How do I access my files on a network drive such as Y: or Z:?

"Mapping" or "mounting" network drives on your computer allows you to view and access those files as if they were physically sitting on your own computer.

The processes described below should work for most Mines servers if the server administrator has set up the server to permit remote access to files. You will need to obtain the server name and share information from the server administrator and use it instead of, say, "". Also, you will need to use your username and password for the system to which you are connecting.

Note: If you are off-campus: The Mines Virtual Private Network (VPN) connection is required. Guides for setting up a VPN: Windows VPN, MacOS VPN, or ChromeOS VPN.  If you are connecting on campus, in a campus computer lab, a residence hall, Mines Park, or some fraternity houses, you are already on the campus network and do not need to use the VPN.

To access your files stored on a remote network drive you will then need to "map" (Windows) or "mount" (Unix/Linux/macOS) the remote directory first. There are several ways to do so, depending on your operating system, OS version, and particular task at hand. The instructions below cover some of the most common cases. If your particular combination is not addressed, or if the instructions below are too difficult to follow, feel free to ask for help via the Mines Help Center (, or you can visit the Mines Service Center, MSC, located in CTLM 156A by the Computer Commons, or you can call the MSC at 303-384-2345 (x2345 on campus).

What is the correct "path" to connect to?
When logging into Windows computers on campus that are already attached to the ADIT domain (as in school-wide Windows computer labs or on an office PC accessed via ADIT), your "Z:" and "Y:" drives will be "mapped" automatically. Look for them in your Windows File  Explorer. Within ADIT the Z: drive denotes your personal drive space. The Y: drive is the system, a shared drive to which groups of people have access to particular folders.

Alternatively, if your computer is not already attached to a domain, these remote drives will not be mounted automatically unless you take steps to do so. To manually access your files stored on the ADIT domain, or on another Windows domain, you need to map the remote disk drive so that it appears as a drive on your local computer.

In order to do this you must know the full "path" to your files on the remote system. The paths for the Z: and Y: drives are:

  • Z Drive: \\hornet\users\x (x =first letter of username - for example, if your Mines username is "joeuser", \\hornet\users\j)
    • On a MAC, this will look slightly different: smb://hornet/users/x or smb:// (Same "first initial" as described above)
  • Y Drive: \\files\shared
    • On a MAC, this will also look slightly different: smb://files/shared or smb://
  • For Both Y: + Z: Drives - if your computer is not already joined to the domain, you will have to use the full address above (ie instead of files/shared)

Depending on your network configuration, you may need to specify the server (\\server\) as

Alternatively, you can obtain this information when you are physically logged into the domain that holds your files. For example, if you are logged into the ADIT domain on an ITS lab computer, you can discover the location of your home directory by double-clicking the "My Computer" or "Computer Name" icon. Look for the information next to the "Z:" drive listing in the Name column. It will look something like:

     username on 'hornet\users\u' (Z:)

where "u" refers to the first letter of your username.

Instructions for Windows users

1. Open Windows Explorer, My Computer or My Documents.

2. Locate the option to map a network drive. The method for doing this will vary with different versions of Windows. Typically, it will be something like:

     Options > Tools > Map Network Drive or Tools > Map Network Drive

3. A "Map Network Drive" (or similar) panel should appear. The first item identified will usually be the "Drive" letter to be assigned on your system. This will be the virtual drive letter that you will later use to access your files on the remote domain. Usually, the last available drive letter will show up. Systems throughout ITS labs use "Z" as the designated letter for your personal directory space online. You can pick Z: or any other unassigned drive letter in the drop-down list.

4. The second item requested is the "path" or "share" that tells your computer where to look on the network to find your files; this is the "full path to your files" that you obtained earlier in this FAQ.

5. If the "Reconnect at Login" box is checked, you should check or uncheck it as appropriate. For desktop machines constantly on the Mines network, this is a good choice. Laptops that travel off the Mines network are more problematic.

6. Press the "OK" or "Finish" button.

7. If the information you provided is correct and the drive is available, you will be prompted to enter your ADIT password (or username and password). Submit that information and press the "OK" button. You may need to enter your username as "ADIT\username" instead of just "username"-- indicating the domain where your account is found (ADIT in this case).

8. If the system validates your username/password, the drive letter you selected will now be mapped and you should be able to navigate to that virtual drive and access your files, just as if it were a local drive on your computer.

Instructions for macOS users
To access a remote drive using macOS, determine the path to the remote network drive. The methods noted above may be useful for discovering the path if it is not already known.

1. Using the Mac Finder, click Go > Connect to Server.

2. Type the server address in this format:


3. If you are successful, click the [+] icon on the right to save the address permanently.

Note: If asked for login credentials, use those for the system to which you are trying to connect, not your local Mac username and password (unless, of course, they are the same). You may need to enter your username as "ADIT\username"

Instructions for Linux users
There are many ways to mount network drives using a Linux system. Some Linux distributions have graphical clients for this purpose. Others require command-line solutions. In general, when mounting Windows shares, the "Samba" package will be used. For help with your particular Linux distribution, and a particular network file system, please submit a support request at Mines Help Center ( Describe as completely as possible the variety of Linux you are using and the file system you are attempting to access. Or proceed using the hints found below.

Linux labs: A convenient script has been placed on all of the Linux lab machines to make mounting your Z Drive -- your personal network storage drive -- on a Linux lab computer easier. Run the command "zdrive" in any terminal window then enter your MultiPass password at the prompt. Your Z Drive will be mounted to ~/zdrive and should also appear as a network location/device in any graphical file manager.

Command line: For general Linux users comfortable with the terminal or shell interface, the simplest method for accessing the files involves using the Samba package's "smbclient" executable, along with the cifs-utils package. They may need to be installed using the package manager appropriate to your Linux distribution, and can be used as follows:

     sudo smbclient -m SMB3 -U username -W adit //server/share
     sudo mount.cifs --verbose -o username=joeuser@adit,vers=3.0 //hornet-ct/Users/j/joeuser /mnt/files_ydrive/

Replace the "username" with your campus username, "server" with the server in question (Hornet for Z: drive, Files for Y: drive), and "share" with the share in question ("users" for Z: drive, "shared" for Y: drive). IMPORTANT NOTE: Several versions of Ubuntu, including 16.04 and 18.04, have a bug where it can not follow a virtual server mount properly. As such, you will need to connect to "hornet-ct" (typically) or "hornet-ql" (rarely) as the servername, in place of the generalized "hornet."

Once connected you'll be at the "root" of the share, so will need to "cd" to the appropriate directory -- for the Z: drive, using the initial "joeuser" example, "cd /j/joeuser" and so on.

For a persistent mount, you'll want to edit the /etc/samba/smb.conf as root. Find the [global] section and add the following lines:

    workgroup = ADIT
    client min protocol = SMB2
    client max protocol = SMB3

Graphical interface: For general Linux users more comfortable in the GUI environment, there are a variety of options, but the most commonly available is to use Nautilus (or "Files" in recent versions of Ubuntu). For most, this is by far the easiest way to connect to a Windows share in Linux.

Click on "Connect to Server" in the bottom of the left-hand sidebar (on Ubuntu 18.04, you will need to click on "Other Locations" first), and enter the server address in the format:


Enter. You will be asked to supply your ADIT username, domain name (ADIT), and ADIT password (these are highly likely to be the same login credentials as your MultiPass credentials). You will also specify how long the system should remember your ADIT password (choose "Remember forever" for maximum convenience). Then click Connect and your ADIT directory on Hornet will now be available to you via the Nautilus file manager.

In summary, this process involves a lot of variation between different Linux distributions and configurations. Let us know if you have problems with the instructions above and we will try to help if your version of Linux is one with which we are familiar.

Firewalls: If you are using an operating-system-based firewall (such as those that ship with Windows) or a commercial host-based firewall (such as ZoneAlarm, Norton Internet Security, BlackIce, Tiny Personal Firewall, or others) you may need to configure your firewall application to allow any server to which you map a drive, to communicate with your system. Typically this may be done by defining (for example) as a trusted system.

Security tip: If you have mapped any network drives from a laptop checked out from ITS or borrowed from any other source, it is important that you disconnect them before you return the laptop. Most loaner laptops are not username/password-protected, so the next time it is connected to the network the person using the laptop may have access to your home directory space since the drives will remain mapped. To prevent this security breach from occurring, be sure you disconnect the mapped drives. To disconnect a mapped network drive on Windows, right-click on the drive in question and then choose Disconnect from the contextual menu.

Browsing to find your desired directory, where different Mines campus domains, workgroups, and machines appear in a Network Neighborhood, likely will not work for you as it is not currently supported on the Mines network.

Access to your files on the ADIT (Windows) domain or on other servers does not mean that you can run software applications housed on-campus computers on your local system. Software licenses generally apply only to servers and systems located in ITS-managed computer laboratories.

Disk storage quotas on central servers are enforced as appropriate and at the discretion of system administrators. Excessive use of storage and network bandwidth, especially for non-academic activities, may be restricted or prevented by various methods including disciplinary action.

Copyright: Mines systems are not to be used to store or transfer copyrighted material without permission of the copyright holder. Copyright holders are increasingly prosecuting students for illegally obtaining and distributing copyrighted material such as music and videos.


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Article ID: 69896
Wed 1/9/19 9:35 AM
Sun 8/23/20 4:42 PM