Active Directory (AD) Deployment Initiative FAQ

What is happening?

Information Technology is implementing Microsoft Active Directory based file sharing and printing services to replace the existing Novell Netware based Netdrive(/NetStorage) file sharing and iPrint printing services. MSU will be migrating all University owned computers and printers from Netware to Active Directory. A key step in the migration process involves "joining" (or registering) machines to Active Directory in order for them to receive the full complement of services. The migration of your machine will be performed either by Information Technology or local College/School deployment teams in line with current primary support agreements.

What is Active Directory?

Active Directory (AD) is a software environment developed by Microsoft that provides directory services, network file and print services, and identity management. AD will allow us to consolidate a number of services and functions onto one platform. It will also allow us to provide critical services like network file share space and centralized printing to a large number of users including all students.

Who is affected?

All campus users will be affected in some way. Faculty/Staff and their University owned machines will be joined to the domain. Students and personal machines will need to follow new procedures to access various services.

What do I need to do?

We ask that Faculty/Staff make themselves available for the assessment and migration process. More information regarding the student migration will be available towards the end of the Spring semester and will not occur until the Spring semester has ended.

Do I have to let the deployment team work on my computer?

If your computer is University owned and connects to the MSU network, then your machine (desktop or laptop) must be joined to Active Directory for inventory and management purposes.

How long will it take to migrate my computer?

Migration times will vary depending on the amount of data and other factors. All computers that receive primary support from Information Technology will also be upgraded to Windows 7 or Mac OS 10.6 (Snow Leopard) before being joined to the domain, if the computer meets hardware eligibility requirements. (Non-eligibile computers running Windows XP will also be joined to the domain.)

What changes will I notice from a joined computer?

Your initial login process at computer startup will be different. Whether previously on Netdrive or not, you will be presented with a screen to login to Active Directory. There you will login with your MSU NetID. If you had files on Netdrive previously, you will still have access to them but they may be on a different drive letter than under Netdrive. You will be given instructions on all these matters by the deployment team.

What happens to my shared folders?

Once migrated, you will still have access to all of the data currently in your Netdrive shares. However, the drive letters will likely be different.

With the change to Active Directory based file sharing, am I allotted more storage space?

Original Space Allotted New Allotted Space
Faculty/Staff Home Directory 300MB 1GB
Student Home Directory 100MB 500MB
Department Share 10GB No change
Web Share Combined with Home Directory 50MB*

*Initial allocation of 50MB is in addition to the home directory allotment noted above. Additional web share space may be requested with allocation being withdrawn against home directory allotment. For example, an increase in 25MB of web space (for a total of 75MB) would result in the home directory allotment being reduced by 25MB. Users must maintain a minimum allotment of 50MB (free or used) for home and web directories at all times.

What if I do not have the Novell NetWare client on my machine, do I still need to migrate to Active Directory?

In order to ensure that Information Technology supported users get the proper resources, all machines must be joined to the AD domain.

Do I need to change my password?

If you have not changed your NetID password since January 18, 2011 (as part of the Google Calendar launch), you MUST change your password in order for you to login to the AD domain for the first time.

Is it possible to have my computer migrated earlier?

While we are attempting to migrate users as soon as possible, the deployment teams will be migrating faculty/staff by department so any associated department shares are migrated at the same time.

Will student and Faculty/Staff personal computers be joined to Active Directory?

These computers are not eligible. However, users will be able to access AD based services such as file sharing without being on campus (or joined) via remote access methods like WebDAV. Documentation will be available.

Will training be offered on Active Directory and Windows 7?

Training classes will be offered on an as needed basis. Please visit the Training website located at: