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Durham University

Computing and Information Services

Frequently Asked Questions

List of FAQ categories


+Can I change my password on a non-networked PC?

To change your password, please go to the following page:

+How can I change my password if I do not know what it is?

There are two options available. Staff members can have a new password posted to their department, or call into the IT Service Desk.

All other users should call to the IT Service Desk with some form of identification, preferably their campus card.

+I get an error message when I log in saying that I have less than 500KB of disk space remaining. What shall I do?

You need to clear some space from your network drive, or j drive. Open Windows explorer. Files that you may be able to delete are:

  • j: netscape/ImapMail
  • j: netscape/cache
  • j: netscape/mail/Sent (this will remove all old sent e-mails)
  • j: netscape/mail/Trash
  • .EXE files, such as cartoons, that have come as attachments

If you have difficulty, please telephone the IT Service Desk on 41515.

Once you have done this, if you require more space for your 'J' drive then you need to fill in the following form: Extra Resources

+I've forgotten my password, what should I do?

Please come to the IT Service Desk in the computer centre or on level 2 of the Main Library with your student card where we will reset your password. If you are a member of staff with a secure pigeonhole, a new password can be posted to you.

+What does the message 'Authentication error -please try again' mean?

This message is a standard error message. Please check that you are entering the correct username and password. They are case sensitive. If they are correct, please contact the IT Service Desk and we can check your account.

+What should I do if no log-out button appears?

Press CTRL + ALT + DELETE keys together. You should get an option to log off. If this fails, power off the machine. Make sure when you switch the power back on that your session has ended.

+What should I do when I get the message 'specified user does not exist'?

There may be a problem with your account. Please telephone the IT Service Desk on 41515

+What's my password for the PCs?

Your password for the Networked PC Service is initially set as the first two letters of your surname (in capitals); the month of your date of birth in two digits; the first two letters of your first name (in lower case); and the date of your birth in two digits. The password for Paul Smith, born on 23 December 1980, would be SM12pa23 This password is case sensitive. If you do not know what your password is, please contact the IT Service Desk and we can reset it.

+Why are you telling me to change my password?

ITS tries to ensure that users' passwords are kept as secure as possible. We are asking you to change your password so that it is known only to yourself.

+Why won't the system let me have the password I want?

Unfortunately these error messages are not very helpful. Your new password needs to be a mixture of letters and numbers and must contain a capital letter (all within the first 6 characters), not a dictionary word and between 6-8 characters long. If you still have problems, please come to the IT Service Desk.