Frequently Asked Questions
- When is tech support available?
- I think I have a virus — what should I do?
- I have the CrashPlan backup application running on my computer. How do I restore a lost/deleted file?
- I need a new computer/printer/application/gizmo — who should I talk to?
- Can I use my work computer for personal activities (shopping, entertainment, downloading files)?
- How do I get technical assistance for a speaker, presentation or event in a SoC classroom, lecture hall or auditorium?
- How do I set up a telephone conference call?
- Can I use Skype to make a conference call or connect to a videoconference?
- How do I request a lecture or event to be recorded?
Our support technicians are available Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:00, throughout the calendar year, except during university holidays. The Web Help Desk system is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
First and foremost: do not click on anything! The antivirus application we use is from Symantec; any window that pops up claiming to be a "Windows Security Alert" (or similar, especially while browsing the web) could possibly be a scam. Clicking on "repair now" or "activate protection" will likely infect your machine further. The best course of action is to take note of what the window says, shut down your computer, and call the help line: 847-467-4651. One of our technicians will come as soon as possible to evaluate the situation and choose a course of action.
Just open a ticket in the Web Help Desk system and we will happy to help you locate and restore your data from the backup system. If it is after business hours, or you are off campus, you can restore files yourself:
- Make certain you have an internet connection — if you can view cnn.com or any other web site, you're all set.
- Open the CrashPlan application. On a Windows computer, it will be found in "All Programs"; on a Mac it will be in your Applications folder. On all computers, there is likely to be a shortcut to it in the toolbar at the bottom of your screen.
- Enter your Northwestern NetID and NetID password in the "Log in to the CrashPlan desktop" screen, and click the "Sign In" button.
- The window will change to "Welcome to CrashPlan". On the left side, click on the "Restore" tab.
- You should now see a map of your computer's contents. Navigate to the file(s) you wish to restore, or use the search box at the top of the window, and select the files by clicking on the check boxes to the left of their name. If you wish to restore files from a specific date, or choose where they will be downloaded to, click on the words "most recent" or "Desktop" (underlined in blue) at the bottom the the window.
- Click the "Restore" button at the bottom of the window. The application will prepare and download the file you selected.
For work-related purchases, the SoC technology group can help you decide what computer will best suit your needs and provide a quote from Northwestern's discounted vendors — simply open a help request ticket. Once a quote is accepted, we will need a chart string to start the procurement procedure.
We'll be happy to help you choose a personal machine as well, but can only provide discounted pricing for equipment purchased with university funds.
Matters of this nature are best left to your immediate supervisor. For reference, Northwestern's central technology department maintains a policy on the acceptable use of computing resources, which can be found here: Using Network and Computing Resources.
We can assist with presentations scheduled in Frances Searle, Louis Hall and Annie May Swift Hall rooms by providing technical help in using installed A/V equipment. When planning your event it is best to schedule 30 minutes of set up time before the event.
We can also lend a laptop computer (Windows or Mac) for use in the presentation, provided the presentation materials make use of a web browser or Microsoft Office applications like PowerPoint or Word.
To request assistance please submit a ticket to our online help system, or call our Help Desk at 7-4651. For events occurring during normal business hours it is recommended to request assistance at least three business days in advance, especially if a laptop loan will be required. Events occurring outside normal business hours (Mon - Fri 8:30 am - 5:00 pm) should be requested as far in advance as possible.
All NU telephones are able to make three-way conference calls and many NU telephones have speakerphones built-in. For conference calls with more than three callers NU has a contract with an external conferencing services vendor. More information.
SoCIT staff can help you determine which type of phone you have, assist in purchasing conference phones and train you to make conference calls. It is recommended to submit requests at least three business days in advance.
Unfortunately Skype is a proprietary platform that does not interconnect with other services. You may use Skype to connect to other Skype users, or you may purchase credit from Skype to connect to telephones. However, Skype will not connect to standards-based videoconference devices (such as Polycom or Tandberg) and there are no free options for connecting to telephones.
However, SoCIT can help you make use of the telephone conferencing options available at NU or use the desktop video conferencing platform option offered by NUART, called Vidyo. Vidyo can also be used to connect to standards-based videoconferences from a desktop or laptop computer equipped for conferencing.
Because there is some technical set up and advance testing required in most cases, please submit your request for conferencing help at least five business days in advance. Use of Vidyo requires the use of a webcam and a headset with microphone.
SoCIT provides audio and video production services, including event recording. Typical events include lectures, job talks and performances. Depending on the nature, length and frequency of recording a cost-sharing fee may be required. Consultations are provided without charge.
In order to permit sufficient time for logistics and planning, please request lecture recordings at least five business days in advance, and all other recordings at least ten business days in advance.