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Protect your files!

Best Practices for Storing Data - How and where to safely store files

  1. Do Not Save Important Files to Your C: Drive
  2. Do Save Important Files to Your U: Drive
  3. Do Save Important Departmental Files to Your Department’s Shared Drives

Do Not Save Important Files to Your C: Drive

  • The C: Drive is known as the ‘local’ drive. This is the hard drive that is located inside the computer you are currently using.
  • All the information stored on the local hard drive of your office computer (C:) is your responsibility.
  • The C: drive is NOT a good place to store important files - store them on your U: drive instead.
  • The C: drive is best for large ‘non-shared’ files that do NOT need to be backed up or those that can be backed up to CD-R locally, as soon as possible.
  • Please Note: MS-Office templates are often stored on the C: drive and would be lost if your hard drive failed for any reason. If you have changed your default templates or have created new ones, it is recommended that you move them to the U: drive or a shared drive. The default location for these templates is located in C:\Documents & Settings\yourusername\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates.
  • The following directions will assist you in changing where your new templates are saved:
    • Choose the ‘Tools’ menu, click ‘Options’
    • On the ‘File Locations’ tab, click ‘User templates’ and click ‘Modify’.
    • In the ‘Modify Location’ dialogue box, change the ‘Folder name’ or ‘Look in’ box to the folder where you want to save your new templates. An example of this would be: U:\Templates
    • Click ‘OK’.
    • Click ‘OK’ or ‘Close’ to close the ‘Options’ dialogue box.
  • The changed path is noted and is used the next time that you want to save a new template.
  • The following URL’s will provide you with more information regarding copying or moving files and folders.

Do Save Important Files to Your U: Drive

  • Your U: Drive is not shareable. It is a private drive that enables you to store materials that are currently under development and access those that you use on a regular basis such as:
    • MS Word documents
    • Excel Spreadsheets
    • PowerPoint presentations

Do Save Important Departmental Files to Your Department’s Shared Drives

  • Shared Drives are best used for department access. You may have PowerPoint presentations, financial documentations, handbooks, tests, templates, etc, that everyone in the department needs to be able to view and or edit.
  • The data you store on the U: drive and on your shared drives is backed up on a regular basis by the IT department.
  • That means that they may be able to restore your data from the most recent backup tape if you inadvertently delete, overwrite, or damage a critical file in some way.
  • The recovery process is rather complex and time consuming for the IT department, so making your own backup copies of critical files is a recommended procedure and will assist in getting you back to work sooner.
  • For more information on managing your files, please visit our website:
  • Some of the most common ways in creating your own backup copies includes:
    • Floppy disks for small files only.
    • CD-Recordable (CD-R) or CD-Rewritable (CD-RW) disks.The Faculty Demo Lab (Bldg 305-510) offers four computer stations with CD-R/CDRW capabilities. Visit ETC Services website for further assistance:
    • Flash drives (small devices that attached to the USB port at the back of your computer).
    • External hard drives (attaches to the USB port at the back of your computer).

Please Note: Due to potential liability issues IT Services staff does not provide hands-on assistance for equipment not owned by Malaspina University-College.


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