What is the U: Drive?

All users are allocated disk space on the network servers. This space is referred to as your U: Drive and can be used to store your files from one session to another. It is your responsibility to maintain this disk space. All users are allocated 100Mb of disk space.


Note: Undergraduates, your U: Drive is cleared down before the start of each academic year - be sure to take copies of any important files on your account before the end of each academic year.

How do I access the U: Drive in the PC Suites?

Once logged in double-click My Computer and then the U: Drive icon.


In order to see how much disk space is available to you, double-click My Computer and then the U: Drive icon. From the File menu, select Properties. Your free space will be displayed graphically as the magenta area in a disk space pie chart. Do NOT save your work to the Desktop, as files saved there will not be available to you when you next login.

File Naming Schemes

Under Windows XP file names can be up to 32 characters. File names should be as succinct as possible and meaningful identifiers e.g. ThesisCh1 for the first chapter of a thesis. The non-alphanumeric characters / : * ? < > " | cannot be used in file names.


A three character file extension (which is usually hidden) generally describes the file type. Common file extensions are .txt for text files, .xls for Excel spreadsheets and .doc for Word documents.

Directories and Sub-Directories

A directory is a collection of files in a given area. As you create files they are created in your top-level directory in your home area (U: drive) unless you specify otherwise. A directory can contain sub-directories that can be used to organise files. Files with a common theme can be put in one sub-directory. For example all files relating to Project1 could be stored in a sub-directory called project1. Similarly files relating to Project2 could be stored in a sub-directory called project2. This makes the management and finding of files easier as you create more and more files in your home area.


To create a sub-directory, double-click My Computer and then the U:Drive icon. From the File menu, select New and then Folder. A new folder (directory) will be created. To bring order to your folders, you can click on View menu and select Arrange Icons. Icons (in this case folders) can be arranged by name, type, size, and date depending on your preference.  To see what is contained within a given folder, double-click on that folder. To close any window, click X at the top right of that window.

Backing up your files

It is impossible to stress how important it is for you to backup your files from your home area to USB/CD on a regular basis. There are a number of ways to back up your work:


  1. From the File menu, select Save and save to the U: drive. Select the Save As command to save the file with a different name. This will give you two copies in your U: Drive.
  2. Use the Drag & Drop facility within My Computer to copy files from the U: drive to USB. Click once on the file in question, hold down the mouse button whilst dragging the file over to the USB drive icon and then let go of the mouse button. A copy will be made.
  3. In My Computer, from the Edit menu, select Copy when the file you want to copy is selected (left click). At the USB drive icon, from the Edit menu, select Paste.

How does space get used up?

Your U: Drive contains many files. Some of these files are automatically created for you when you start certain applications. You create most of the files when you save your work. e.g. Word documents are saved as .doc files. Many applications create temporary files whilst they are being run. Temporary files usually have the file extension .tmp or start with the ~ character. If an application which creates temporary files, closes down unexpectedly, i.e. crashes, you may well end up with a number of temporary files in your directory, which you will have to delete manually.

Deleting unwanted files

As a regular exercise you should delete all unwanted files from your U: Drive. Be careful not to delete files you may need again. It is in your own interest to manage your disk space. Shortage of disk space may also cause some applications difficulty in starting or they may crash whilst you are using them. To delete files from your U: Drive, click on the file you want to delete. This file will now be highlighted blue. Now either press the Delete key on the keyboard or select Delete from the File menu.  To delete multiple files, hold down the Ctrl key on the keyboard whilst clicking on the files you want to highlight for deletion. Click on a file a second time to remove the highlighting. Before the files are deleted you will be asked to confirm your request.

How do I access the U:Drive off-campus?

Go to https://myfiles.nuigalway.ie/

Note that https://myfiles.nuigalway.ie/ is not available from the PC Suites.

Getting extra disk space

If, after you have deleted all unwanted files, you still require additional space you may apply for additional disk space by contacting the Service Desk


Note: Undergraduates, don't forget that home area files are cleared down before the start of each academic year. Be sure to take copies of any files you wish to keep.