General ICT Help
Access Personal File Store without using Webdrive
How to use your personal file store (PFS) if you are off campus and can't/don't want to install software on the computer you are using. If you are able to install software, we recommend you install the Webdrive software on your computer to give you easy and secure access to your personal file store.
There are a couple of alternatives to installing Webdrive:-
- create a network location or
- use an FTP program such as WS-FTP.
If you create a network location, you'll need to enter your username and password each time you access a file. If you use FTP, be aware that your username and password will not be encrypted when they are sent, so this method is insecure. So there are pros and cons with each method.
1. Create a Network Location
The following instructions are for a Vista computer, but are similar for XP.
- Go to Start > Computer and right-click an open area on the right side of the window. (If using XP - open My Computer > select My Network Places).
- Select Add a Network Location.
- The Add Network Location wizard will appear. Select Next.
- When asked, "Where do you want to create this network location?" select Choose a custom network location > Next.
- When asked for the address of the network location, enter: https://homedir.wlv.ac.uk/ > Next.
- Enter your University IT Account username and password (the one you use to log on to University computers). You may need to preface it with unv\.
- Enter a name for the network location to identify it, e.g. University Personal File Store > Next.
- When you see "Completing the Add Network Location Wizard" tick the box Open the network location when I click Finish and select Finish, (it may take some time for the folders to open the first time).
A Network Location has now been created in the "Network Location" section of My Computer with the name you chose. (You can right-click the Network Location and select Send to... Desktop to create an shortcut to it on your desktop). Use this to get direct access to the files in your personal file store.
2. Use an FTP program
The FTP program used at the University is WS-FTP, which is also available on laptops loaned from Learning Centres. If you want to use it on a personally owned computer you can download it from this page.
- Start WS-FTP
- Look for a profile called My Documents (UoW), and if it is in the list, select it.
- If it is not in the list, click the New button, and complete the window as follows, entering homedir.wlv.ac.uk in the Host Name/Address box:
- Enter your IT username and password.
- You'll then see a window similar to the one below.
- The Local System window displays files on the computer you're using.
- The Remote Site window displays files in your Personal File Store (PFS).
- Navigate to the drive/folder you want by scrolling down or by using the ChgDir button.
- You can't work directly on a file in your PFS - transfer it to your computer or memory stick by selecting it, then pressing the left arrow in the centre of the screen.
- Press the right arrow to transfer a file back to your personal file store when you've finished working on it.
For more information about using FTP, see Getting Started with FTP.
Use FTP via a Web Browser
This method doesn't work for staff, and won't work with Internet Explorer vs. 7 or 8 as Microsoft have changed the FTP functionality. To check your version of Internet Explorer, open it, then select Help and About Internet Explorer.
Other web browsers, including Firefox, Mozilla and Opera could be used instead, although you may encounter problems.
If you want to try using this method:
- Open a Windows Explorer or My Computer window, so you can see the file(s) you want to put in your personal file store.
- Load the web browser, then go to the address box and type:-
ftp://firstname.lastname@example.org, where username is the username you use to log on to a University PC, e.g. 9933201 or in5555, then press Enter.
- You'll then be asked to authenticate, so enter your IT Account username and password.
- To save a file to your personal file store, drag and drop it into the homedir window.
To retrieve a file from your personal file store, right click on it in the homedir window.
Select Copy to Folder, then select a location to copy the file to, e.g. your local hard drive (C:).