Saving files (Windows)

At the centrally maintained university workstations, users can save work files either on their own workstations (1), a CD or DVD (2), external storage media (3) or online (4). The available storage media can be found by clicking Start > Computer, which will open the following window:

The contents of the view depend on the external storage media – such as USB memory sticks or external hard drives – connected to the computer and on the available network drives. Usually, at least the local hard disk drive (1), CD or DVD drive (2) and the local network disk (Z, home directory (4)) appear on the view. The storage media have unique features and restrictions, so it is good to know which one to select in each situation.

    In a nutshell

    Medium Backup copying Capacity
    My Documents, Desktop, Z disk YES small
    P disk YES large
    HY data NO large
    External hard disks and memory sticks NO unlimited extendibility
    CDs and DVDs NO unlimited extendibility

    On computers not covered by the university's centralised maintenance, there might be more hard disk drives, such as D, E, etc. Usually, users have one or more group disks that are displayed next to the home directory.

    All new workstations have user restrictions. On workstations implemented after 2010, the local hard disk drive (C (1)) is always partitioned into a single partition, the C disk. The C disk always contains the LocalData folder, where the user can save data freely. Furthermore, it is the only folder where users can save data on their own computers. Every time when a new user logs in to the computer, a new subfolder is created under the LocalData folder. Thus, the folder can have several subfolders at workstations with multiple users. The name of the folder is the user's username, and the user has the sole access and editing rights to the data stored in it. No other user can access the data saved in the folder, even if they can access the computer.

    The size of the LocalData folder is not limited. Users can save their own files in the folder up to the free space available on the computer's hard drive. However, the folder has one important limitation: The LocalData folder is not backed up! The user is responsible for backing up the files in the folder.

    The home directory (Z drive) data is backed up automatically, the user does not have to do anything. The limitation of the home directory is the 100 gigabytes size limit, which makes the disk too small for large amounts of data, forcing the user to save them elsewhere. Files saved to the My Documents folder and Desktop of the workstation are forwarded to the Documents and Desktop directories of the Z disk, which means they take up part of the disk capacity.

    The group directory (P drive) data is backed up automatically. 

    External disk drives and memory sticks are well suited for the archiving of data and data transfers between workstations, if online transfer is impractical. The capacity of these is unlimited, because more disks can be added, as needed. However, the user is always and solely responsible for all data stored on external storage media. It is recommended to store important files on at least two different media.

    CDs and DVDs are well suited for the archiving of data and data transfers between workstations, but their use experience and capacity fall short of USB devices. The user is responsible for the data stored on discs.

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