File Storage - New

The Biochemistry Department is in the process of moving to a new file storage solution.  If your lab has not been contacted about this migration, please use the File Server - Old instructions. If your data, or portions of your data, have been migrated to the new services, please follow these instructions.

At this time, the following storage locations have been moved to the new storage:

  • All MediaLab folders
  • Biochemistry Committees folders
  • Biochemistry Office folders
  • Biochemistry Teaching folders

What file storage services are available? | How can I use the file storage? | How do I connect to the file storage?
Is the file storage backed up? | What other file sharing options are available? | How should I connect to Box?

What file storage services are available?

The Biochemistry Department is utilizing services offered by DoIT to provide file storage services to labs, facilities and departmental offices. We primarily utilize two storage locations to fulfill our storage needs, and Each of these storage locations provides different types of data storage.

Biochemistry PIs, and their lab users, should generally use as their primary research data storage location. Any data that isn't lab data is stored on This includes, committee folders, facility data, Biochemistry Office folders and teaching data.

How can I use the file storage?

The file services provide space that can be used to store UW relevant data. Each major storage area is configured to allow maximum flexibility to meet your storage needs. The file storage services are available anywhere with internet access by using the departmental or campus VPN services. Please see the Remote Access page for more information.

PI Labs

Each Biochemistry PI is configured to use the UW provided service.  When managed by the Biochemistry IT group the storage is configured with the following major folders:

  • General - This folder is the main storage location for the lab. All users authorized for access to the lab's data have read/write access to this directory. Labs are expected to create an organization structure that meets there needs and insures data can be located as needed, avoids duplication of data, etc.
  • PI - This folder is restricted to only the PI of the lab. Lab members should not have access to this folder.
  • Special - This folder is for any directory that may require special permission structures. For example, a PI may want a folder that only they can add files to but all lab members can read the files. Or they may want to collaborate with another faculty member and allow them to access a specific folder in this location.

Other Shares

There are a number of other shares available on These locations are only accessible to users with permissions to data within each specific share and may include:

  • Committees - Biochemistry departmental committees can request a folder within this share to store committee related data.
  • Facilities - A location for departmental facilities to store internal and external data as needed. This is the share you need to use to work with the MediaLab, etc.
  • Groups - This share is used for labs that may no longer meet the PI requirements for An example would include certain Emeritus PI's.
  • Office - Used by the various Biochemistry Office groups.
  • Public - A legacy location for Biochemistry labs that want to share data with all other labs.
  • Teaching - Used by the Biochemistry Teaching staff.
  • Users - A legacy location for users that still have a Biochemistry User folder. New Biochemistry User folders are no longer created and users are encouraged to use Box, Microsoft OneDrive or Google Drive to fulfill this need.

How do I connect to the file storage?

Android | iOS & iPadOS | Mac | Windows | Linux - Desktop | Linux - Server


There are several apps available that are capable of connecting to the file server. For this example we will be using Astro File Explorer. You can download it for free from the Google Play Store.

ASTRO Filemanager -

  1. Make sure you using the Departmental VPN or UW VPN to access the Network.
  2. After installing and opening the app, tap the plus (+) sign next to the 'Storage Locations'.
  3. Choose 'SMB Server'
  4. Connect to the appropriate server and share:
    • For PI Lab Shares
      • Server: \\\<PI NetID>
        • Username: <Your NetID>
        • Password: <Your NetID password>
    • For Other Shares

iOS & iPadOS

iOS 13 and iPadOS include server capabilities within the Files app. You will need to use the Departmental VPN to connect from anywhere other than the Eduroam wireless on campus.

  1. Select Browse at the bottom of the Files app screen.
  2. Tap the ... option
  3. Choose Connect to Server
    1. Server: OR
    2. Click Connect
  4. Select Registered User (it should be selected by default)
  5. Use <Your NetID> username and <Your NetID password> password
  6. Click Next


  1. In the Finder, choose 'Connect to Server' from the 'Go' menu.
  2. Enter the server name to map
    • For PI Lab Shares: smb://
    • For Other Shares: smb://
      Note: If prompted, use <Your NetID> and <Your NetID password> for this server
  3. Select the share(s) you wish to connect to.
  4. The share window(s) will open.


  1. Navigate to 'This PC' . One easy way to do this is Search for and open 'This PC'.
    • Click the Computer tab at the top of the window
    • Choose 'Map network drive'
  • To connect to the server:
    1. In the 'Folder' field, type one of the paths below:
      1. For PI Lab Shares - \\\<PI NetID>
      2. For Other Shares - \\\<See 'How can I use the file storage?' for options>
    • If you log into this computer with your NetID:
      1. This computer should connect automatically as the logged in user, click finish
        Please Note: You should NOT be logging in with just your NetID, the proper login is <Your NetID> For example, Username:
    • If you don't log into this computer with your NetID:
      1. Check the 'Connect using different credentials' box
      2. Click Finish
      3. Username: <Your NetID> (example:
      4. Password: <Your NetID password>

Linux - Desktop

  1. From the sidebar in a desktop window
    • Choose "Connect to Server" (last option)
    • Enter the server name:
      • For PI Lab Shares - \\

      • For Other Shares - \\

    • User Name: <NetID>
    • Domain Name: "" or ""
    • Enter your NetID password
  2. Click "Connect"
  3. Choose which share you would like access

Linux - Server

Biochemistry IT can configure managed servers to automatically mount ResearchDrive. The Biochemistry Computation Cluster, and managed lab servers are configured this way.  You should be able to access your lab's storage by visiting: /mnt/rdrive/<PI NetID>

Is the file storage backed up?

Yes! - Data on both and is automatically backed up daily and replicated offsite for additional data protection. Snapshots are taken once a day and kept for 14 days and then weekly snapshots are kept for an additional two weeks. This allows data recovery for accidently deleted or damaged files and folders within the past month.

If you think you may have accidently deleted files that you may need please create a ticket on the Biochemistry Job Board immediately.  The sooner we are informed about data that needs to be restored the better the chance of recovery.

What other file sharing options are available?

The University of Wisconsin-Madison has signed an agreement with Box to provide free online file storage and collaboration.  This service (which is similar to Dropbox) allows easy file sharing with users outside the Biochemistry Department, etc.

To learn more about the Box service, please see the following links:

The University of Wisconsin-Madison and Biochemistry Department do not recommend the use of Dropbox for UW related work.  Please use the Box service if you want an online storage and file sharing solution.

How should I connect to Box?

There are four primary ways to connect to the Box Service.  The best connection depends on the computer you are using and your specific needs.

  1. If you only need quick access to Box from a computer you don't typically use we recommend using the Box Web Client.
  2. If you are connecting from your own computer or a departmental computer where you are the only typical user we recommend using Box Sync.
  3. If this is a shared departmental computer we recommend using the Box WebDav option.
  4. If you are using a personal mobile device we recommend using the Box Mobile App.

There are also options to connect directly from Microsoft Office and Google Docs along with capabilities to create and edit Office documents directly within the Box Web Client.  Please visit the DoIT Box Clients and Syncing KB page for more information.

Box Web Client

If you have never accessed your UW-Madison Box account, need quick access from nearly any Internet connected devices, or wish to share files, folders, etc. with other users you will need to sign into the Web Client.

Please see the DoIT UW-Madison Box Getting Started KB for more information.

Box Sync

Box Sync is a productivity tool that allows you to mirror data stored on Box to your desktop. You can then navigate and modify content stored on the Box website through your computer’s native file browsing interface, without using a web browser. Content that syncs down to your computer are available for offline access. If you make changes to the synced files locally, these changes automatically sync back up to your Box account.

Please note that when using Box Sync any files you upload to Box will also be stored on every computer you install and use Box Sync on.  Because of this Box Sync is not recommended for shared computers (where a few users could utilize all of a computer's available storage space.  Please use Box WebDav on shared computers.

Please see the DoIT Box Sync KB for more information on Box Sync.

Box WebDav

Box WebDav allows you to mount your Box storage in a similar way to the Biochemistry File Server.  This allows you to interact with your Box storage without syncing all of your files to your local computer.

Box Mobile App

With Box, you are not limited to your computer—Box and other third-party developers have created a variety of apps for use with mobile devices. These apps include Box Sync for Android, BlackBerry, iOS, and Windows mobile, as well as additional apps for Android and iOS.

Please see the DoIT Box Mobile Overview KB for more information on Box Mobile Apps.