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Campus Active Directory Services at UVM


Off-Campus access: Using 'Network Places' or 'Network Locations'

Documentation, information, discussions, and announcements concerning UVM's Active Directory based File Sharing, Printer Sharing and other Windows Server platform based services.

Using "My Network Places" for off-campus access to files:

Many people have asked us "How do I get to my files when I am off campus".  Good question!  In fact, you can access your files from just about any Internet-connected computer in the world!  When using a Microsoft Windows computer, we use the built-in "My Network Places" (Windows XP) or “Network Locations” (Windows Vista) client to gain access your files.  These methods use web-based protocols for file access, and thus does not require any additional VPN software in order to function.

Unfortunately, "My Network Places" does not allow "live" access to your files.  This means that you cannot lock files for exclusive access, and you cannot open database files (like MS Access and Lotus Approach).  For most people, this is not a limitation that matters.  However, if you do need live access to a database, then you will want to use the UVM VPN client!

Procedures for accessing a “Network Place” or “Network Location” are slightly different between Windows XP and Vista.  Please see the section below that is relevant to your platform.

Windows XP:  Add a Network Place

Step 1:

Start by opening the "My Network Places" explorer.  You will find a link for "My Network Places" either on the Windows "Start" menu, or on your Windows Desktop.

We will add a network place for your home directory and for your shared data.

To proceed, double click the "Add a network place" link.

Step 2:

The "Add Network Place" wizard will begin.  Click "Next".

Step 3:

When prompted where to create the network place, select "Choose another network location", then click "Next".

Step 4:

The first time you run this wizard, you will connect to your departmental shared directory.  In the "Internet or network address" field enter the following path:
and then append the name of your department's shared folder.  For example, CIT staff would use the address:
(alternatively, you could leave off the departmental folder name, and create a shortcut directly to the parent "shared" folder).

Step 5:

Next, you will be prompted to enter a friendly name for this network place.  This name is now the site will be displayed in your "My Network Places" folder in the future.

Step 6:

You will be prompted for your UVM NetID and password.  We do not recommend the use of the "Remember my password" option!

Step 8:

The "Add Network Places" wizard will complete.  You now have a shortcut to our department's shared directory!

Double-click this shortcut to access your files.  You may be prompted to log in again.

Step 9:

After opening your network place link, you should see a list of the files and folders in your shared directory.  Simply drag and drop files to copy them to and from the server.

Adding a shortcut to your personal files:

Once you have completed the wizard, you can repeat the process to add a link to your personal files.  Start from Step 1, above.  When you reach step 4, use the following guidelines to link to your personal files:

  • Start with
  • Append "MyDocs" to create a link to your "My Documents" folder
  • Append "winhome" to create a link to your H: drive, or "Apple Home" folder

Access these Network Places as you would the "Shared" link your created in the previous steps.


Windows Vista:  Add a Network Location

   Step 1:

Start by opening Windows Explorer.  Just go the the Windows Menu (or "start menu") and click "Computer".
   Step 2:

A Windows Explorer window will open.  Click the "Map network drive" item on the toobar in the upper-right of the window.

As an alternative, you can click in any open space in the "Network Location" section of the Explorer window, and select "Add Network Location" from the pop-up menu.  If you do this, skip directly to step 4.
   Step 3:

From the "Map Network Drive" dialog box that opens, click "Connect to a Web site that you can use to store your documents and pictures."
   Step 4:

The "Add Network Location" wizard will start.
Click "Next".
   Step 5:

When prompted, select that you wish to "Choose a custom network location".  Then click "Next".
   Step 6:

Enter the address of the file srever folder that you want to access.  Add addresses begin with

  • /MyDocs - to connect to your Windows "Documents" folder
  • /winhome - to connect to your "H:" drive, or "Apple Home" folder
  • /shared - to connect to your "S:" drive, or shared folder
Now click "Next".
Step 7:

Enter a friendly name for your Network Location... this name will be displayed in Windows Explorer when you complete the Wizard.

Click "Next", then click "Finish" to complete the Add Network Location Wizard
Step 8:

When you return to your original Explorer window, you will find the Network Location that you created in the "Network Location" section.

To access your Network Location, just double-click it.  Drag and drop files to these folders as you would with any other folder in Windows.