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How to work with data

When working in our computer labs, we'd like to ask you to follow this procedure. Doing so will help you avoid data loss.

Copy original data from R: to C:\Tempdata\

Typically, you will use software to work with data. Your teacher will tell you where to get the data from. Usually this will be from a folder in network drive R:. Copy it to the local folder C:\Tempdata\ on the computer you are using.

Do work, then copy your data from C:\Tempdata to U:\

By the end of the day, save your data. Close the software you are using. Copy your data from C:\Tempdata\ to your U: drive. Delete everything from C:\Tempdata.

To resume, copy your working data from U: to C:\Tempdata\

When you want to continue working with your data, copy it from your U: drive to C:\Tempdata\.

The rationale for this workflow

The reasons for us to ask you to follow these guidelines are the following.

  • Your U: drive is a network drive, meaning, it's not actually "inside" your computer, but on a server in our facilities. Several students using their U: drive as working directory may bog the network down.
  • Also, network glitches may corrupt your data.
  • Finally, some programs "hard code" the file path of your data, in your data. This means that if you started working in one file location, you cannot move the files to another location and keep working on them. So, better safe than sorry - if you follow the steps above, you should be safe.
  • Any data saved at any other location than U: or C:\Tempdata may be removed at any time without warning. Data saved on the desktop, or "My Documents" or similar, is not saved between sessions. Two weeks after the end of a course, data in your U: drive may be removed. If you want to keep your data for a longer time, contact our IT responsible Rafael Przybyszewski.


  1. Fetch original data from R:
  2. Work with data in C:\Tempdata\
  3. Store your data in U: