Computing Help Q&A

Connect to a Server Folder, How to (Mac)
File Management
File Restoration
Laptop Battery
Loaner Equipment
Map a Drive, How to (PC)
Monitor
New Hardware
New PC
New Software
Remote Access
Replacement PC
Smartphones
Windows 10 Upgrade, Self-Service

Request a new computer support FAQ.


Connect to a Server Folder, How to (Mac)
Q: How can I create a Nebula folder connection from my Mac?
A: Follow the steps below:

  1. First, determine the folder location you want to connect to. Most common locations are:
    Personal Folder path – smb://[youruwnetid].homedir.nebula.washington.edu/homes
    All UA Groups path – smb://nebula2.washington.edu/uw/groups/ua
    Your unit’s group path – smb://nebula2.washington.edu/uw/groups/ua/[yourunitfolder]
    Backups path – smb://nebula2.washington.edu/uw/snapshots
    temp7day path – smb://nebula2.washington.edu/uw/temp7day
  2. Go to Option+K and enter the path address, starting with smb://…, and then click the ‘+’ button to add it to your folder list.
  3. Select the folder address in your folder locations list and click Connect.
  4. The first time you are prompted for how to authenticate. Choose Registered User, and enter your UW NetID amd password.

Creating a Nebula Folder Location on Your UA Mac (pdf).

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File Management
Q: Why can’t I save files to my hard drive? And where should I store them instead?
A: Your hard drive is an inherently unstable place. While we attempt to procure quality equipment for Advancement computing work, the drive itself is not guaranteed to work indefinitely. It could crash and take with it all your work. Sometimes solving technical problems on a computer can require re-imaging it, wiping your work out. And when you get a new computer assigned to you, the old one will have your work stored on it. For all these reasons, you should not store your work any of these locations, which are all on your hard drive (aka “C drive” or “Locally” or “local drive”): C:\ (with anything following) or your Desktop.

Mac users, this includes you, too. Your hard drive locations include your Desktop, Macintosh HD, and all locations in Finder other than the network drive connections set up by Nebula in AdmitMac.

You should store all of your files on the Nebula network.

  • Mac users, Nebula sets up a network connection application called AdmitMac with mapped connections to the networked servers. This includes your “I” drive with shared folders among your unit, and the “H” drive which is only accessible to you for your non-shared work.
  • PC users, choose your “H” drive for private work such as employee evaluations and a location within the “I” drive for shared files.

Examples of how the H and I drive locations may appear on a PC.

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File Management
Q:  Why can’t I save files to my hard drive?  And where should I store them instead?
A:  Your hard drive is an inherently unstable place.  While we attempt to procure quality equipment for Advancement computing work, the drive itself is not guaranteed to work indefinitely.  It could crash and take with it all your work.  Sometimes solving technical problems on a computer can require re-imaging it, wiping your work out.  And when you get a new computer assigned to you, the old one will have your work stored on it.  For all these reasons, you should not store your work any of these locations, which are all on your hard drive (aka “C drive” or “Locally” or “local drive”):  C:\ (with anything following) or your Desktop.

Mac users, this includes you, too.  Your hard drive locations include your Desktop, Macintosh HD, and all locations in Finder other than the network drive connections set up by Nebula in AdmitMac.

You should store all of your files on the Nebula network.

  • Mac users, Nebula sets up a network connection application called AdmitMac with mapped connections to the networked servers.  This includes your “I” drive with shared folders among your unit, and the “H” drive which is only accessible to you for your non-shared work.
  • PC users, choose your “H” drive for private work such as employee evaluations and a location within the “I” drive for shared files.

Examples of how the H and I drive locations may appear on a PC.

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File Restoration
Q:  What if I accidentally delete a file that I need?

A:  Nebula uses “snapshots” folders to provide you with previous versions of your work saved on the network.  Depending on where you had stored your file, see one of these locations:

  • Your H: drive in I:\snapshots\(selected date)\users\(your UWNetID)
  • Your I: drive in I:\snapshots\(selected date)\groups\(your directory)

See also the Nebula information on file restoration here.

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Laptop Battery
Q:  How can I make my laptop battery last longer?

A:  Click here for detailed tips for increasing your laptop’s battery life.

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Loaner Equipment
Q:  What is the procedure for using ATS loaner equipment?
A:  ATS provides several computer items and accessories for you to borrow for short term use.  Please see the Loaner Computer Equipment page for full details and check-out procedure.

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Map a Drive, How to (PC)
Q:  How can map a drive to avoid drilling into many sub-folders to find a file or folder location?
A:  Follow these steps:

  1. First, navigate to the folder or file location by drilling into all the path’s sub-folders in order to find and copy the entire path.
  2. Open your File Explorer, and click This PC.
  3. Click Map network drive. Refer to picture below for process.
  4. Choose any free drive letter you wish.
  5. In the folder field, paste the path that you copied in step 1.
  6. Click Finish.
Click to view full size image.

Click to view full size image.

 

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Monitor
Q:  How can I clean the screen of my monitor?

A:  Laptop computers and flat screen monitors use LCD, or Liquid Crystal Display, and require special care when cleaning. Special products are sold for cleaning LCD monitor screens, but the experts agree that a 50/50 mixture of water and isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol is the best solution.  (If you look at the ingredients of the special solutions, you will see water and alcohol.)  Use of a soft cloth such as microfiber, the type you get for cleaning glasses, is important so as not to scratch the surface of the screen.  Do not use paper towels, Kleenex, toilet paper, or your shirt, as these can be abrasive and cause scratches.

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New Hardware
Q:  How can I get new computer hardware?
A:  If you need additional items of computer hardware such as a replacement or additional monitor, printer or the like, please use the New Computer Equipment Request form with your budget information.  If you have any questions email ATS and we’ll be glad to help you with your request.

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New PC
Q:  How can I get my replacement PC set up for use?
A:  Click here to download instructions for first use.

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New Software
Q:  How can I get new software?
A:  ATS and Nebula provide Sophos Anti-Virus, MS Office, PasswordSafe, CutePDF, Adobe Reader, web browsers, and other standard software at no extra charge.  In addition, UW provides licenses for some additional software through UWARE and our volume licensing agreement with Microsoft.  They are available to you via the UWARE site as well as in Nebula PC’s Run Advertised Programs (within Control Panel).

If you find that you need software that requires a license purchase, please use the New Software Request form and supply your budget information in the blanks provided.

If you would like help installing additional volume licensed software from the UWARE site, please email ATS at  advhelp@uw.edu for assistance and we’ll be glad to help.

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Remote Access

See:  Remote Access support page.

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Replacement PC
Q:  When will I get my computer replaced?

A:  For each employee PC purchased by a unit, ATS provides a working computer.  It is typical for a given computer to be in use for around four years before being replaced altogether.  Every three to four years, ATS provides replacement computers for a portion of the PC’s in use within our supported central units.  In order to increase the life of a given PC ATS may install additional RAM and/or re-image the computer if it is still working but needs to have hardware problems or performance addressed.

Due to the budget tightening starting in FY2008 our replacement cycle has slowed but we still provide working computers.  If your computer malfunctions to the point that Nebula cannot address a problem with your PC hardware, we will work with Nebula to provide a working PC for you regardless of our ongoing replacement schedule.

Units have traditionally provided Macs and replacements for those Macs as needed.  If your unit is ready to replace a Mac computer, coordinate the ordering and receiving of that computer with ATS.  We will procure, receive and insure it according to our standard policy and charge back your unit’s budget information.

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Smartphone
Q:  Can I get help with my personal smartphone?
A:  ATS and Nebula do not specifically support your personal computing and phone equipment but UWIT has published some configuration that can help you set up connectivity with the UW Exchange service for email and calendar use.

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Q:  What are the best guidelines for using a smartphone (or other networked mobile device such as iPod Touch, iPad, or Android tablet)?
A:  The Office of the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) web site features a great online training about smartphone security.  Watch it here in flash, HTML5, or iPad versions.  Highlights from the training include:

  • Mobile device risks and benefits
  • Security best practices
  • Laws that apply to handling of instutional data and these devices
  • Proper disposal
  • Reporting incidents
  • … much more!

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Windows 10 Upgrade, Self-Service
Q:  How can I get my Windows 7 or 8.1 computer upgraded to Windows 10?
A:  Nebula has released a self-service upgrade for Windows 10.

As of January 8, 2016, in the morning, Nebula released a self-service Windows 10 upgrade path for computers running Windows 7 or 8.1.

ATS is requesting that you please hold off on doing the upgrade until we have had a chance to evaluate the ramifications of this particular upgrade package and make further recommendations via email to you.

Some of you have secondary computers that are not part of the Nebula domain – we will give you alternate instructions for upgrading those computers when we email about the upgrade being ready in general.

If you do choose to upgrade prior to this notification by ATS, please be aware that we may ask that you perform a follow-up task after you have already upgraded.

While we believe this upgrade will be smooth and error free, if you choose to upgrade and then encounter issues with your computer, please contact Nebula at nebula@uw.edu or 1-5000.

Nebula Documentation
Should I upgrade my computer to Windows 10?
Upgrading to Windows 10

If you have issues or encounter difficulties

Last rev. 1/8/16

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