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NetFiles: Use the Xythos Drive for Windows
Staff and faculty can install obtain the Xythos Drive Software on Windows computers. We are not licensed to use this software on student computers. Please visit the Desktop Client Request page to download the client.
This desktop client makes your NetFiles home directory function like a local drive on your computer. In addition, it has several features that the web client and the built-in DAV connections do not have: Backup, Offline Files, and Intellitach.
Xythos Drive Features
Backup allows you to select files and folders on your computer and use your NetFiles space as a backup desktop for those files. The backups can be scheduled to run regularly or manually run when you choose. The following graphic shows how the Backup tab in the Xythos Drive will appear.
Offline Files allows files that are stored in your NetFiles space to be cached locally on your computer so they are available when you do not have an internet connection.
- To make a file or folder available offline, when connected with the Xythos drive, right-click on the file or folder and select "Always available offline."
- To make your recently used files available, go to the Options tab of the Xythos drive and remove the check mark next to "Clear cached files upon disconnect."
- To make more or fewer files available, change the size of the file cache. This setting does not affect files that are marked "Always available offline."
Intellitach is an easy way to send a large file without attaching it to an email. It uploads the file to NetFiles and creates a ticket to that file and then opens a new email with the ticket already in it in one action. The recipient receives only a short text email, but can click the ticket URL in the email to download the large file.
More help information on the Xythos drive Desktop Client is available from Xythos.
Install the Xythos Drive Software
Once you've downloaded the software for the Xythos Drive, it's time to install it. This process is very similar to most application installation dialogs with a place to specify the installation folder with an extra option for what to call the program group in the start menu. Both the default values should be fine for most setups.
Update the Xythos Drive Software
Xythos regularly updates their drive software to correct glitches and bugs and introduce new features. The drive software, once installed on your computer, will notify you of updates that are available.
Updating the Xythos Drive Software Xythos regularly updates their drive software to correct glitches and bugs and introduce new features. The drive software, once installed on your computer will notify you of updates that are available.
Update the Xythos Drive
Occasionally, the updates will fail when the option to download and install the update is selected. The cause of this has not been found, but there is a solution to work around the problem: Manually download the client from the Desktop Client Request page. When you are asked how many licenses you will be using, enter "0" (zero), as your license will have already been counted from your previous installation of the software.
Add Additional Folders to Your Connect List
If your department is using NetFiles, you may wish to make an additional folder connection so that the departmental resource appears along with your NetFiles Home folder connection. This can be easily accomplished by configuring the Xythos Drive Software:
- Click the Start menu, select the Xythos Drive folder, and then select the Xythos Drive icon. The configuration dialog box is displayed.
- Select the Connect tab.
- Click the Service button and select New.... The Service Properties dialog box is displayed.
- Complete these fields in the Service Properties dialog box:
- Service name: Enter a name for your connection.
- Server URL: Enter the Server URL path for your departmental space (https://netfiles.umn.edu/dept_abbreviation).
- Username: Enter your Internet ID.
- Click OK. The connection is created in the drop list. The first available drive letter is selected in the second drop box, by default, but this can be changed to whatever is most convenient for your setup.
Manage Files and Folders
With Xythos Drive Software installed on your machine, many of the NetFiles features and settings become available to you via the right-click menu in Windows Explorer. You can build an Intellitach message and toggle logging and versions. Once you've selected the task via the right-click menu, the Xythos drive opens a browser window at the appropriate NetFiles dialog box required for the task selected. Your previously entered login credentials are used by the system to connect the drive.
Changes to the NetFiles Web Experience
We have mentioned how the Xythos Drive software changes the right-click context menus in Windows Explorer, but there are also other ways that the software affects your NetFiles user experience. Without Xythos, in the web interface you see a "pen writing notes" icon next to your file links. When you click it, it give you instructions on how to edit your files (save locally, edit, upload replace). Once you have installed Xythos software, this icon turns into a set of binoculars. With Xythos, you can either view the file by clicking on the binoculars or edit your files in place by clicking the links. When you click the links and then save your changes, your programs save your edits back to NetFiles.
Also with Xythos, you may in certain situations be required to authenticate twice and even possibly with different credentials. For instance, if you are accessing a NetFiles ticket that is password-protected, NetFiles should bring you to a page to enter that password. Once you are successfully logged in there, and your Xythos drive isn't connected yet (i.e., working offline), you are be prompted by Xythos client to also log in with your Internet username and password before the client will open the file. Therefore, always be careful to read what password or username and password you are being prompted to type.
Use the Intellitach Plugin for Microsoft Outlook
To turn on the option to use the Outlook plug-in with your Xythos Drive Software:
- Open the Xythos connector dialog box.
- Under the tab for Intellitach, check the box at the top marked "Enable Intellitach in Outlook and Notes." This puts a new icon on your Outlook toolbar that looks very similar to the icon located in the system tray. Now when you attach a file to an email, you will see a new dialog upon sending the message to send the attachment as a link, a ticket or regular attachment.