10 Things to Check Before Calling the IT Helpdesk
1. Is it plugged in and turned on? This may sound like an obvious thing to check, but you would be surprised how many ‘broken’ printers and ‘dead’ monitors were simply unplugged by the cleaning contractor the night before.
2. Have you tried Ctrl+Alt+Delete? If an application hangs, hold down these three keys and then end the application. Remember: Ctrl+Alt+Delete is your friend!
3. Have you tried rebooting your PC? This classic response has recently been made popular again by the television series The IT Crowd. If your PC has hung or is reacting slowly, or if you have no network access, try restarting it. If it has completely hung, hold the power button for 10 seconds.
4. Is it in the recycle bin? If you accidentally delete a file, check the recycle bin. Quite often it’s hiding in there.
5. Have you recently saved your work? Be sure to save regularly, as this will prevent tears when Windows throws up a blue screen or tells you, ‘This application has terminated unexpectedly’.
6. Is there a cable loose? If you’re experiencing a dead mouse or keyboard, make sure they are plugged in properly and then reboot. It’s quite easy to pull a cable loose accidentally with your foot or while rearranging your desk.
7. Does the problem only affect you, or is it network wide? If your email isn’t working or you cannot connect to a shared resource, check with colleagues to see if they have the same problem. If they do, the chances are that your helpdesk already knows about it and is now taking calls from everyone in the office.
8. Can you recreate the problem? By some strange twist of fate, the problem you are experiencing will often disappear when the IT person arrives. This leaves you wondering if the IT person has signed a pact with the devil, while the IT person is left wondering whether you just like calling him or her to your desk.
9. Are you prepared to be honest? White lies to the IT staff don’t go down well. Remember that dodgy screen savers don’t install themselves and that tea spilled on keyboards leaves a brown stain under the keys. IT staff don’t bite, but they do appreciate honesty.
10. Do you have chocolate and black coffee ready for when the engineer arrives?
Although some of these suggestions may seem trivial or even annoying, they can actually save time and money. The chocolate, of course, is simply a bribe – but hey, it works.
Faculty/Staff Network & E-Mail Guidelines
- Use strong passwords and change them regularly.
- Never share any of your passwords with anyone.
- Do NOT write down your password, others could find it and compromise your user account.
- Try not to use personal e-mail accounts for Web pages or other general feedback needs, such as for a department or organization because personal accounts are inactivated when the person’s employment terminates. (A personal account could be used for collecting data from a Web form that has a limited life.)
- Another reason not to use personal accounts for these general feedback needs is, if an individual transfers to a new department, their personal Email account follows them to their new department. If you were using their personal account for departmental or Web feedback, they will not want to monitor that feedback from their new department.
- Only the owner of an account may contact the Helpdesk for assistance in resetting their password when they forget it.
- If an employee who is departing LPCS was receiving business e-mail, the manager may ask the departing employee to place an “Out of Office” message on their e-mail account stating that they no longer work for the University and all business e-mail should be resent to another employee within that department. That way, no one has to log into the departing employee’s e-mail account for any reason.
- Any time you have any need for network additions, changes or deletions, please complete a work order.