Off-campus access to HOME folders using WebDAV

Contents

This page documents the WebDAV-based service which will be the mechanism by which KSU Physics faculty, staff, and students may access their network drives while off-campus. As of this writing, the service will be active only for the HOME volume, going live on April 29th, 2011.

Overview

MyFiles Anywhere is a general term for a service provided by PCSC to allow the KSU Physics community to access their network file shares from off-campus. Until now the only way to access your files from off campus was to us Remote Desktop Services, this method is still available and suggested. For security reasons, we are unable to allow computers that are not on our network to map these network drives directly; this page documents an alternative service which may be used for accessing your files from off campus.

Please note that this service is intended only for use from outside of Cardwell Hall  (this includes wireless). If you are working while connected to the KSU Physics network you will have much better results mapping your network drives as normal.

Usage Instructions

This service does not require the installation of any software; it is supported by native tools in Windows XP / Vista / 7 as well as Mac OSX 10.5 and above. Instructions for mapping your drives using this service can be found, arranged by operating system, immediately below:

Windows XP

  1. Double click on 'My Computer'
  2. On the left hand side of this window, under the 'Other Places' heading, click the link 'My Network Places'. If you do not see it, you can also copy/paste the text 'My Network Places' into the address bar at the top of this window.
  3. Under 'Network Tasks', click 'Add a network place'.
  4. Click Next past the first screen.
  5. In this window, select the 'Choose another network location' option and click Next.
  6. In the address bar provided, type exactly the following text, and then click Next:
https://anywhere.phys.ksu.edu/home
  1. Type in your KSU Physics username and password when prompted
  2. Optionally, name this location. The default will be 'home on myfilesanywhere.phys.ksu.edu'. Click Next when you're done.
  3. On this final screen, we recommend you leave the 'Open this network place when I click Finish' box checked. Click 'Finish'.
  4. This will open up a new window with your HOME folder inside. You can work with the files and folders here exactly as you would when on-campus. See below for some common questions, usage tips, and troubleshooting options.

Caveat for Windows XP only: the technology used on a Windows XP machine will not allow you to map your network drives onto a drive letter (i.e. O:) as you would in Cardwell. If you close the window to your files, you can find it again by navigating to the 'My Network Places' window as you did in steps 1/2 above.

Windows Vista / Windows 7

  1. Right-click on My Computer and choose 'Map Network Drives'
  2. Select a drive letter (or accept the default). HOME: is normally mapped to O: on your computer, so you should select that unless you have a reason to choose otherwise.

In the 'Folder' box, type the following exactly as it appears below:

https://anywhere.phys.ksu.edu/home
  1. Check 'Connect using different credentials', then click 'Connect'
  2. Enter your KSU Physics username and password when prompted, then click OK
  3. If all goes well, you should now be presented with a window in which you can see the contents of your HOME: drive. You may copy files to and from this drive just as you normally would when on-campus. See below for some common questions, usage tips, and troubleshooting options.

Mac OSX 10.5 and above

  1. In Finder, choose Go --> Connect to Server

Type the following exactly as it appears in the new window:

https://anywhere.phys.ksu.edu/home
  1. Click OK, and log in with your KSU Physics username and password.
  2. A new drive should appear on your desktop corresponding to this new mapping. You can now navigate into these folders just as you would in Cardwell.

Who To Call

As always, if you are having trouble with this service or any other provided by PCSC, please contact us:

  • Faculty, Staff and Students: Please contact PCSC at 2-6961.

 

If there is a problem affecting multiple users, they may know about it already - but we encourage you to call regardless.


Questions, Tips and Tricks

There is an important distinction between working with your network drives using this service vs using the normally mapped drives on-campus. It is very important that you do not work directly with files located on these shares.

Copy your file(s) to your local hard drive and work on them there, then copy them back to the network drive when you are finished.

This is critical because, due to the nature of this service and the technical architecture, it is unlikely to have sufficiently good performance for you to work directly from the share (particularly if your internet connection has low upload speeds, which is characteristic of nearly all cable modems). Doing so could cause you to lose work, corrupt your files, or have other serious consequences.

Technical Troubleshooting

By far the most common complaint associated with this service is 'slowness'. Some of that cannot be addressed by PCSC, as it will depend on the speed and bandwidth of your internet connection (this service is targeted largely for home use). There is, however, a well-known problem in Windows 7 pre SP1 (only) that can cause very poor performance on file shares mapped in this fashion. If you are using Windows 7 pre SP1 and getting very poor performance (i.e. it takes several seconds or more just to open a folder or get information about a file), install SP1 or try this:

  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. Expand the Tools menu (located by default underneath the URL bar on the top right hand side of the screen)
  3. Select 'Internet Options' from this menu.
  4. Click the 'Connections' tab in the new window that opens.
  5. Click the 'LAN Settings' button.
  6. Look for a checkbox in this window that says 'Automatically Detect Settings'. If it is checked, uncheck it. Otherwise, do nothing.
  7. Close Internet Explorer, disconnect the drive (Right-click and choose 'Disconnect), and then reconnect using the procedure described above.

Last edited by Larry McFeeters on Apr 14, 2011