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Home drive FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions 

These FAQs contain general questions about the project, migration process and what is in scope for the first phase.  

For general information about OneDrive for Business, please see our OneDrive page.

Migration plans for July/August 2021 *NEW*

We will be moving the remainder of Home (N:) Drives between 30th July and 27th August. You will receive an email beforehand to advise you of your specific date.

New FAQs:

Q: I can't find my files on OneDrive

To keep things simple, we are copying the contents of your N drive to a new top level folder on OneDrive called "Ndrive". 

Q: I'm worried you'll lose something I need

This is a tried and tested process, so we are satisfied there is no risk of losing files permanently. DTS will be keeping a close eye on the migration, the tool we are using gives us an error message if there is a problem with a particular account.  

No files will be deleted, once we are satisfied that the copying has been successful, files will be moved to an archive store (retrievable by raising a ticket with the IT Service Desk)

Q: I had already transferred my content and now you've done it again

You can delete the folder "Ndrive" on OneDrive if this has happened to you. With over 4000 accounts to get through, there is a chance that this will happen for some people (especially if there is still content left).

Q: Something's broken, what do I do?

If something has stopped working the way you expect it to, please raise a call with the IT Service Desk. Whilst we've done a lot of background work ensuring that the applications on Apps Anywhere do work with OneDrive, there are hundreds of applications in use at the University that DTS have no knowledge of and so don't proactively support. If you let us know you have a problem, we can work with you.

Q: The application I use can't access cloud storage

The majority of applications on Apps Anywhere support saving/loading files from cloud storage, including OneDrive for Business, and we recommend saving your files in OneDrive wherever possible. However, not all applications are able to save directly to OneDrive. In this case, you can save files to the Desktop or Documents folder (C:), and upload a copy to OneDrive as a backup. 

For information about Endnote, please read this blog post from the Library.

Q: My team can't see a folder or file that was shared with them on my N drive. How do I share content with others?

We have made the decision to not transfer existing permissions from the fileshare to OneDrive, so you will need to set up your shared permissions again. See the Microsoft instructions Share OneDrive files and folders.

 

Previous FAQs:

Q: What is my home drive? UPDATED

Your home drive, or N drive, is your local space on the Reading file server. If you've mapped it as a network drive prior to July 13th, it will appear as your user name, e.g.  xy123456 (\\dfs.rdg.ac.uk\homes) (N:) (or the letter you've assigned it) in your file list. After July 13th it will appear as xy123456 (\\rdg-home.ad.rdg.ac.uk\homes) (N:) 

You can also get to it in Windows Explorer by typing \\rdg-home.ad.rdg.ac.uk\homes/yourID in the address bar (when signed in to VPN).

Connecting to your N drive on a university PC and How to map a network drive (for any Windows 10 device)

Q: I can't connect to my home drive anymore, have you deleted it? *NEW*

On 13th July, the path mappings for all University file servers changed. This has led to some people being unable to reconnect to N: as the path they mapped is no longer valid. You need to update your mapping to \\rdg-home.ad.rdg.ac.uk\homes\staffID instead. 

Read here for further information: DTS retiring dfs.rdg.ac.uk

Q: I’ve had a new laptop/I am using my own computer and the N drive isn’t set up, how do I get to the content I’ve got on there?

How to map a network drive

Q: I haven't got VPN set up on my new computer.

Setting up VPN

Q: I don't think I have a home drive?

In the last couple of years, new staff have not been automatically given a home drive and have been encouraged to use OneDrive for Business instead. If you don't have a home drive, or haven't heard of your home drive, then it is likely you don't have one and so don't need to do anything. 

If you want to check, you can try to map your home drive as per the above instructions (connecting your N drive/mapping a network drive). If you get an error message (Cannot map to...) then you don't have an N drive.

Q: How do I get OneDrive for Business?

You can either access OneDrive through office.com, or the OneDrive for Business application is installed on all University Windows 10 computers. It appears in your folder list as "OneDrive - University of Reading", or you can use the search facility to find OneDrive on your computer (magnifying glass). 

If you need to install it on a machine running below Windows 10, please ask the IT Service Desk to install it for you.

Mac users: you can access OneDrive through office.com and download from there, or you can get the desktop app from the App Store.

Q: I've not set up OneDrive yet, what do I need to do?

Please see these instructions: Setting up OneDrive

Q: I've got Office 2016, do I need to upgrade to Office 365?

OneDrive is available for staff on both licences. 

Q: What is the deadline? UPDATED

We are asking for staff to have emptied their home drives by 30th April 2021 to allow us time to prepare for the bulk migration during the summer holidays of users who have not migrated themselves.

Q: Does this include PhDs, students, postgraduates, masters? 

This first phase is for people with a staff email account (name@reading.ac.uk) rather than a student email account (name@student.reading.ac.uk or name@pgr.reading.ac.uk). 

Q: What happens if I do nothing?  UPDATED

You won’t be able to continue using it forever, as it will be set to read-only. DTS will move anything that’s left on home drive after 30th July 2021. You will get a personal message beforehand so you know when it's happening for you.  

Q: I run Linux, what do I need to do?

If you run Linux and you use your N drive (rather than your Unix home), you will need to empty your N drive as well. There isn't an official Linux client, but you can access OneDrive from Office365 on the web (make sure to use your University credentials). 

Linux users can use rclone to backup files, for some instructions see https://research.reading.ac.uk/act/knowledgebase/rclone-sync/

Q: Do you have instructions for Mac users?

There are instructions for connecting to a network drive and transferring files to OneDrive for Macs here: Connecting your Mac to a remote server (Apple) and Sync files with Onedrive on Mac OS X (Microsoft).

Q: I have a personal webpage

If you have a personal web page (i.e. hosted at www.personal.reading.ac.uk/~username): Do not move or delete the folder public_html, which contains your website information. If you move this, your website will break. You can safely move everything else.  
Personal websites will be moved to an alternative platform in a separate project.

Meteorology: If your site is hosted at met.reading.ac.uk/~username then you don't need to do anything. These are hosted on Unix home, which is not being changed. 

Q: Will we still have access to our other drives and folders on our work computers e.g. Documents?

You will still have access to files on your local drive, (C:), as well as any other network drives you have mapped. This phase of the project is only concerned with your own home drive. 

Q: The application I use can't access cloud storage

The majority of applications on Apps Anywhere support saving/loading files from cloud storage, including OneDrive for Business, and we recommend saving your files in OneDrive wherever possible. However, not all applications are able to save directly to OneDrive. In this case, you can save files to the Desktop or Documents folder (C:), and upload a copy to OneDrive as a backup. 

For information about Endnote, please read this blog post from the Library.

Q: What about PC labs and classroom PCs? UPDATED

There will be a redirection on PC lab and classroom PCs for you Documents and Favorites folder on your N drive to a new "Profiles" location. The direction will happen automatically, however you will need to browse to the new location to get previously saved files. The DTS Tech Table guide will be updated to include this. 

For information about this, please read Profiles.  

 

Guidelines

Q: Is it OK to hold sensitive information on OneDrive? 

Your own OneDrive space has the same confidentiality rating as your home drive - it is owned by you and you have responsibility for any data there. It is only accessible by you, and only you can share to specific named people who need access. If you have any sensitive information, that should be encrypted (as it should have been on N). Data on OneDrive for Business for our University  is stored in the UK.

Link to encryption policy

You can get 7-Zip from Apps Anywhere, which you can use to encrypt files (instructions here). 

Q: What do I save on OneDrive and what do I save on SharePoint?

There is a useful article from Microsoft here: Should I save files to OneDrive or SharePoint?

Previous instructions for migrating content yourself:

Maximising your file transfer rate: 

  • You need to be on VPN to get to your N drive (unless you are on campus). VPN is a slower connection, and the connection speed depends on how many other people are on the network at the same time. If you can do the transfer out of hours, this will help.
  • If you have remote access into a PC on campus, you can do the file transfer from there remotely.
  • Close all other applications, do not try to do any other  work at the same time. This gives your computer as much processor power as possible,
  • If you are at home, maximise your broadband and use a wired connection rather than wifi
  • Keep your laptop plugged in to mains power. OneDrive will stop transferring files in battery saver mode (default is at 20%)
  • Do not close your browser window or turn off your computer during the upload
  • If you have a lot of data, try splitting it into sections and upload over a few days
  • Copy first, then you can delete once you are satisfied your files are safely on OneDrive for Business
  • Give it time and be patient. This is not a fast process – it may take several hours to transfer. 

Links for the demo sessions

These links take you to the Stream meeting recordings (unedited).

Wednesday 24th March

Monday 29th March

Slides for the demo sessions