File Servers

Revision as of 19:21, 5 August 2009 by Petar Mitrevski (talk | contribs)

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: "Dropbox" folder behavior

Teachers of a class can see all contents of the Dropbox folder. Students cannot see any of the folder's contents, however they can drag files there (ie they have write privilege, but it's limited because they have no read privilege).

Students SHOULD NOT TRY TO SAVE documents directly to the Dropbox folder. They should save the file elsewhere first, and then drag 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.

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

Server Students Fac/Staff
Email 500 MB 1000 MB (1 GB)
Middfiles (personal, home folder) 200 MB 200 MB
Classes 300 MB/class 300 MB/class
Midd-Unix 50 MB 50 MB
Muscrat Varies By Class/Need Varies By Class/Need

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 OR smb://community
  • 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

Faulty, staff and student personal web pages are 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:www.middlebury.edu/academics/lis/help/helpdesk/documentation/network/file/windows/

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)

Please use the official documentation on recovering deleted files or folders from file servers: Recovering a file from a server

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.

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: http://www.middlebury.edu/academics/lis/help/helpdesk/documentation/network/file/cross/network_ftp_2middunix.htm 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.

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.

Tracking details: Author: Petar Mitrevski Revised: 12/18/2007

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

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

Powered by MediaWiki