You are here

Nexus Accounts and Data Access

User ID / account creation

New students and employees should just be able to log in to Nexus PC workstations using their WatIAM user ID and password (same as used for the Quest student information system). If you need to change your password, do it via the User Access link on the WatIAM web page.

Nexus accounts are created automatically when your informaiton is entered into the WatIAM identity management system. This process is controlled by the Registrar's Office, Grad Studies Office, Human Resources, etc. Once you are able to log in to the WatIAM web page, you should also be able to log in to a PC in the Nexus domain.

Email accounts are also provided. Undergraduate students get an email account on Graduate students, faculty and staff get email accounts on the Microsoft Exchange server, Incoming grad students get this account automatically, while it must be requested for new faculty and staff.

Some unpaid visiting scholars will need guest accounts to be created manually. Please see your own academic department's computer technician to get your account.

Forgotten passwords

Your Nexus password can be changed at the WatIAM site. Otherwise, for security reasons, you must visit the Information Systems and Technology Help Desk (Math and Computing -1052) in person, with photo ID to have a password changed.

Please try to choose a password you can remember. uWaterloo requires you to use upper and lower case characters as well as some numbers and non-alphabetic characters to make it difficult to guess.

Nexus file server (ecfile1)

In Engineering, your personal data files are stored on a faculty file server called ecfile1, which is mounted as drive N on your Nexus account. There is a disk quota (currently 2 GB per user) on ecfile1. If you reach this quota limit you will be prevented from writing to the N drive, resulting in possible data loss. Please do not store files on the computer desktop. These will end up in your profile space (see below), not on your N drive. Files stored on the desktop may be lost, if the log-off process is interrupted for some reason and are not stored in a safe place until you log off. It is much better to store your files directly on your N drive.

Courses and projects using particular software sometimes require increased storage space for large data files. The quota is not generally increased on an individual basis. Instructors should arrange to have their class's quotas temporarily increased in this situation, by notifying the Eng. IT Service Desk.

File recovery

Files stored on ecfile1, the faculty file server(N:), are backed up daily, but backups are not user-accessible. If you need files restored from scheduled backups, please inquire at the IT Service Desk (Engineering 2, 1308A).

Remote file access

You can easily get at your files from any computer with a web browser via the Waterloo Nexus portal. Log in with your Nexus user ID and password, then click on the File Manager icon. Only one file can be transferred at at time.

If you need to transfer multiple files, you can do so by connecting to using a ''secure file transfer'' application such as PuTTY or FileZilla (freeware applications).

On campus, or remotely through a VPN connection, it is possible to map your Nexus N drive space on ecfile1 via the followin network location: \\\your_userID. On a Mac or Linux computer, use forward slashes instead of backslashes. Authenticate as nexus\your_userID if you computer is not joined to the Nexus domain.

Nexus profile server (ecfile2)

What is my Nexus profile ?

Your Nexus profile is where your Nexus desktop and other Nexus customizations are stored. It is stored on a separate server from your home directory (N drive), with a separate (smaller) disk quota of 110 MB. Your data files should not be stored on the desktop. There may not be enough space to properly store data files. If the log-out process should have an error, you will lose your files, since they will not be permanently stored on our server. They will remain on the C drive of the workstation you were last on, but only until the nightly clean-up process runs to clean private files from the workstation.

Why is my Nexus profile over quota ?

Some applications programs store information in the profile. There may be cases where some users need additional profile space. However, in most cases it is caused when users store files on their Desktop. This causes poor login performance because the entire profile is copied to the local hard disk upon every login. You will also not have remote access to any files stored on your desktop, e.g. via the Waterloo Nexus portal. Also, any files stored on the desktop are vulnerable to permanent loss until you've logged off successfully (see previous point).

If you have stored files on your Desktop, remove them and store them on your home directory. To access your profile from Nexus, map a drive letter to the following network path:


Move the files from the Desktop folder to a folder on your N drive. You must also remove them from the desktop on your workstation by deleting them, or they will be stored in your profile again.

Reset your profile

Your Waterloo Nexus account stores user modifications to Windows on a special profile server (ecfile2). Most account problems occur when the user profile becomes corrupted, perhaps because you've run out of your allotted space on the server.

If you are having trouble logging in to your Nexus account, you can try resetting your Nexus profile by going to the Nexus profile reset page. Do not use this reset script while logged in to a Nexus workstation. After the profile reset, log in to a workstation that you have not logged into that day. If you need assistance, or the problem remains, please go to the IT Service Desk (E2-1308A) to have your account fixed.