File Storage

Network File Storage

When you are on campus and logged in to any ODU-managed computer, you have access to your department's shared directory and your personal folder on the university network drives. These drives are typically connected automatically.

  • J: Drive - Administrative department file shares
  • K: Drive - Academic college file shares
  • H: Drive - Personal network folders
  • I: Drive - University file shares

From off campus, or from a computer not joined to the University's network, you can access your ODU network drives through the ODU VPN using the instructions below.

Data Backups

ITS maintains a backup of all systems and data managed and served out of the data center, including files on the university network drives. We take periodic (incremental) backups of all modified files on a daily basis. These backups run automatically at predetermined times throughout the day.

You can restore data from backups at any time. Windows users can try recovering files from our backups using the steps found in this guide.

Alternatively, you can request backups by emailing our server support group at with the following information:

  • The name of the file
  • The name of the server
  • The directory in which the file was stored
  • The last known date which the file was intact or uncorrupted

The server support group will contact you when the restoration has been completed, usually within 24 hours.

Remember: You should log out of your workstation when you leave for the day to ensure ITS' ability to backup your files. Staying logged in keeps files in an "open" state that prevents backup software from correctly performing its job.

Cloud File Storage

University employees must be careful to protect confidential or restricted data. Before storing or sharing University information with any of these services, review the regulated data storage matrix.

Google Drive

As part of Google Workspace for Education, faculty, staff and students have access to 50 GB of online storage.


ODU offers 5 TB of online storage as part of Office 365 at no charge to faculty, staff and students. Create, edit, store and share anything from any device.

Local File Storage

Local drives (including USB flash drives, external hard drives, DVDs, CDs, etc.) on ODU-managed machines are not automatically backed up to a server or the cloud.

Faculty and staff (data owners) are responsible for creating copies of irreplacable local files in the event that the originals are lost. TSPs will do their best to help recover data from local drives if neccessary, but success is not assured.

Responsibilities of the Data Owner (Faculty/Staff)

You are responsible for maintaining backups of data stored on any local storage device. However, to prevent data loss, you should really use campus network storage or cloud storage whenever possible, as they provide automatic backup and restore.

Always adhere to the Regulated Data Matrix when storing data.

Responsibilities of the Technical Support Professional (TSP)

Before replacing or re-imaging a customer's computer, TSPs will:

  • Request in writing that the data owner back-up their data (including bookmarks) to a network drive, cloud storage (recommended), or external hard drive (not recommended).
  • Provide instruction on how to back-up data if necessary, but let data owner complete the task.
  • Confirm in writing that the data owner has backed up all of their data.
  • If replacing the computer, inform the data owner in writing that the old computer will be kept for 7 business days. On the 8th day, the hard drive will have its data destroyed to government standards and will no longer be available.
  • If re-imaging the computer, confirm in writing that the data owner understands that local data will no longer be available after the computer is re-imaged.

After replacing or re-imaging a customer's computer, TSPs will:

  • Help data owner transfer data from the backup to the computer.
  • Encourage the data owner to transfer the data to network storage or cloud storage instead of the hard drive.

Local Storage FAQs

There are many ways that data or information can be lost:

  • Your hard drive could fail without warning.
  • Files could become corrupted.
  • A portable device may be lost or stolen.
  • Data can be deleted by mistake.
  • A virus or malicious program could harm your data.

It's up to you, but as a general rule, you should back up your data when you have made enough changes that it would be difficult to recreate them if lost.

Back up all data that would be detrimental to lose, especially files that are frequently changed.

Cloud Storage (OneDrive and Google Drive)

Cloud storage options offer larger space, access to your data from anywhere on any device, recovery of deleted files within 30 days of deletion, and in some cases file versioning.

Network Storage (H, K, J, I Drives)

University network storage drive space is available to all faculty and staff on both University-owned as well as personal devices (via the VPN). Data saved to the university network drives (H, K, J, I) is automatically backed up daily and can be restored at any time.

USB Flash Drives and External Drives

Flash drives and external drives are small, portable, and can be reused many times to quickly store data. These devices are also vulnerable to loss, theft, damage, or viruses and do not have a proven recovery method. We recommend using them with caution.

Always adhere to the Regulated Data Matrix when storing data.

If an internal or external hard drive experiences data loss and a backup is not available, the hard drive can be sent to a data recovery vendor for a cost that is charged to the data owner and/or their department. Data recovery services can be expensive, time consuming, and does not guarantee recovery of data.

The TSP will remove the drive from your computer and determine if the data on the drive can be read. If it can be read, the drive will be provided to you so that you can copy your data within 2 business days. If the drive is inoperable, ITS will assist you with contacting a data recovery vendor if you wish to utilize one of those services or replacing the drive if it is under warranty.