Difference between revisions of "File Servers"

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=== Mapping a Drive to a DFS Server (PC)  ===
=== Mapping a Drive to a DFS Server (PC)  ===
It is possible to connect to a DFS server (such as your home folder/personal space on Middfiles, the Classes server, etc.) and manage your files by mapping a drive. For a clear, concise guide, visit:[http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/lis/help/helpdesk/documentation/network/file/windows/ www.middlebury.edu/academics/lis/help/helpdesk/documentation/network/file/windows/]<br>  
It is possible to connect to a DFS server (such as your home folder/personal space on Middfiles, the Classes server, etc.) and manage your files by mapping a drive. For a clear, concise guide, visit:[http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/lis/help/helpdesk/documentation/network/file/windows/ ]https://mediawiki.middlebury.edu/wiki/LIS/Using_File_Servers_%28Windows%29#Map_a_Network_Drive<br>  
==== Troubleshooting steps  ====
==== Troubleshooting steps  ====

Revision as of 14:16, 11 June 2010

Using File Servers

Differences between the servers

Each folder space has different characteristics and is suitable for different uses.

  • MIDDFILES (DFS servers):
  1. Home folder: Small quota, personal folder and personal access only. Useful for personal documents and files that no one else needs to see.
  2. Classes folder: Medium quota, folder for every class, access given to every member of the class that is registered in Banner. Useful for posting class handouts and files; also has a "dropbox" for electronically submitting papers etc. (see below).
  3. Orgs & Special Projects directories: Variable quota, folder for many organizations & departments on campus. Student and staff organizations can use this to store org-relevant data for access by members only.  See DFS
  • Muskrat: High quota, space allotted for each class that has media storage needs, with a private personal folder inside each class folder. Useful for storing large media files for movie and audio projects related to media classes. If students need to store large files on the network but they don't have access to Muskrat storage for that class, they can request it from the Helpdesk.
  • MiddMedia - more info, anyone...
  • Midd-Unix: This server provides storage for a student's personal web page.  

End user guides

Classes server and Dropbox folder behavior

Teachers of a class can see all contents of the Dropbox folder. Students can only see the files that they copy or save until their professor files them away. Students can copy/paste, drag, save directly to the drop box via File Save and they can upload via the web (netstorage - go/files). For reliability sake, students SHOULD NOT TRY TO SAVE documents directly to the Dropbox folder. They should save the file elsewhere first, and then drag or copy the file to the Dropbox folder.

The Dropbox folder is a safe place for teachers of a class to securely share files with each other so that non-teachers cannot access the files.

For more details, see: Troubleshooting_Classes_and_Dropbox_Folder_Issues

Default Server Quotas - Email, DFS, and Midd-Unix

See: Default_Quotas

Connecting to File Servers

End User Guides

Connecting to file servers with Mac OS X

To connect to your home folder (personal folder) on middfiles, the Classes folder on middfiles, or other middfiles servers with Mac OSX, you need to know their "SMB address" which is entered in the format of smb://'middfiles.middlebury.edu/'server as below.

  • Personal/home folder: smb://middfiles.middlebury.edu/middfiles/home
  • Classes: smb://middfiles.middlebury.edu/middfiles/classes
  • Orgs (formerly "ocelot" or the "N" drive): smb://middfiles.middlebury.edu/middfiles/orgs 
  • Midd-Unix (aka Community): smb://midd-unix 
  • Muskrat: smb://muskrat

Connecting to File Servers in Windows Vista

The standard procedure of mapping a network drive to connect to file servers, does work by default on Windows Vista.

Connecting to the servers

To connect to these servers you need to know their addresses. Then follow the steps below.

  • Personal space: \\middlebury.edu\middfiles\home
  • Classes: \\middlebury.edu\middfiles\classes
  • Orgs: \\middlebury.edu\middfiles\orgs
  1. Click on the Start button and right-click on Computer.
  2. Click on Map network drive.


  1. In the Folder field enter the address of the server  Image004.jpg
  2. Click Connect using a different user name.
  3. Enter your Middlebury username in this format: midd\yourusername and enter your college password.
  4. Click OK .
  5. Click Finish.

Connecting to Midd-Unix

NOTE: Midd-Unix accounts are not being created any more! Please see this page more details. Some faculty, staff and student personal web pages are already kept on Midd-Unix. You can connect to Midd-Unix while on the Middlebury campus or from off the campus.

On Campus

Connect using the End User Guides as appropriate to your operating system.

Off Campus

Windows computer
  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. In the address field type in: ftp://yourusername@ftp.middlebury.edu (replace "yourusername" with your own username)
  3. Press "Enter" and you will be asked for your password, enter it and press "Log In"
  4. If the username and password was correct you will be connected to midd-unix and can start transferring/editing files.
Mac computer

Open Fetch, it should be in your "Applications" folder. If you do not have fetch you can call the Helpdesk and they can e-mail you a link and an install code.

When Fetch opens enter the following:

  • Host: ftp.middlebury.edu
  • UserID: yourusername
  • password: yourpassword

Click OK.

Your folders on Midd-Unix should appear.

Mapping a Drive to a DFS Server (PC)

It is possible to connect to a DFS server (such as your home folder/personal space on Middfiles, the Classes server, etc.) and manage your files by mapping a drive. For a clear, concise guide, visit:[1]https://mediawiki.middlebury.edu/wiki/LIS/Using_File_Servers_%28Windows%29#Map_a_Network_Drive

Troubleshooting steps

  • If you get an error, double-check the server address to ensure that you spelled it correctly; also make sure that you types in your username with midd\ before it.
  • The network address cannot be found or the network is not available: Ensure that the "TCP/IP NetBios Helper" service is running. ## Go to the Start menu -> Run ## type in "services.msc" and click OK ## In the Services Management Console look for "TCP/IP NetBios Helper", right-click it, select "Properties". ## In the Properties window that appears, use the drop-down menu in the middle to ensure that the "Startup Type" is set as "Automatic" and click apply ## click the button named "Start" inside the properties window.
  • Your computer needs to have a unique name to connect to the network. ## Right-click "My Computer" and choose Properties ## Choose "Computer Name" tab and click the "Change" button ## Enter in a new name. Consider using your username and a one-word descriptor so that the name is unique, such as "pmitrevs-XP". The name can't be longer than around 11 characters. ## Click OK to close the dialogs and restart the computer immediately.

Other Problems & Questions

Recovering a File Deleted from a Server (Mac or PC)

It is possible to recover a file that has been deleted from one of the DFS servers (middfiles, classes, orgs etc.). PC users can right-click on the folder that contains the missing file (or the folder that contains the missing folder) and select Properties from the pop-up menu.  Then click on the "Previous Versions" tab.

Alternatively, long term backups are made of all DFS files on the following schedule (courtesy of lahaie) :

Full backups are done once per week and incrementals during the rest of the week. The weekly full backups are retained for 60 days. The first full backup of each month is retained for one year. The first full backup of each year is retained indefinitely.

Troubleshooting Classes and Dropbox folder issues

See: Troubleshooting_Classes_and_Dropbox_Folder_Issues

Student's Documents Don't Appear in the Dropbox on Classes

Issue Description

Professor cannot see a student's documents when he puts them in the Dropbox of the Classes folder (SPAN0220F). The last time his student submitted something that didn't show up, he told him to e-mail him the document, and he would manually place it in the folder. When he did so, it said there was all ready something there; however, it's not visible. It's only for one of his students.


The student should ensure that the file does not have symbols or accented letters (i.e. the file should be named using letters of the English alphabet and no characteres such as slashes, commas, etc). Author: Linda Knutson Date: November 16, 2007

Mac OS X 10.5 (leopard) can't see any files inside a folder stored on a server (such as the classes server)

Problem: Mac OS X 10.5 (leopard) can't see any files inside a folder stored on a DFS server (like classes). PC/Windows computers or 10.4 (tiger) can see the files.

Solution: On a PC, using netstorage, or on a Mac with 10.4, check for files with non-roman characters (accented, symbols) - replace these characters with roman characters.

Second solution: On a PC, using netstorage, or on a Mac with 10.4, check if the parent folder, or the folder affected, end with a space in the file name. Remove the space, disconnect from the server, then reconnect.

Mac OS X freezes for a brief period after disconnecting from the network

This commonly occurs when the computer is connected to a file server and loses network connection (the network cable is unplugged, or the computer goes to sleep, or the server/network is temporarily unavailable).

The solution is to disconnect from any connected file servers before closing the lid, putting the computer to sleep, disconnecting the cable or any other action that may terminate the network connection.

To disconnect from a connected server, open the Finder and click on the eject button next to the server name in the Finder's side bar (located on the left). Another way to disconnect from a server is to view your Desktop and find the server's icon on the desktop. Click on the icon once and from the "File" menu in the top left corner of the screen, select "Eject".

Sending Large Files

There are several free services that let you send large files:

www.YouSendIt.com - 100 MB maximum

www.send6.com - No size limit - 6 files maximum

www.datataxi.com - 500 MB maximum

However we do not and cannot guarantee the quality or security of the above-mentioned services.

Faculty, staff and students are allocated 50 MB of personal space on Middlebury's community web-server. Here are instructions on how to place a file on this web server.  After a file is placed on the server, it can be access using any web browser on the following link: http://community.middlebury.edu/~username/file-name.ext where the word "username" is the username of the person who uploaded the file, and the word "file-name.ext" is the name and extension of the file. You can then send the link to the person needing the uploaded file and the person can easily download it. *note: midd-unix account creation is not automatic.  If no web page exists at your community site (per above link, without "file-name.ext" at the end), you may request the creation of such an account via the Helpdesk.

For faculty working on projects with collegues from other institutions, it might be possible to create an FTP account where the files can be uploaded and the login username and password can be shared. The network administrators at Middlebury or the other institution should be able to help with this.

Storage Services

You can also upload your files to an online free storage provider, which in turn will provide you with a link your files. You can send this link to other people to view and download your files.

One of these services is: www.4shared.com (5.00 GB free Space, 100 Mb maximum per file)

However we do not and cannot guarantee the quality or security of the above-mentioned services. Tracking details: Author: Isaac Sadaqah Date: 10/12/2008

Cannot connect to midd-unix aka community

Note that midd-unix account are no longer generated automatically, as most customers are using segue.middlebury.edu, blogs.middlebury.edu or mediawiki.middlebury.edu

You can still request a midd-unix account, please contact the helpdesk.

Connecting to the RHINO server with a Mac

Before connecting to the server called RHINO using a Mac, you should follow Apple's instructions here: http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1564

Middfiles does not prompt username and password

Description of Problem

When connecting to middfiles it does not prompt to enter the username and password and give an error directly saying that username or password are incorrect.

Possible Causes

  1. computer is connected through midd_unplugged; use midd_secure or using ethernet.
  2. if connected using ethernet and still gives this error message, then make sure that the computer is registered.

Tracking details: Author: Isaac Sadaqah Date: 08/28/2009

Files on a server are not visible

  • Problem: Files on a server are not visible when connected using a Mapped Network Drive, but were visible when using a Mac. Most likely, all the files are there, but the Windows Explorer cannot see them because of an illegal file name.
  • Cause: Incompatible characters in the name of a file or multiple files. Windows Explorer may be unable to read files that have accented letters in their name, or have one or more of these characters:
    \ / : * ? " < > |
  • Solutions:
  1. Access the folder in question from a Mac and remove any illegal characters from the filenames. One invalid file name could make an entire folder to appear blank.
  2. Try accessing the folder using NetStorage http://go.middlebury.edu/files - you might be able to remove the invalid characters.
  • List of invalid/illegal characters in file names:
\ / : * ? " < > |
Accented characters of certain encoding.

Recovering Files From a DFS Server Using Windows Explorer on a PC

  • TODO

Classes Folders, Segue Sites, and Distribution Lists


Permissions for classes folders on middfiles and access to class websites on segue are managed by distribution lists in our global address book. There are four different distribution lists created for each class. The set of distirbution lists is distinct for each semester. For example, a biology 140a class that is taught in the fall and in the spring of 2009 will have two seperate sets of distribution lists for each class. For the fall class, the distribution lists will begin with biol0140A-f09. For the Spring class, the distribution lists will begin with biol0140A-s09. The four lists created for each class each semester are:

  1. classname-semester
  2. classname-semester-audits
  3. classname-semester-instructors
  4. classname-semester-students

Note that all of these lists will also act as email lists in addition to granting permissions. It is perfectly possible to send an email to classname-semester-instructors which will reach everyone who is a member of that group. If you wish to send an email to everyone involved in the class, use classname-semester. For more information see the Membership section.


As a general note, the audits, instructors and students lists are all sublists of the classname-semester list. Anyone who is made a member of audits, instructors, or students will be automatically added to the classname-semester group. For information on specific lists:

2. classname-semester-audits is empty (has no members) by default and is owned by the classname-semester-instructors list.

3. The initial members of classname-semester-instructors is determined by banner. The official instructor(s) in banner will be the initial members of classname-semester-instructors and the list will be owned by itself.

2 and 3. Since classname-semester-audits and classname-semester-instructors are owned by a group, they can be manually edited by anyone who is a member of classname-semester-instructors (yes the instructors group manages itself).

1 and 4. The other two lists, classname-semester and classname-semester-students are generated automatically from data in banner and cannot be manually modified by anyone, including LIS. The ownership of these lists will be important for managing permissions for individuals to both segue and class folders on middfiles. For exact instructions on how to add or remove individuals from a distribution list see below.


1. classname-semester

This group controls permissions to the class segue website. Anyone who is a member of this group will have permission to view the site after they login on segue. Anyone who is both a member of either the All Faculty or the All Staff group AND a member of this when the site is INITIALLY created will be set as an owner for the site. Typically this is ONLY the primary teacher for the class. Anyone staff or faculty member added to this group AFTER the website is created will not be set as an owner. If anyone else wants to edit the segue site, they will have to be given appropriate permissions by the owner of the site using the "roles" interface. For more info on how to do so, see this link

2. classname-semester-audits

This group grants student level permissions to the class folders on middfiles. Anyone who is a member of this group should have exactly the same access to the folders as classname-semester-students.

3. classname-semester-instructors

This group grants teacher/instructor level permissions to the class folders on middfiles. Anyone who is a member of this group should have the same instructor level access to the class folders on middfiles that instructors had on the old pre-DFS classes server.

4. classname-semester-students

This group grants student level permissions to the class folders on middfiles. Anyone who is a member of this group shuold have the same student level access to the class folders on middfiles that students had on the old pre-DFS classes server.

Changing Folder Permissions on DFS Servers

(DFS lists in Outlook)

Background: Server admin staff create needed server folder permissions groups (Outlook distribution lists) then set up the accompanying desired permissions. These distribution lists all start with the prefix DFS- and reflect the folder path to which permissions are being granted. Assume read/write access for list members unless you see something else appended to the group name (such as "read only"). (Note: To keep the list names a bit shorter, Middfiles and Orgs are omitted.)

Distribution list owners can maintain list membership, adding and removing users as appropriate. List members (users whose names appears as belonging to the list/group) will have the permissions set by our admin staff when the list was initially created (typically "read/write" unless the list name indicates otherwise).

As an example, members of the distribution list called DFS-ITS-Helpdesk would have read/write permissions to the server folder on Middfiles\Orgs\ITS\Helpdesk.

Here's how a distribution list owner grants server folder permissions using their list:

  1. Launch Outlook.
  2. Click the Address Book button in the toolbar or choose Tools/Address Book from the menu bar.
  3. Start typing the complete list name in the search field.
  4. When you see your list, double-click to open it. Current list membership will be shown on the right. Click the "Modify Members" button.
  5. Use the "Add" and "Remove" buttons as needed to make desired changes. List members will have the permissions set by our admin staff when the list was initially created (typically "read/write" unless the list name indicates otherwise).
  6. Click OK, Apply then OK to save and apply the changes.
  7. Close the Address Book

If you are using a Mac, please find instructions here: https://mediawiki.middlebury.edu/wiki/LIS/Editing_Lists_on_Mac

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