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Connect to DFS from Windows


I use the Win.MIT.Edu machines, and see that my files are available at any WinAthena machine that I use. Question: Can I view these files from my home windows machine?


  • Files are on the DFS share.


The answer is "yes, with difficulty": There is no web page for the files, but you can access the files from a windows computer, if you follow the following steps.

  1. First, some setup:
    1. Make sure that your computer has your MIT web certificate.
    2. The WIN.MIT.EDU computers use an independent password database, that might not be synchronized with your Athena password. If your password is older than March 2010, you may need to set a new password to get the systems synchronized. The new password that you set on will be synchronized into the system.
    3. On your home computer, you will need to install the [hd:VPN] client (find it on, which will let a windows computer that is off-campus access files from windows computers that are on-campus.

  2. After the setup is completed, you can reach your files by:
    1. On your home computer, start the Cisco VPN Client, and log into the VPN with your normal Kerberos name and password. This makes your computer route all its network traffic through MIT.
    2. Next, on your computer, view My Documents or My Computer. The window that shows the files will have a menu called Tools.
    3. Go to Tools > Map Network Drive. A "Map Network Drive" dialog will open.
    4. Suppose that your Kerberos username/email address is "username". Note that the first letter is "u". You'll enter your username into the "Folder" name: \\\dfs\profiles\u\username
    5. We recommend that you DO NOT "reconnect at logon". (The reconnect won't work until the VPN is connected.)
    6. Click the blue link for Connect using a different user name. A "Connect As..." dialog will open.
    7. Suppose that your Kerberos username is "username". For "User name", enter a name of: username@WIN.MIT.EDU
    8. For "Password", enter the password that you chose in the Setup steps.
    9. Click OK to close the "Connect As" window.
    10. Click Finish to close the "Map Network Drive" window.

Result: your computer should connect to your shared files, and open a folder showing them. You may have to look around a little to find your own "Documents" folder, but it should be there.

It will work as long as the VPN is connected, and the VPN stays connected for about 10 hours at a time. When the VPN disconnects, the network drive will stop working. You can use Tools > Disconnect Network Drive if you're done with the shared files and want to disconnect early.

IS&T Contributions

Documentation and information provided by IS&T staff members

Last Modified:

December 18, 2015

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