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Connecting to Shared Directories from Office/Lab/Equipment/Home Windows computers

Quick Links:

For a detailed example see these notes: Connecting to shares 

Perspective: Network connections can be made to many servers on campus given the server's unc (a form of URL) which contains the server's name and the name of the shared resource (directory). Some possible servers and resources are:


Note: From off campus:

  • First connect through the campus firewall by running UNC VPN.   An Onyen username and password is required.
  • Also required is asecond factor passwordd verificationprovided by thee DUO phone app (typically installed on your smart phone)

Note: File name & Path lengths:

Paths greater than 247 characters and filenames+paths greater than 260 characters are not supported, especially by Explorer/MyComputer/ImageJ.  This is a limitation imposed by Windows and third party software.  Filenames + paths exceeding this limitation will be problematic.

Note: The notes below will use \  i.e. a back slash.   (Standard forward slashes will not work!)

MAC OS: It is possible to connect from macOS.  However a different URL format is required.

Quick Examples:

Map a drive letter to \\\sharedresource e.g. \\\vs200
  • Open a "This PC" window,  e.g. windowkey + E (key combination)
    • In "Map Network Drive" window
      • Choose an available "drive" letter
      • Set folder to e.g.:
        • \\\vs200
        • \\\vs120
        • \\\vs320
        • \\\stellaris
        • \\\snider-lab
        • \\\sharedresource      or etc. - see below
      • Check "Reconnect at sign-on"
      • Check "Connect using different credentials"
        •  hit "Finish"
    • In "Windows Security"
      • Enter your MHmicroscopy account name (precede account name with mhmicroscopy\accountname)  "Domain" must display "MHMICROSCOPY" - and replace accountname with your assigned account name
      • Enter your password
      • Check "remember credentials"
        • hit "OK"
    • You should have a new drive letter in "my computer"
    • For an additional drive letter to another share on the same server:
      • As above but uncheck "Connect using different credentials"  (Your credentials should already be cached)


  • Examples of sharedresource on the \\ server are:
    • vs120          i.e. \\\vs120
    • vs200
    • vs320
    • stellaris   (a.k.a.   leica-confocal)
    • chen-lab
    • kesimer-lab
    • cf-center
    • Contact michael about creating a customized share


Map a drive letter to "(S:)  CF server Shared" & "(J:) CF server Groups" & "(H:) Users" if you have access permission:
  • To map a drive letter to UNC shared/groups/users (\\\med\cf  or  \\\cf)
    • Open a "This PC" window
      • Select "This PC" in the left panel
      • Click "Map Network Drive" (In the "Computer" tab at the top or in the left panel right click on "This PC")
    • In "Map Network Drive" window
      • Choose an available "Drive" letter, e.g. Z:
      • Set folder to \\\med\cf  or  \\\cf 
      • Check "Reconnect at sign-on"
      • Check "Connect using different credentials"
        • hit "Finish"
    • In "Windows Security"
      • Enter your Onyen name (Precede with ad\  (i.e. ad\youronyen) if after "Domain:" is not displaying "AD"
      • Enter your Onyen password
      • Check "remember my credentials"
        •  hit "OK"
    • You should have a new single drive letter, (e.g. Z:) in "my computer" which has:
      • Groups  (often mapped as J:)
      • Shared  (often mapped as S:)
      • Users    (often mapped as H:)
      • (Secret - this setup allows files to be rapidly moved between Shared/Groups/Home rather than copied then deleted)


Common problems:

  • "mhmicroscopy\" not added before your mhmicroscopy user-name
  • "ad\" not added before your Onyen name
  • Onyen (AD domain) password has been changed.  This makes the cached password associated with the drive invalid and connection problems will result
  • MHmicroscopy domain ("slaney" or "minsky") password has changed making cached password associated with the drive letter out of date
  • Password has expired
  • Failure to use \ a backslash   (/ cannot be used instead of a backslash \ )

    Common Fixes:

  • Right click on drive letter and choose disconnect and remap the drive letter
  • Right click on drive letter and choose disconnect, sign out of windows, sign on again and remap the drive letter
  • Check the status of your password - for an onyen - for mhmicroscopy harass Michael for assistance
  • Harass Michael for assistance

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    Copyright 2001-2024 Dr. M. Chua, School of Medicine, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27599
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    Questions/comments/problems: Michael Chua


    Last Updated: 2024-01-13