ITS Campus Computing Sites

What Types of Media Can Be Used in Sites?

Campus Computing Sites has several different media drives available in our computing labs. Our computers are not purchased with floppy disk or zip disk drives. However our stations do support multiple data storage options.

Alternatives to Floppy & Zip disks

AFS - Andrew File System

The Andrew File System is online file space available to students as part of the standard computing services. This storage space is backed up to tape and available from on and off campus. Since AFS is part of your standard computing services, there is no additional cost to you to make use of this storage option. Your AFS can be accessed online through Mfile. More information on AFS can be found in the AFS Overview.

CD-R (Compact Disc - Recordable)

The CD-R format allows a user to "burn" data to a CD disc. The burned data is not erasable and the disc can only be burned once. Most CD-Rs have a storage capacity of 650–700MB. Sites workstations can read and burn CD-Rs.

CD-RW (Compact Disc - ReWriteable)

CD-RWs are rewriteable CDs. The CD-RWs can be burned multiple times and can be erased and re-used. Most CD-RWs have a storage capacity of 650–700MB. Sites workstations can read and burn CD-RWs.

DVD-R (DVD - Recordable)

DVDs have a data capacity of 4.7 GB (almost seven CDs worth of data). All Sites workstations can read and burn DVDs.

USB Keychain Drives (aka jump drives, thumb drives and flash drives)

The USB Keychain Drive is a device with some static RAM in a keychain-fob-sized package with a USB connector. Static RAM does not require a power source to preserve data, so your data stays intact even when the device isn't connected to a computer. There are no moving parts inside, so the "drive" part of the name is something of a misnomer, but no moving parts means less to go wrong. The USB connector allows the drive to be connected to both Sites Windows and Macintosh workstations. The connector provides the power to read and write data to the drive and both the Windows and Macintosh operating systems in Sites can read the data from most brands without needing any special drivers. The USB Keychain Drives are available from a wide variety of manufactures in capacities from 32MB to 512MB.

Some vendors sell a "secure" keychain drive that may not work properly on computers in Campus Computing Sites because the drive expects to have permission to run its special security software on the host computer. Unfortunately, there is no work-around for this problem at this time.

Should you encounter problems with a keychain drive on a Sites computer, please send email to sites@umich.edu including the type of keychain drive, its capacity, the type of computer you were connecting to, and the time and Site you were in when the problem occurred along with the text of any error messages you received.