Getting Started on the SSC Network

All Western University faculty, staff, and students are automatically assigned a Western identity to login to email and other services while at Western. Anyone affiliated with the Faculty of Social Science is granted access to the Social Science Network (SSC Network). See Account Management for details on access. This Help Note covers some of the benefits and services available to you on the SSC Network.

Where Should I Save My Work?

SSC Personal Storage - The H: Drive and OneDrive

With SSC access faculty, staff and graduate students are given personal network storage drives for storing personal data and files. Whenever you log on to a computer on the SSC Network, this folder is automatically connected to your computer as the H: drive and is the recommended location for saving critical files. The H: drive can be used in much the same way as the hard drive or a USB flash drive. Unlike the C: drive, however, the H: drive is your private storage space and cannot be accessed by anyone else. After you save files to H: on one computer, the same files and folders will be accessible to you when logging on to another computer on the SSC Network. See our File Management and Backup page for more information.

The H: drive provides a number of advantages over using the C: drive or a USB flash drive for storing your files:

  1. The H: drive roams with you—you will always have access to your personal files from any computer on the SSC Network.
  2. All H: drive files are automatically backed up each hour. Therefore, if a file should be accidentally lost or deleted, you can request that it be restored from a previous backup copy. Be sure to note the time.
  3. The H: drive resides on a secure network server and, unlike the C: drive or a flash drive, are only accessible through your Western identity.
  4. You can access your H: drive files remotely using the SSC Network remote access service.
  5. You can also access your H: drive remotely when using Western ROAMs .

Note: All eligible Faculty, Staff, Graduate students and Undergraduate students have been granted 1 TB of free storage on Microsoft OneDrive.

Desktop and My Documents Folder

When students are working in a public lab on the SSC Network, the Desktop and My Documents folder is redirected to your personal storage space. The My Documents folder is the default location used for saving documents from applications such as Word. The redirection is for your protection, but we still recommend that you intentionally save your work on your own personal storage device, your Microsoft OneDrive, or on your H: drive (graduate students only).

Note: The  My Documents folder and  Desktop are not redirected in offices or research labs. On those computers, the files will remain on the individual computers in those locations and users are advised to include the C:\Users folder in backups to ensure that these files are backed up.

Recovering Lost Files

The H: drive is backed up by snapshot once an hour and that hourly backup is maintained for 24 hours. An additional daily backup is performed and held for up to 30 days.  Should you require an earlier version of a file restored to your H: drive, it should be requested as soon as possible using the online service desk.

Recovery requests are only handled Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

If you need Shared Storage for Administrative purposes or a shared research project, applications for shared storage can be completed and sent to us and a folder will be created for your team on either the W: or P: drive.

Managing Passwords

By activating your identity in the Western Identity Manager, your password will be synchronized and access to the SSC Network will work.

For more information on managing passwords see our Managing Passwords page.

Public Computer Labs and Deep Freeze

Deep Freeze is a software package installed on all the computers in the Undergraduate Computing Rooms (rooms 1014, 1014B, and 1020) and the Graduate Computing Room (6300, 1038). It is also installed in the Sociology Graduate Computing rooms, and the new Social Science Study room (SSC 1051). The main purpose of the  Deep Freeze software is to maintain the computer software in its original installed configuration. This keeps the computer from getting bogged down with programs and utilities installed by other users. With  Deep Freeze you can install any programs you like, but when the computer is rebooted, it will revert to its original installed configuration.

Thaw Space

Thaw Space refers to an area on the Hard Drive designated as drive T: where you can  temporarily save your files, and they won't be lost following a reboot.

  • You cannot save files directly on the T: drive. You must create a folder in which you can save your files.
  • This is not a secure area and anything you save on the T: drive can be viewed by other users on the same computer. These files would also be lost if SSTS reformatted the computer for any reason. It is recommended that you save your files on your H: drive or on Microsoft OneDrive.

Idle Reboot

If a user is logged onto a computer in the Undergraduate Computing Rooms and the computer has been idle for 60 minutes, the computer will automatically reboot. This is meant to protect users who fail to log out properly when they leave a computer and to make that computer available to other users. It is not advisable to leave your account and your belongings unattended.

Auto Recovery

When you are working in  MS Word and  MS Excel, your work is automatically backed up every ten minutes. This backup is for recovery of your work should the program be halted unexpectedly (e.g., power failure). If you exit the program properly, the automatic backup file will be erased. Therefore, the automatic backup cannot be used as a substitute for a proper backup procedure. While recovery is usually automatic, the  Deep Freeze software interrupts this procedure, making recovery a manual process.

Microsoft Word or Excel

Deep Freeze Backup Location:
T:\Backup (U:\ in Sociology)

Recovery Procedure:
Open Word or Excel. If the Auto-Recovery procedure does not start, go to the Backup Location listed above, find the appropriate backup file ( AutoRecovery save of filename.asd or AutoRecovery save of filename.xlk) and double-click the file to open it.

Network Software and Services

The SSC Network Menu

Software installed for use on a networked PC is accessed via the Windows Start button. The SSC Network menu, however, provides many additional programs and services that you can use from any networked PC.

To access the SSC Network menu:

open the File Explorer and select the SSC Network (\\\lib) (S:)

You can also find the SSC Network menu on S: or in a tile ( Windows 10).

Installing Programs

Programs on student computers connected to the SSC Network are typically  pre-installed. Lesser used software may not already be installed on the PC that you are using. Therefore, you can install the program yourself by:

Opening the SSC Network Menu (instructions above) > Double clicking Add-Remove Programs

The initial list that appears represents the programs already installed on the PC. To view a list of software that can be installed from the network, click on the Install a Program from the Network item on the left side. Select the desired program and click Install. Once installed, the applications are invoked from the  Start button.

Note: Some applications cannot be installed by students because they require Administrator privileges. If you require such software, or other software that you require on a regular basis, please submit a service desk ticket

User Library (Course Library)

A number of libraries are located on the SSC Network via the L: drive.

Course Library

The Course Library is a collection of folders and files organized by department and course offering. Instructors may use this storage location to provide students with convenient access to online files such as data, programs or course notes. Students, on the other hand, can easily access files placed on the L: drive by instructors.

For more information about storing files in the Course Library for use by your students, please contact SSTS in SSC 1228 or call  519 661-2152 or extension 82152.

Network Notices

SSC Network Notices contain recent postings and notices of interest to Social Science computer users. To access the current notices either go to the SSTS notices page.

Electronic Mail

The SSTS recommends students use to access their Office 365 Western E-mail account. Faculty and staff are encouraged to choose either  Microsoft Outlook, or

Office 365 Webmail

An alternative way to access your Western E-mail is through . This is the recommended method for traveling faculty. Just enter in the Address field of your web browser. If you have not yet had your email migrated to Office 365, you can choose  Convergence Webmail from this page. Otherwise, choose  Office 365 Webmail. When logging into Office 365, be sure to enter your username as Use Webmail to access your Western e-mail account from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection. For further information, see the WTS notes on email at