CN/Cosine - Access Network Drives



  • How do I access my shared drive (S: drive)?
  • How do I access my department network share?
  • How do I access a network drive?
  • How do I map a drive letter to my network share?
  • How do I access my personal drive (P: drive or Z: drive)?


  • Oregon State University
  • Community Network
  • Network Drives



Note: Many new employees do not have a P: drive or Z: drive assigned. Use of cloud storage (such as OneDrive) is recommended.

Note: To access network shares, your computer must either be on the OSU network, or connected to the OSU VPN.

Connect to Network Drives on a Mac

  1. Connect to the OSU network or OSU VPN
  2. From the Finder, select Go -> Connect to Server
  3. In the Address field, enter the path to your department share or personal home drive, for example:
    • smb://
    • smb://
    • smb://
    • smb://
    • smb://
  4. Note: The path listed in reftool will not work for Macs or Linux PCs. Make sure to change the backslashes ("\") to forward slashes ("/") for it to work
  5. Click the Connect button
    • You can also add the folder to a list of Favorites by pressing the plus button.
  6. Enter your ONID username and password when prompted
  7. Choose your volume from the list of shares and click OK

Browse and Connect to Your Network Drive

Many employees have access to a network share in one of the following locations:

  • \\
  • \\
  • \\
  • \\\dfs-users
  • \\\

To browse to your department network share:

  1. Windows:
    1. Connect to the OSU network or OSU VPN
    2. Press the Windows key and enter the name of the share, for example:
      • \\ - OR 
      • \\
    3. Browse by clicking on folders until you find your department share
    4. In the folder path, click on the white space to the right
    5. Press Ctrl-C to copy the path
  2. Mac
    1. See Connect to Network Drives on a Mac

Map a Drive Letter to a Department Network Share (Windows)

These steps apply to Windows only:

  1. Select Start and enter: File Explorer
  2. Select "This PC"
  3. Select the "Computer" tab in the menu
  4. Select the menu option to "Map network drive"
  5. Select a drive letter. By convention, we use P: for personal drive, S: for department share, and R: for restricted share. (Some departments use T: for department shares and Z: for personal drives). If those letters are already in use, you should pick a different drive letter.
  6. Enter the path to the share from the steps above under "Browse and Connect to Your Network Drive", e.g.:
    • \\ - OR 
    • \\ - OR
    • \\\dfs-users
  7. Put a check next to "Reconnect at sign-in"
  8. Note: by default, Windows will attempt to sign you in to the network share with the same username you used to sign in to Windows. If you need to use a different account, select "Connect using different credentials." Student employees will generally login as CN\se-username.
  9. Click "Finish"

Connect to CN-Home/Personal Network Drive

Note: Many CN customers do not have a personal network drive. For example, OSU-Cascades and HMSC do not use personal network drives, and CN student employee accounts are not granted personal network drives. Use of cloud storage options such as OSU OneDrive or Box are encouraged.

On domain-joined Windows computers, the P: drive should automatically map to the right location for your home folder. On non-domain-joined computers and Macs, you will need to connect to the personal drive manually.

CN customer personal home drives may be located in one of the folders on:

  • \\ - OR
  • \\\homes

To connect to your home folder:

  • On Windows:
    • Connect to the OSU network or OSU VPN
    • Select Start and enter: File Explorer
    • Select "This PC"
    • Select the "Computer" tab in the menu
    • Select the menu option to "Map network drive"
    • Select drive letter P: 
    • Enter the path to your personal home drive, e.g. \\\{deptname}
      • Note: For many the {deptname} folder is one of: g1_home, g2_home, g3_home, or g4_home
    • Put a check next to "Reconnect at sign-in"
    • Note: by default, Windows will attempt to sign you in to the network share with the same username you used to sign in to Windows. If you need to use a different account, select "Connect using different credentials." 
  • On Mac:



Make sure that you are logging in to the share with the correct account. Student employees will often have two accounts - an ONID account and a student employee ("se-") account, and the student employee account will typically be the one that was granted access to a department network share.

If you are connecting from outside of OSU's network, the VPN will be required.

Note to Service Desk and IT Pros: Customers in Community Network will often have a P: drive and S: drive automatically mapped via Active Directory Group Policy. If these are showing up with a red X on them, it may be that the customer's account is in the wrong location. This can happen when employees change jobs to another department. Mapping a P: or S: drive manually may not work, as logging out of Windows and back in will trigger the failed auto-map process again. The solution is to use ONIDMover to move the employee's account to the right location for their department. If it looks like the customer's account is already in the right location that matches their department, the issue may be that either they don't have a personal home folder, or they don't have permissions to the home folder or home share folder that their home folder is in.

If someone is unable to find where their Personal or Shared drive is located ("I can't find my P drive" or "My P drive is gone!") you can find this by tracking their user Group Policy.  To find this check the "Distinguished Name" or "Account Location" in Reftool for an AD location for their user profile.  Then follow the steps below.

  1. Go to tools-cx and check launch "Group Policy Management" to check on Group Policies in AD.
  2. Ensure your domain is set to the right domain for that user account (most likely
  3. Navigate down the domain list to the location where the user is at.
    • e.g. > onid > _tss > University Information and Technology
  4. Check for a department or group within that group, if applicable
  5. Check for a script icon, this will have something similar to TSS - Mapped Drives & Shortcuts - IS
  6. Click the icon and check the settings tab, look for User Configuration (Ehabled)
    • Under this group check Preferences > Windows Setings > Drive Maps , there will be drives shown that will be automatically mapped for a customer.
    • E.g.  UIT Staff under the location in step 3 have access to \\\IS_Home\%username% which will correspond to their department's share and automatically replace their username with the variable %username%
    • for example, The user bennyb would be under \\\IS_Home\bennyb
  7. You can then provide the drive mapping to the customer or help map their drive.


Account Location and Distinguished Name will read differently.  Distinguished name is an explicit path in machine-readable format whereas Account Location is in a more human-friendly format.  They will read in opposite ways.
Benny Beaver will show up as either Information and Technology or 
CN=bennyb,OU=University Information and Technology,OU=_tss,OU=onid,DC=onid,DC=oregonstate,DC=edu

Other user accounts may have more OUs between their user account and the delegated space, but they read either Left to Right or Right to Left ​​​​​​​respectively depending on which you use.


For assistance, contact the Service Desk.



Article ID: 130983
Mon 4/5/21 12:45 PM
Fri 4/5/24 4:03 PM