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DFS or Distributed File System is a method for storing files on servers as "network shares," as if they were just another harddrive or folder available to your computer. You access a DFS folder through mapped drives and network paths. One of the main uses for DFS is the storage of web folders such as Course1, StudentWebs, and StudentClubs.

Web space available:

  • Studentwebs = 100 mb
  • Course1 = 250 mb

DFS on Windows

There are two main ways of getting to DFS shares on windows, through mapped drives and through the server path.

  • WSU endusers are mapped to "W" for both studentwebs and course1 just as they are for personal storage on "R".
  • If using DFS for studentclubs you will need to browse to the drive (folder). This cannot be mapped.

DFS on Windows Via Mapped Drives

For students there is already a mapped drive on your computer called your W: Drive. This drive will take you directly to your student webs storage. Sometimes however if you did not start up your computer on campus you will not see this drive under My Computer. If this is the case simply click on Click to Map Drives on the Start menu while plugged in on campus and your drives will map.

DFS on Windows Via network path

Alternatively you can go directly to the network path of that share. To open up a network location on a windows computer first go to Start -> Run or use the Windows Key+R keyboard shortcut. From there you will need to type in the path of the file you want to get to. A table of common paths is listed below.

Share Name Path
Course1 \\winona.edu\dfs\Employees\Web_Course1\<username>
Student Class Storage \\winona.edu\dfs\Community\ClassStorage
Student Webs \\winona.edu\dfs\Students\Web_StudentWebs\<username>
Student Clubs \\winona.edu\dfs\Community\Web_StudentClubs\<club directory>

DFS on Mac

  • Macs will need to connect to DFS by opening Finder and then going to Go > Connect to Server - and entering smb://files.winona.edu. (You can still manually connect using this method.)
  • Once connected, there will be a new, blue disk icon on the Mac desktop. use this to access your web space.
  • REMEMBER to click on Go > Connect to Server first before you open your web editing software every time you come back to edit your web page(s) to publish. If you do not you will get error messages and be unable to publish.


Any files saved to studentwebs, course1 or studentclubs are openly viewable on the Internet. These are not protected folders/files. Treat all information stored in these locations as publicly viewable.

VPN Client

For information concering VPN please go to the VPN Information Page