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Kingston University
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Kingston upon Thames
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Saving your computer files

This page contains advice for Kingston University staff and students who are using computers on the University network (i.e. on campus).

Saving files on the hard-disk (C: and D: drives)

The hard-disk on a networked PC should not normally be used to save files. The hard-disk is not 'private' - sections of the C: drive are written to occasionally as part of system maintenance, and this may overwrite existing files.

The D: section of the hard-disk is not normally written to. Files saved to D: might be safe from being over-written but they are not safe from other risks (e.g. theft of the PC). The network system does not make any attempt to save backup copies of files on a PC hard-disk; such files are not recoverable after theft or accident.

Saving files on the network

As a general rule staff and students should only save their files to a network area that is regularly backed up. Applications provided for staff and students typically save to the network Home Directory (H: Drive) - also known as My Documents. This directory is regularly backed up by the University/Faculty IT department, and should be the default location for saving files.


In some cases, particularly with large data sets for film/sound, data must be stored on local disks. In these cases it is the responsibility of the owner of the data to ensure that the files are backed up.

Some unusual applications, or applications installed by staff locally on their own machines, may save files to other locations by default. It is the responsibility of the person using such software to ensure that they know where they are saving to and to make their own arrangements for backing up their files.

Files are 'backed up' by saving copies to another location. Files on the network are backed up automatically by technical support staff. Files on a hard-disk must be backed up manually by their owner - e.g. to removable media such as a CD.

What do we mean by network, local and removable?

Network areas include:

  • Home drives (H: drive, aka My Documents)
  • Shared drives such as the P:, K:, R: and J: Drives
  • The StaffSpace and StudentSpace intranets
  • Kingston University email

    Local areas include:
  • Computer hard-disk (Drives C: and D:)

    Removable media includes:
  • Zip disks
  • Floppy disks
  • CDs
  • DVDs
  • USB pen drives

What is backed up by the University?

Most network areas are backed up automatically and regularly. The purpose is to support 'Disaster Recovery', meaning recovery of a mass of data following a major disaster such as fire or a major fault on a network server. The backup procedures are not designed to give access to individual files - for example, a file that has been mistakenly deleted.

A file that might be needed at a future date should be backed up by its owner personally (e.g. by saving to removable media) rather than being deleted without personal backup.

Local hard disks in computers are NOT backed up by the University. Any data stored on local disks is there at the owner's risk.

More information on file storage for university students

Students should save nearly all work to the various network areas. Generally they will not use the same machine each time, and so saving work to local disks may prove difficult for future access.

Student Local C: Drives

NO data should be saved onto Student C: drives as all files are lost on reboot, or during routine maintenance of machines.

Student Local D: Drives

In some cases, such as large data sets for video in film/media areas, local disks (D: drives) are provided. These are intended as temporary storage areas while work is being carried out. They are not considered secure, and are NOT backed up. The owner of the work/data should back up anything saved in this area. This can be done to CD or DVD depending on the size of the data. Data will be regularly wiped from this area, to make space for others. Please consult with your local technician for more information.

Student Removable Media

Students are advised to use External Hard Drives as the best alternative when network storage is not an option. This is true for students taking practical based subjects such as Film, Media, Music etc.

More information on file storage for university staff

Staff should save nearly all work to the various network areas. Generally they will use the same machine each time, but other staff may also use that machine. As such saving work to local disks may prove difficult for future access. In addition data stored locally will be accessible to anyone with access to that computer.

Staff Local C: Drives

NO data should be saved onto Staff PCs C: drives, as all files are lost during routine maintenance of machines. They may also be lost in hardware failure, theft or fire.

Staff Local D: Drives

In some cases, such as large data sets for video, local disks (D: drives) are provided. These are not considered secure, and are NOT backed up. The owner of the work/data should back up anything saved in this area. This can be done to CD or DVD depending on the size of the data. Data stored here may also be lost in hardware failure, theft or fire. Please consult with you local technician for more information.

Staff Removable Media

Staff are advised to use External Hard Drives as the best alternative when network storage is not an option.

Online support

Support office hours


  • Monday-Thursday: 9:00-17:00
  • Friday: 9:00-16:30
Photograph of a student at a computer