfolders that provide personal storage space for all faculty, students and staff. To create a direct connection to one’s personal storage folder jjones would type \\middcloud.middlebury.edu\middfiles\home\jjones in the Folder field of the Map Network Drive dialog box (step 5 of the previous section).This storage option is being phased out in spring 2017; cloud options on OneDrive or Google Drive should be used instead.
  • orgs contains departmental folders.

More information is available about the content and structure of Middfiles.

Using a Mapped Network Drive

To save time, create a shortcut to the file server space.

  1. Double-click the Computer (Windows 7)  icon on your desktop or Start Menu.
  2. Right-click the desired file server space, and select Create Shortcut from the pop-up menu.
  3. The Shortcut window displays the message Windows cannot create a shortcut here. Do you want the shortcut to be placed on the desktop instead? Click Yes, the shortcut appears on the desktop.
  4. To connect to a file server after your computer has been restarted, simply double-click the shortcut to it on your desktop.

Once a drive is mapped you can save files to your storage space by using a drag-and-drop method or by saving files directly to it from an application.

Disconnect a Mapped Network Drive

It shouldn't be necessary to disconnect a mapped network drive unless you will be working off-campus without VPN. In this situation (off-campus + no VPN) disconnecting a network drive may speed-up your computer.

  1. Double-click the My Computer icon on your desktop.
  2. Right-click on the icon for the drive, then select Disconnect from the pop-up menu. The icon for the drive disappears from the My Computer window.

Saving a File to a File Server Folder Using a Windows Computer

Networked file servers are provided at Middlebury College to give everyone a personal folder for data storage and to facilitate file sharing for coursework and by administrative departments. To save a file in these storage spaces you must be connected to the server then move the file to the storage folder or save the file from an application.

The most widely-used file server folders are located on the middfiles file server.

  1. Double-click the Computer icon on the desktop (on Windows 7, this icon is on the Start menu).
  2. Double-click middfiles (\\middcloud.middlebury.edu) (N:).
    • classes is used by faculty and students for file sharing. Folders for classes are grouped under folders by semester, such as Spring13.
    • orgs is used for departmental file sharing and storage.

Copy a File to a File Server Folder

  1. Right-click the file you'd like to copy then select Copy.
  2. Open the file server folder where you'd like to copy the file to (see instructions above).
  3. Right-click an empty area of the folder then select Paste.

Save a File to a File Server Folder From an Application

  1. In your application (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.) click the File tab, then select the Save As option. A navigation window opens.
  2. To save a file in the Share folder for your course, navigate the following spaces: Computer / middfiles (\\middcloud.middlebury.edu) / Classes / semester / course / Share (replacing semester and course with the appropriate semester and course)
    Important note: You must use the copy method described above to save a file in the Dropbox folder.
  3. In the File name field, type a name for the file.
  4. Click Save.

Create Shortcuts to Frequently Used Folders

You may want to create shortcuts to file server folders that you use regularly.

  1. Navigate to the Computer window until you can see the destination folder you desire.
  2. Right-click the folder then select Create Shortcut from the pop-up menu.
  3. A message may display saying Windows cannot create a shortcut here. Do you want the shortcut to be placed on the desktop instead? Click Yes.

Double-click the shortcut icon when you want to open the folder.

Windows 8.1 - Additional Resources

If your computer runs Windows 8.1 and you would like more specific instructions about how to map a network drive and create a shortcut, see Microsoft's documentation on how to map a network drive in Windows 8.1.

Recovering a File Deleted From a Server

Have you ever deleted or over-written a file stored on a file server and wished you hadn’t? Did you know that you can get deleted or previous versions of files back without calling the Helpdesk to request a file recovery?

Here’s how:

  1. Double-click Computer.
  2. Navigate to the folder above the one that contained the deleted file.

For instance, if the path to the file you want to recover was middfiles\orgs\its\helpdesk\filename you would open the middfiles\orgs\its\ folder so you could see the Helpdesk folder.

  1. Right-click on the folder in which the file resided before deletion. In the example above, you would right-click on Helpdesk.
  2. From the pop-up menu, select Properties. The Properties dialog box will open.
  3. Click the Previous Versions tab. The Properties dialog box will look like the one below. It points to snapshots of the folder contents taken six times a day for the previous 12 days.
    Helpdesk properties.PNG
  4. You can recover a previous version of one or more files -- or an entire folder -- in one of the following ways:
    • Select the snapshot of the folder that you want to recover in the Folder versions list and then click Restore. A message appears warning that restoring the folder will roll the folder back to the state it was in at the date and time selected. If that is what you want click Yes.
    • Select the Folder version desired, then click Open. The folder contents appear. Double-click the file you want to recover and then use the File/Save As command to save it to a different location or filename.
    • Select the Folder version desired, then click Copy. The Copy Items dialog box opens. Select a location to copy the folder to and then click Copy.

Troubleshooting Miscellaneous Issues with MiddFiles and other File Servers

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