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File Storage and Access
at the Characterization Facility

For the purpose of transferring your data and image files from CharFac instruments we provide a secure FTP (SFTP) server named: data.charfac.umn.edu.

On this server each user has a folder for data transfer. You can store your files in the subdirectory that is labeled with your charfac username. If you do not find your folder, please notify our IT support, (). Be forewarned that files stored in this folder will NOT be backed up and may be deleted after 30 days.  All files and folders left on the server over 90 days are subject to automatic deletion.

You may create subfolders within your individual folder. There is a limit per username. Delete files once transferred to ensure that you have space available for the next session.

Fileserver Move

If you have data out on the old file server, cfserver.charfac.umn.edu, you will need to copy this data over to the new file server, data.charfac.umn.edu.

This can be done using WinSCP.

  • You will need to use WinSCP to connect to the old file server.
  • Copy your files to your local computer.
  • Then connect to the new file server with WinSCP.
  • Copy your files to the new file server.

Once your data has been transferred to the new server you will want to stop using the old one.

How to get access to Data.charfac.umn.edu

If you are inside the CharFac and using one of our Windows computers, you can use winscp or you can also use Windows Explorer(not Internet explorer). Once you have Windows Explorer running you would enter: \\files.umn.edu\cf\Userfiles\(charfac-username) in the Address box. Examples:


When you operate an instrument computer, your user folder is usually mapped as a network drive U: when you login. If you are using an instrument computer running older versions of Windows, you will have to save the data on the local hard drive and then use WinSCP (which should already be installed) to move it to data.charfac.umn.edu. Please delete it from the local hard drive after transfer.

If you are outside the CharFac you will need to use an SFTP program such as WinSCP, sftp, cyberduck or something similar.

For Windows you can download WinSCP at winscp.net/eng/index.php. Depending on your situation, you may not want the program to save passwords on the local computer.  Make your choices accordingly.

For Mac OSX, sftp should be built into your systems. If you want a graphical client you can download cyberduck from https://cyberduck.io/.

In either case, the hostname is: data.charfac.umn.edu and you would login with your CharFac username and its associated password.

If you have any problems or questions, please contact a staff member.


Netfiles is an online file storage tool centrally managed by the Office of Information Technology and provides 5 GB of storage to all current students, staff, and faculty.  Netfiles allows you to securely store and share files on a University server and has been approved for storing private and protected data. Netfiles can be accessed using most web browsers at: https://netfiles.umn.edu.

Before you can use Netfiles, you need to activate your account.  Information on how to do this is on OIT's About Netfiles page.

Please remember, your data on data.charfac.umn.edu is NOT backed up and is subject to deletion after 30 days.