Using MyDrives to share access to you M: or departmental drives

MyDrives enables you to connect to another person's M: drive regardless of where their M: drive is on the network; you can to connect to departmental filestore by choosing the department from a list.

MyDrives is available on the MWS and can also be used to map drives so you can access them easily from whichever computer you log onto.  When you log on at another computer, your drive mappings come with you and when network resource names are changed you are connected to the new locations.

If the MyDrives icon is not on your desktop it can be installed from: Install University Applications | Utilities | MyDrives

  • Click on the MyDrives icon 

 When you run MyDrives, a window similar to the following opens:

  • Click on the Manage Rights... button. A dialogue box similar to the following opens, showing your M: drive, and its subfolders:

  • Click on the subfolder that you want to grant rights to. The bottom half of the dialogue box will show you any existing users who already have rights granted in the subfolder.
  • Click Add. A dialogue box similar to the following opens:

In this dialogue box, you want to do two things. The first is choosing to whom you wish to grant rights; this is done in the top half of the dialogue box. Notice the instructions at the top. Basically, you either type a person's username or, if you don't know it, the first few characters of their surname, as shown.

  • Click Add

If more than one person could match what you typed, a dialogue similar to the following appears, in which you select the person you meant (by clicking to highlight them.

  • Click Select)

 They will then appear in the list in the right pane, as shown below: 

If you want to grant the same rights to several people for this folder, you can keep adding people to the list in this manner.
When you have added everyone you wish to, move on to the bottom half of this dialogue box and select which rights you wish to grant. The choices are: 

  • Read-only: The user can open files, but cannot modify them or delete them
  • Change: The user can read, modify, create and delete files. They can also create new subfolders.
  • Full control: In addition to being able to read and write, the user can grant rights to other users.

Be very careful about granting full control to another person as they can then grant rights to anyone else without your knowledge or approval. This is more appropriate for delegation of management on a departmental drive than for doing on your own M: drive.

Be aware that when you grant rights, those rights affect all subfolders and files as well. You may have to restructure your folders if you find that you need to grant rights to somebody in a folder, but you don't want them to have rights to one or more of that folder's subfolders.
Once you have made your selection

  • Click OK.

A confirmation message similar to the following will appear.

  • Click Yes iif the permissions are correct (or click No to make and changes you require). 

After clicking Yes, you are returned to the main rights-management dialogue box where the user(s) you added now appear in the bottom half of the dialogue box, showing that they have rights in this folder and what those rights are.

Once you have granted rights, they can connect a drive letter to the location, and look at the files in Explorer in the same way as they would any other networked resource. They can also use MyDrives to let them connect the drive letter without having to know anything about where on the network it is.

If you need to remove rights, simply select the person in the list and click Remove.

Advanced Rights-Granting 

There are several advanced things you can do:

  • Grant rights to a drive other than your M: drive
  • Grant rights to a group, rather than an individual

Grant rights to a drive other than your M: drive 

In the main dialogue box, there is a list box in which you can choose other drive letters. Having chosen the drive you want to manage, click Change, then proceed normally.

Grant rights to a group, rather than an individual

The network directory is a tree-like structure, consisting of containers with sub-containers and so on. Users are organized within this structure, by faculty, school and department and type (e.g. staff or student, taught or research postgrad, or undergrad). So you could, for example, grant rights to all Health and Life Science faculty staff by selecting the appropriate container, rather than trying to add all those users individually.
The most common reason for granting rights to a container is when you want to grant rights to everybody in your department including new people as they arrive.
To grant rights to a container, on the dialogue box where you choose users to grant rights to, click the Grant rights to a container (Advanced) button.

The containers people most commonly grant rights to appear at the top. For example, you can choose to grant rights to your container, your faculty, etc.

Each option shows the approximate number of users you would thereby be granting rights to. You can use this as a sanity check. If you intend to grant rights to your department, and you think that your department has about 15 people, but this dialogue box says that by granting rights to your container you would be granting to 257 people, clearly there is a difference between your idea of the borders of your department and the University's idea of those borders. (Also notice the Who Is Here? button. Clicking this will show you a list of users in the selected container).
Notice that one of your choices is to grant rights to the container where user X is found. This is handy if your functional workgroup is split up across multiple cost codes. If you know who is in which cost codes, you can enter one of the usernames from one of the other cost codes here in order to select that container.
If the container you want doesn't appear among the list of commonly used containers, and you don't know a username to use to find the container, you can manually select it using the tree structure at the bottom of the dialogue box. We do not recommend that you do this unless you are absolutely sure you know what you're doing. (An example of when you might need to do this is if you are a member of staff, but you need to grant rights to a group of students.)
If you need to grant rights to more than one container, simply select each one in turn and click Add to List after each one. When you're done, click Done. This will take you back to the dialogue box where you choose which rights to grant. Notice that all the containers you selected appear in the list on this dialogue box.