Computing Help Q&A

File Management
File Restoration
Laptop Battery
Loaner Equipment
Monitor
New Hardware
New PC
New Software
Remote Access
Replacement PC
Smartphones

Request a new FAQ on computer support.


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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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 casuse 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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