Things We Do/Do Not Support
PennDesign ITS provides support for Penn-owned computers. We can provide limited support for user-owned computers. Below please find a breakdown of what we do and do not support.
Things we do support:
- PD Software offered/provided to students, staff, and faculty (Rhino, Symantec, O365 suite, Box client)
- Connecting to AirPennNet
- PennO365 email routing/related issues
- General printing connection issues with Vulcan
- Proper formatting of print files (within reason)
- A/V support for PennDesign managed spaces (labs, studio space, B-level)
- Penn Software on Juno (box, O365, etc.)
- Operating system issues (updating, maintenance)
- We will attempt to assist with student-owned machines in some instances, but are not fully equipped to do so. In many cases, if there is not a quick or obvious solution, we recommend students use the Student Tech Center (listed below).
Things we do not support:
- Reinstalling of operating systems
- Installing of Bootcamp on an Apple computer
- Virus/malware-related issues (we can advise on how to properly scan/clean machine)
- General use questions for software (i.e. things they should learn from class/classmates)
- Transferring or backing up of personal data (guidance only)
- Hardware support beyond a quick 5-10 minute troubleshooting
Support Resources for Student Machines
If you are experiencing a hardware issue with your computer, and it is currently under warranty, please call your vendor support help line. Make sure that you take notes on your call:
- Date of call
- Name of the person you talked to
- Note the case number
- Describe what was discussed on the call, and action item or resolution
If you purchased your computer at the Computer Connection, and set up a service call with Dell or Lenovo (or Apple) and do not get a repair completed to your satisfaction, CCX is happy to intervene on your behalf with the manufacturer. Remember, CCX will need your case number.
All Dell and Lenovo workstation notebooks purchased through the 2017 Back-To-School Sale on Campus Express include:
- A three-year international warranty
- Next-business-day, at-your-home-or-office service
- Accidental damage coverage
These warranties provide 24-hour technical support from the manufacturer, which means you can get help whenever and where-ever you need it most –on campus, off campus, or around the world.
IT Tech Center
Located on the Ground Floor of Van Pelt Library (G102), the Tech Center, formerly the CRC, provides assistance to Penn users with technical issues. Student Support Specialists are available to provide general computing support to students living off-campus, in Sansom Place East and West, and Greek houses. Specialists can also assist all users of the Penn Library with library technology issues. For more information about hours and services, please see their official website.
Security, Care and Maintenance of your Personal Computer
It is important that you regularly do maintenance on your computer. Below are some tasks that will help optimize the performance of your computer:
- Update your computer! – This one cannot be stressed enough – both hardware and Windows OS updates are released on a regular basis. Run Windows updates from the Windows Update client, and run hardware updates through vendor software like Dell Command Update or Lenovo System Update.
- Regularly back up your data – You never know when a hard drive might fail, and even solid state drives have the chance of failing, or an operating system might become corrupted, etc. Services like OneDrive, Box, Dropbox, are recommended.
- Keep an updated antivirus program at all times – Viruses are still common, and with new sophisticated phishing schemes, newer antivirus also blocks common malware and bloatware that can leak your personal information to spammers. Symantec anti-virus is free to all UPenn students. Regular virus-scans are critical to preventing data breaching/software issues.
- Keep your computer properly cooled – Having proper ventilation is related to keeping it dust-free and maintaining good battery health: extreme heat is bad for internal components, including the lithium battery. Invest in a laptop riser/cooler if you’re using a laptop on clothing or a poorly ventilated surface/room.
- Clean dust out of your computer – This is more for desktop users, however a laptop can get caked in dust over its ventilation ports. Regular dusting will help keep the hardware from overheating and ensure your PC is venting excess heat out properly.
- Regularly clean up your operating system – Windows will continually create cache data, system registry files get deleted or corrupted, etc., so run built-in Windows apps like Disk Cleanup or use third-party software like CCleaner (free, recommended) to clean up cached data and missing/deleted registry keys.
A Quick Course in Safer Computing
- Keep your passwords strong, and keep them in your head (as much as possible)
- Don’t open it – you don’t know where it’s been…
- Get anti-virus software. Use it. Keep it up-to-date
- If you can’t trust the source you’re downloading from, you can’t trust the file.
- Don’t leave a computer you’re logged into unattended or unprotected.
- Data on paper is the same as data on the screen
- Your operating system needs to live and breathe. Don’t let it get stale.
- Don’t use it? Lose it.
- Watch out for those “Social Engineers”.
- Scanning is a two-way street.
Check out these websites for more tips for secure computing: