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Durham University

Computing and Information Services

Student Laptop Support

Computing and Information Services at Durham University has over 20,000 users to support, both staff and students and a finite amount of resource to do it. To make sure that you know exactly what we can and cannot do for you, we’ve pulled together some information particularly relevant if you’re having problems with your own computer (laptop or desktop).

How to help yourself

Whilst it’s inevitable that sometimes things just go wrong, the best thing is to take some simple steps to reduce the chances of avoidable problems which could damage your computer.

  • Make sure you have one of the recommended antivirus and antispyware packages on your machine. THAT’S NOT ALL - make sure you download the regular updates which the supplier (e.g. Norton, Kaspersky, McAfee, etc) send you and get into the habit of scanning your machine on a regular basis. We wouldn’t recommend you take a chance and ‘learn the hard way’ – you risk losing precious work, music, contacts etc.
  • Back up your data on a regular basis; that way if something does happen to your machine you can reinstall or recreate your files.
  • Take a look at our web pages: we’ve got advice about getting on our network on the EnSuite Online pages and a selection of Frequently Asked Questions on a variety of IT subjects.

What we can do

If you book an appointment, when you turn up we will focus on:

  • Getting you connected to the EnSuite Online (ESOL) service so you can access the network from your study-bedroom
  • Getting you connected to the University’s wireless network (where available)
  • Giving you advice on sorting out viruses which may have infected your machine and other issues which may be preventing you from connecting to our ESOL or wireless services. If you have a virus infection on your system, then we would recommend that you take your machine to one of the local computers shops, in either Durham or Stockton and get them to clean your machine, but using your student ID card, you will get a 10% discount.

What we can’t do

The services listed above are the key ones which should help you get onto the University network so you can get on with your studies, and they are the ones we will focus on. In terms of technical repairs, our priority has to be keeping the machines we provide in working order. It is important to understand legally that we cannot repair your private equipment, and we suggest that you take it to (PC World or an alternative local repair shop)

If we do find a machine is particularly badly infected with viruses or spyware, our advice may be for you to reformat your computer back to its original settings, with recommended antivirus and antispyware packages, before you’ll be able to connect to our network. This instance is where having a recent backup of your data and programmes would be invaluable.

How much is it?

  • All our self help materials (Information Sheets and Guides) are free.
  • We do not charge any fees for assisting you get connected to the ESOL