Saving your work

It's important to save your work regularly and to a safe location; eg your H: drive or a USB Pen drive.

All PCs in the University are configured to delete all user data after each system restart. You must not save your files to any local folder on the PCs.

How do I save my work?
  • USB

USB flash drives can be used on all GCU lab and open access PCs. To access your flash drive, log in to the PC as normal, plug your flash drive into one of the available USB slots (usually located at the left side of the screen), then open My Computer. Your USB flash drive will be listed under 'Devices with Removable Storage'.

  • H Drive

Every student has a personal network space called the 'H drive'. Your H drive is automatically available when you log into any GCU lab or open access computer. Your H Drive is backed up centrally each night.

To access your H drive, log in to a lab or open access computer and open 'My Computer'. Your H drive will be listed in the following format:

  • (H): <userID> on enterprise.gcal.ac.uk\...

The Total Size as shown in the above image is the total H drive allocated space for all student H:drives.

Your own H drive is limited to 100mb of storage space and should only be used to store University-related data. If your H drive is at its capacity, you will need to remove some files before saving anything new.

To check the size of your H drive:

  1. Open your H drive
  2. Click the 'Edit' menu and then 'Select All'
  3. Next, click the 'File' menu and then 'Properties'
  4. The current size of your H drive is listed here
  • CD

You can save your files to CD from any University PC using Windows built in CD burning application.

  1. Save your files to a temporary location (you can use your H Drive, or the PC desktop)
  2. Put in a blank writable CD-R/W into the CD drive
  3. Using My Computer or Windows Explorer browse to the location of the saved files
  4. Highlight the file(s) you wish to save to CD, right-click the selected file(s) and choose 'Send To>CD-RW / DVD-RW Drive'
  5. Next, click on the 'Files waiting to be written' balloon on the taskbar, or open My Computer then the CD drive
  6. Your file(s) will be shown here. Check that the files and/or folders listed are the ones you wish to burn to disc
  7. Next, click on the 'File' menu and select 'Write these files to CD'
  8. Follow the CD Writing Wizard to complete the process

It is important to remember that you must obey all copyright regulations when copying files/data to CD.

  • Email

If you want to work on (edit) a document which is an email attachment, it is vital that you save the document to a new location first. Do not open the document from your email & start working on it as any changes may not be saved correctly.

The recommended process is:

  1. Save the attachment to a safe location; your H:Drive or a USB pen drive
  2. Open the document from the saved location
  3. Save your document at regular intervals
  4. When you have finished working save your document before closing the program. Your document will be saved to your chosen location (from step 1)
  5. You can then reattach it to a new email to forward on

You should not save your document to the desktop, or C:Drive of the PC you are working on as all University PCs are configured to delete all user data when rebooted.

Saving to USB pen drive

USB pen drives can be used on all GCU lab and open access PCs.

To access your pen drive; log in to the PC as normal, plug your flash drive into one of the available USB slots (usually located at the front of the PC base unit), then open My Computer. Your USB flash drive will be listed under 'Devices with Removable Storage'.  Save your work to your USB pen drive regularly.

Once you've finished working, open My Computer, right click your pen drive and select Eject.  You can now safely remove your USB pen drive.

Saving to H drive

When you save your file on H drive please ensure that H drive is selected.

When you are ready to save your file please go to File/Save and on the next screen select Computer then H drive and click on save.

You will be able to access your H drive from any computers in the campus. 

I've saved a document to the PC, where is it?

All GCU PCs are configured to delete all saved data after a restart.You should not rely on saving documents to the PC desktop or My Documents area.

If you have saved a new document to the PC, you can use the Windows search function to find it. Click on 'Start' and select 'Search' to open the search function. Follow the search options to try to locate your document. Once you have located your document, move it to your H Drive or a USB flash drive.

If you have opened a previously saved document (either from a USB flash drive or your H Drive) the PC will prompt you to save it back to that location.

My computer crashed, has it saved my document?

If the application you were working on crashed or closed unexpectedly, then you can try re-opening the application to see if your document has been auto-saved.

Microsoft Word for example; if it crashes or closes unexpectedly while you are working on a document, try reopening Word. It may prompt you to recover your document.

If the computer freezes or crashes and either restarts or you are forced to restart, then you will lose any unsaved work. Information Services cannot recover documents lost due to computer failures. So it's important to save your work regularly.

How do I work on email attachments?

If you want to work on (edit) a document which is an email attachment, it is vital that you save the document to a new location first. Do not open the document from your email & start working on it as any changes may not be saved correctly.

The recommended process is:

  1. Save the attachment to a safe location; your H:Drive or a USB pen drive
  2. Open the document from the saved location
  3. Save your document at regular intervals
  4. When you have finished working save your document before closing the program. Your document will be saved to your chosen location (from step 1)
  5. You can then reattach it to a new email to forward on

    You should not save your document to the desktop, or C:Drive of the PC you are working on as all University PCs are configured to delete all user data when rebooted.

    How can I manage my files?

    Following some basic tips on good file management can save you a lot of hassle and improve your efficiency.

    • Give your files meaningful names
    • Create a good folder structure to save your files in
    • If you are saving copies of files, add a version number to your filename. That way, you'll know which one is the latest version
    • Review your saved files regularly. Old files can be moved to a USB flash drive, CD, etc
    • Create regular back ups of your files
    Can you recover lost files?

    If you have lost a file from your H drive, then Information Services may be able to recover it from system backups. Our backups run overnight . This means we can only recover files which have been saved in your H drive overnight. If you've lost a saved file from your H drive, contact the IT Helpdesk with the following information:

    • Name of the file
    • The file type; eg; .doc, .ppt
    • Where the file was last saved; eg: root of H drive, or inside the folder called 'Course work'
    • The date when the file was last available

    Information Services cannot recover lost files from USB flash drives, CDs or from incorrectly working on email attachments.

    Do I need to back up my data?

    Yes.

    You should never rely on having only one copy of your University coursework. What happens if you lose that one copy? Or the USB flash drive you saved it to breaks?

    Always create multiple copies of your University coursework. You can use your H Drive to save your work while on campus, then save a copy to your USB flash drive or email account to work on from home. If anything happened to your USB flash drive, or your email attachment, you still have a copy saved on the University servers.

    How often should I save my documents?

    There is no definite answer for this; you should save your documents as often as needed while working on them.

    If you are creating a new document, save it to your H Drive, USB flash drive etc as soon as you create it. This means that you can quickly save the document as you work on it. You can save the document after each page, paragraph, or even sentence; the more you save, the less you lose.