Information Services Division


How to mount the Research Data Storage Service on Windows

This guide outlines options for mounting the Research Data Storage Service on your Windows PC.


This guide is aimed at...

  • Researchers

Before you start...

Previous versions of our service did not allow storage to be mountable directly (though there were some third party tools that would allow it). Our new GPFS/Spectrumscale facility which launched on 9th November 2017, allows direct mounting through the CIFS protocol.

CIFS is the standard Windows way to mount network storage, but Mac OS and Linux can also mount it (see related guides below for other operating systems).

Please consider that choosing to mount your storage (especially in Windows), opens your data up to some additional risks from malicious software such as WannaCry. You can mitigate this risk by keeping your antivirus software up to date and by accessing the storage only by SSH or SFTP (i.e. not mounting).

Also, please note that you need to have registered a project with RDS in order to be able to access the storage. If you’d like to do that please read the Research Data Storage Service overview for details.


In windows, there are a couple of different types of view of the storage. You can access it in an explorer window, or you can go a little further and have it mounted and assigned a drive letter.

The URI to connect to is live.rd.ucl.ac.uk (same as for SSH). In a Windows explorer address bar you can type:


You will probably be asked to enter credentials in a window like one of the two below:

Windows 8.1 security credentials window

Windows 10 security credentials window


If you see an attempt to login with your username and email, then you need to click to use another account as indicated above.

Next, or if Windows doesn’t assume any user name, you will need to enter the user name. You must put in:


and your regular UCL password in the password section:

Windows 8.1 security credentials window

Windows 10 security credentials window

When you click OK, you should be presented with a window full of the many projects that are available. You will only be able to access the ones that you have been given access to though.

Projects all have a form: ritd-ag-project-rdabcd-abcdefg. You should find this code on your registration email. If your project was created in the first few months of the start of our service in 2013, it may have been given an unconventional name.

You should be able to figure out your project code from looking at the group name that we gave you when you started. If not, you can log in to RDS via ssh (see how to guide for details) and type:

id <enter>

You’ll then see a list of groups that you are in, which are identical to the directory names that own them. If you are still unsure then please email us at Research Data-Support.

If you wish to mount a project as a drive on your computer, then right click the project folder (or lower down in the directory structure if you prefer). You can then select Map network drive….

The new window you’re presented with will ask for a drive letter and whether you’d like to reconnect when you sign-in to your computer. Clicking Finish should complete the process.

The Map network Drive dialogue box.

Related guides & other info

Help & Support

For further help and assistance you can contact Research Data-Support.



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