Christopher Newport University provides a network file storage system to allow you to store your CNU-related files in a location that is secure, accessible, and backed up.  This article will answer the most frequently asked questions about networked file storage.

Why use network file storage?

There are several reasons to use network file storage:

  • It is backed up both on and off-campus
  • It is accessible from any computer on campus (and off-campus via Virtual Private Network (VPN))
  • Regular snapshots are taken, allowing files to be restored if they're damaged

What can not be stored on the file storage?

CNU's networked file storage is reserved for files related to CNU business only.  The following items are not allowed on the network file storage:

  • Personal files; especially music or movie files.
  • Executable files and Virtual machines: these take up considerable space, and don't work well running from the network drive.
  • Full hard drive backups: instead, save your CNU files directly to the network drive.

How do I access the network file storage?

You must be either on-campus or connected to the campus network through CNU's VPN to access the network file storage.  How you get to it depends on the computer that you have.


The network file storage is automatically mapped to all CNU windows computers.  To access it, open Windows Explorer, and you'll see the F: drive.

Computer Drives

Within that drive, you'll see your three network storage locations.

Network Storage Locations


To access Files on a Mac, you'll first need to connect to the server.  Follow these instructions to do so.

Once you do, you'll see on the left side of Finder.

Connect to Server

Clicking on that will bring up your three network storage locations.

Storage Locations Mac

What is the difference between the three locations?

The three basic locations on the network file storage are distinguished by who can access them.

  • Personal is accessible only to you. 
  • Departments contains a folder for each department in which you are a member.  Each of those department folders is open to the entire department, and no changes will be made to access within the department folder.
  • Collaborative contains a folder for each cross-departmental group that has requested a network file storage location.  You will only see Collaborative folders that you have access to.  Generally, all contents of a Collaborative folder are accessible to anyone with access to the folder.  If you need more complex or frequently-changing permissions, we recommend a Google Shared Drive.
If this didn't resolve your issue:

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