H, M, and G—More Than Just Letters

H:\, M:\ G:\ drives. What do these letters mean? Pat Hopp, Michigan Tech IT’s Director of Operations, gives us a rundown.

When you log into a Windows computer on campus, you have access to multiple storage locations on the network. Faculty, staff, and students have access to three network storage locations on campus—H:\ drive, M:\ drive, and G:\ drive.

When you log into a campus Windows PC, you will see:

The H:\ drive (home drive)

This is your place to store personal files. The data stored in your H:\ drive is only accessible to you. It also contains your desktop, document folders, and some application settings. The data stored here is backed up nightly, and IT keeps those backups for up to a year. You have the ability to restore your own files using the Previous Versions function described in KB article, Restoring a File on an On-Domain Windows Computer.

You do have a data quota, or limit, on your home drive. Your home drive is not meant for the long term storage of archival data. The Multidrive or Google Drive is more suitable for files or information you would like to archive or share with others.

The M:\ drive (multidrive)

The multidrive contains shared network folders (repositories). Files related to your work, research, or group projects should be stored here. These folders are set up to be securely accessed by multiple people and are backed up nightly. You have the same ability to restore your own files using the Previous Versions functionality described above.

It’s important to the University that work you do for your department, research group or academic unit is stored in a safe place. The multidrive is that place. If your department, research group, or academic team would like a new multidrive share created, we can help. More information is in the article, Requesting a multidrive share.

The G:\ drive (Google Drive)

Google Drive is also an option worth considering, depending on your needs. With the Google Drive File Stream application installed, your Google Drive and Shared Drives will show up as a drive letter, usually G:\. This allows you to browse through Google Drive as if it were another folder on your PC.

With Google Drive File Stream you will see your personal Google Drive space along with any Shared drives (formerly Team Drives) you have access to. Michigan Tech faculty, staff, and students have unlimited Google Drive space. It’s a great place to store long term archival data.

Please note that any data deleted from Google Drive moves to Trash for up to 30 days, but is then unrecoverable after that period. If longer retention for deleted data is important to you, we recommend using the multidrive instead.

If you have any questions about the drives on campus, we can help. Contact us at it-help@mtu.edu or call 7-1111.