Office of Information Technology


NetDrive QuickStart


This version of NetDrive has been tested by OIT to work on typical installations of Windows. However, there are many reasons why NetDrive may not work on your home computer system. It is impossible for OIT to determine the configuration of Windows running on any computer that has not been configured by OIT. You should be aware that OIT is not able to provide support for users' home computers.

If you have completely followed the NetDrive installation instructions and you are having problems with NetDrive, then it is likely that NetDrive will not work on your system. You should uninstall NetDrive by going into the Control Panel, choosing Add/Remove Programs, selecting NetDrive and then uninstall.

What Is NetDrive?

NetDrive allows you to access your Network (H: Drive) files from any computer, even from home. NetDrive is a sophisticated FTP and WebDAV client which allows you to create a drive letter for an FTP or WebDAV site. So, instead of having to deal with dowloading and uploading files via FTP, you can access these files as you would on any other drive.

Who Can Use NetDrive?

Faculty and Staff can already access the contents of their H: drives via FTP and WebDAV. So it is possible for staff and faculty to use NetDrive to access their files from any computer on which NetDrive is installed. Since your H: drive may contain sensitive materials, you should obtain permission of your department head prior to using NetDrive from off campus.

Why Would I Use NetDrive?

Use NetDrive to access presentations, documents, and other files from the classroom. NetDrive allows you to keep a single copy of your materials in your H: drive, and access it from wherever you lecture. NetDrive can be used in place of, or as a backup plan for, USB based "thumb drives," burning CDs, or accessing classroom shared folders. In many cases, NetDrive can be used in place of these other methods. Obviously there are applications where USB drives, or CD's are preferable. But NetDrive has the advantage of always being up to date, and eliminates having to distribute copies of your lecture materials. From a cost perspective, NetDrive uses existing technologies and is essentially costless. In addition, NetDrive will eliminate the complicated array of classroom shared drives you access from your office, preventing them from being tampered with.

You can use NetDrive to access your files from any location. When visiting people in other departments, you can view or edit your documents on another person's computer. NetDrive is also accessible from off campus. You could install NetDrive on your home PC and access your H: drive files from home (provided you have up to date anti-virus software, and the permission of your supervisor!) For our road warriors, NetDrive could be used to retrieve documents while on the road. Obviously large documents will take a while to transfer over slow internet connections. With a broadband connection, the performance is normally acceptable, though obviously slower than being on campus.

You can use NetDrive to access any FTP or WebDAV site. If you are frequently performing FTP transfers, or manage web pages on HAL, you can use NetDrive to give you a drive letter to your web site to make editing and updating easier.

Security Concerns - Please Read!

NetDrive is as secure as the underlying communications: FTP or WebDAV. FTP is as secure as e-mail communications, and while not impossible, it is highly unlikely that someone can gain unauthorized access to your data. WebDAV uses HTTPS for communications, meaning that the data and your passwords are encrypted. For extremely sensitive documents accessed from off campus, use the WebDAV URL to access your H: drive. By far the biggest security issue is carelessly leaving your NetDrive connected on an unattended or public PC. If you leave yourself logged in, and walked away, someone could do whatever they wanted to your files. This issue is completely preventable: Be sure you Disconnect and Flush Cache your NetDrives after you are finished. This will prevent unauthorized access to your account. See instructions below.

NetDrive is probably inappropriate for people who keep academic, financial, or medical records of others in their H: drive. Like any other drive, NetDrive contents can be infected by computer viruses. If using NetDrive from off campus, you need to ensure that the PC has current antivirus software. The data transmitted by NetDrive is (currently) not encrypted, but because of our network architecture it is virtually impossible to "wiretap" or "sniff" this traffic while on campus. However this is not true of Internet communications. For this reason, please use WebDAV to access your file, as WebDAV data is excrypted and more difficult to "sniff."

Before you use NetDrive, please understand these security issues to minimize your risk. Staff should always consult their department head prior to using NetDrive from off campus so that departmental policies can be adhered to.

Using NetDrive

  1. 1.    Step 1. NetDrive must first be installed on PC. for you to use it. First look for NetDrive in the "system tray" of icons next to the clock on the Start bar:

    NetDrive System Tray Icon
  2. 2.   If the NetDrive icon is present, skip to Step 2.
    If you don't see the circled icon, check Start --> Programs for NetDrive:

    Starting NetDrive Manually
  3. 3.   Start NetDrive, and it will display a large window. Once this window appears, close it. The NetDrive icon will appear in the system tray as shown above, and should re-appear, even if you restart your PC.
  4. 4.   Step 2. Connect to "My H Drive" by right clicking on the NetDrive system tray icon. A popup menu will appear:
    Screen shot for Netdrive

  5. 5.   Click the "Connect To" menu item to list possible connections. Then select "My H Drive." A login box will appear:

    Screen shot for Netdrive

  6. 6.   Step 3: Enter your Network login ID and password. This is the password you use when you login to the network when starting your computer. For Username, enter your full NDS login ID. This will normally be .firstname.department.admin for example .bob.oit.admin or .jimmy.physics.admin The initial period must be present, and all staff and faculty account end in .admin.

    Hint: To find your full login ID, from your office PC, open the "Novell-delivered Applications..." window - the title will show your fiull login ID.
  7. 7.   Step 4: After a few seconds, you should see an Explorer folder open up with your NetDrive drive letter. Since H: is already in use on most PC's, the M: drive will contain the contents of your own H: drive. So use M: as you would your H: drive.

    Screen shot for Netdrive

  8. 8.   You can access your files from this window, or close the window and access your files directly from various programs. Closing this window does not log you out! The M: drive points to the same files and folders as the H: drive on your office PC.

    For example, you could double click on the Excel spreadsheet above and after a couple seconds it will open. If you make changes to it, they will be saved back to the Network. This can take a while for large files, and will typically take 2 - 5 seconds even for small files. During long transfers you will see a status box appear:

    Screen shot for Netdrive

    This may happen several times when viewing a folder for the first time, since Windows may try to open files to extract icons, or obtain file type information. For computer on campus the transfer rates for large files should be 1 to 3 MB / second, which is comparable to directly accessing the files on your H: drive. If this becomes annoying, you can check the "Don't display this dialog again" checkbox.
  9. 9.   Step 5: Be Sure To Logout!
  10. 10.  To ensure that your account is protected from unauthorized use, when done using the PC, be sure to flush the cache:

    Screen shot for Netdrive
  11. 11.  Then be sure to Disconnect the NetDrive:

    Screen shot for Netdrive

  12. 12.  Check to make sure the M: drive has disappeared. If it is gone, then you are logged out!

Installing NetDrive

If you don't have NetDrive on your office PC, you can install it using the Novell App Launcher, which starts automatically when you login. The installation is mostly clicking "Next..." and so on. Here is the sequence of screens you should expect:

Step 1a (If On Campus): Locate the "Novell-Delivered" task on your task bar and click on it... Resize the window as needed.

Screen shot for Netdrive

Step 1b (If Off Campus): If you want to use NetDrive from home, please contact the Support Desk to request the necessary files .

Once you receive the files, download the NetDrive installer (ndint.exe) to a convenient location.

Step 2: Double click on the "W2K NetDrive Install" icon as shown above -or- run ndint.exe downloaded above. After a few seconds the setup program will run. Select English as the install language:

Screen shot for Netdrive

Step 3: You will see the Novell NetDrive 4.1 setup screen. Select Next...

Screen shot for Netdrive

Step 4: You will see the license agreement screen, click Yes...

Screen shot for Netdrive

Step 5: The Destination Folder Location dialog will appear, Click Next...

Screen shot for Netdrive

Step 6: You may be prompted to reboot. If so, select "No, I will restart my computer" and click Finish.

Screen shot for Netdrive

Step 7: (When Off Campus Only) To create your NetDrive drive letters download the NetDrive.reg file (contact to request the URL) to a convenient location. Then double click on it. This will add registry entries for the default FTP and WebDAV profiles to NetDrive. Either profile can be used from off campus, but the WebDAV profile uses encrypted data for added security for sensitive data and to protect your passwords.

Step 8:
Close any running applications and restart your PC... After you restart, the NetDrive system tray icon should be visible:
Screen shot for Netdrive