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Guidelines for Support

Personally-owned computer systems of University faculty and staff (This guideline excludes support for family members home computers.) 

Purpose: As a service to the University Community, Information Services will provide limited, basic, non-warranty support for personal computers owned by faculty and staff, so that they may work from home if the need arises.

This support is offered on an "as time is available" basis. Our primary mission is to support student-owned systems and University-owned and managed systems, and that work will take priority.

This document serves to outline general support parameters, as well as establish realistic expectations for repair and turnaround times. Areas in which we may offer assistance include:

  • Assistance with configuration of dial-up and or VPN access
  • Assist with troubleshooting virus and spy-ware problems, including assistance with installation of the University's licensed antivirus software
  • Support for software applications that are consistent with "university standards"
  • Assistance with troubleshooting non-warranty hardware problems

Important Notes

  • The university will assist with diagnosis of hardware problems; however, the owner bears all responsibility for replacement parts. Also, we are not able to procure new parts on the owner's behalf. If the owner purchases a new replacement part, the Help Desk may assist with the actual hardware replacement.
  • If any maintenance actions require the installation of software, the owner must provide properly licensed copies of the media.

Procedures

This service is provided to university faculty and staff only. Please do not ask the Help Desk to work on a machine that is not personally owned by a University of Richmond faculty or staff member.

In general, the process for servicing personally owned machines will include:

  • The owner must personally contact the Help Desk by phone or e-mail prior to dropping off a system for service. This advanced notice may help to prepare the Help Desk technician to provide a quicker resolution to the problem. It will also allow us to inform the owner if we will not be able to work on the system in a timely manner.
  • If the owner will need to leave the system so that it can be worked on later, the user will need to sign the "Computer Release Form."
  • The owner is required to back up their critical data prior to dropping the system off (unless the problem experienced prevents this).
  • As mentioned earlier, a request to install software must be accompanied by a licensed copy of that software. There are a few exceptions, such as the University licensed anti-virus software, which we may install on personal machines that are connecting to the university network.
  • Service turnaround times can vary widely, from one day to two or three weeks. Systems will not be accepted during the "Back to School" rush. At that time we must focus our resources on getting the academic year off to a good start. As a rule of thumb we will not accept work requests for personally owned systems during the first 3 weeks of the fall semester. That may be extended during unusually busy times.
  • If a system has been dropped off, the owner will receive a call from a Help Desk technician once the problem has been resolved (or in the case of hardware failure, diagnosed).
  • The owner of the system may pick up the system at any time if they feel the Help Desk has taken too long to resolve the problem. Attronica Computers has a computer store and service area in Jepson Hall. If you are in a hurry, they may offer a quicker turnaround time. You may request an estimate from Attronica before agreeing to have service work done.

Questions regarding these guidelines or anything relative to Help Desk support and services may be directed to Scott Tilghman, Help Desk Manager at stilghma@richmond.edu, or Doug West, Director of Telecommunications, Media Support, and User Services at dwest@richmond.edu.

Revision History

Version Revised Date Author Comments
1.0 May 18, 2010 Revision history added.
1.1 August 8, 2011 nlydick Updated Help Desk hours.