help@spu.edu | 206-281-2982
The CIS Web Site is packed with information, documentation and tools to help students with their computer, software and connecting to the campus network and online services. These web pages should be the FIRST PLACE you look for assistance.

The CIS HelpDesk staff are dedicated to assisting students and staff with computer related problems. The CIS HelpDesk is also staffed by an energetic team of student employees that support the broad range of technologies in place at SPU. CIS staff to can reached via email, phone or by walk-in at the CIS HelpDesk.
How To:

Hardware repairs
CIS does not provide hardware repairs or replacements for student owned desktop or laptop computers. We can often assist in diagnosing a specific problem or hardware failure, but the actual repairs must be performed by the original manufacturer (check your computer warranty to see if the system is still covered) or by a local repair shop. On the Repair Vendors page we list some of the local repair shops.

Software help
We provide limited "how to" information on specific software applications, but will research your questions as time allows. You may want to review the documentation or technical support web sites for the software vendor for more in depth assistance in the use of individual applications.

Connecting to the campus network

Connecting to the wired or wireless network on campus is critical for your success as a student. Getting your computer on the network can at times be a challenging and frustrating experience, but the CIS HelpDesk views this an one of our primary objectives. If you can't get your computer connected there are many Student Computer Labs available for your access.

Student computer consultations
While many troubleshooting tasks and configuration issues can be resolved via phone or email, there may come a time when your computer needs a more hands-on review. In these situations the CIS HelpDesk can schedule an appointment for you to drop-off your laptop computer in CIS for troubleshooting.

Please be aware that we have limited times for appointments and especially at the beginning of the school year there could be a significant delay in when an appointment can be scheduled. Some of the steps performed during these consultations include hard drive defragmentation, installing and configuring anti-virus software, installing spyware preventation tools and scanning your system, reviewing operating system and application configuration settings. We don't generally install (or re-install) operating systems.

Common Problems:

Your computer is a valuable learning tool. To keep it operating effectively requires routine maintenance and attention. Please review the Maintain Your Computer page for ongoing maintenance tasks. A small effort now can often prevent big problems and frustrations in the future.

Practice safe computing! When navigating the Internet, downloading software applications, logging into remote services -- always be on the lookout for possible spyware and malicious applications. A significant number of problems with computer malfunctions, slowness, unable to get software patches and updates, unable to connect to the campus network have a root cause in sypware and malicious software being downloaded and installed by the computer user (that would be you).

Computer Becomes Slow or Sluggish
Windows XP will rarely allow one failing application to stop all software functions. Improperly working applications can, however, slow down the system. If a software application becomes unresponsive, use the Task Manager to review running applications. Hit the [Ctrl] [Alt] and [Delete] keys at the same time. Click the Task Manager button and look at the Apllication Tab. Select any applications that are "Not Responding" and select the End Task button. Windows will stop that application.

Monitor will not display image
Most monitors connected to a desktop computer have a light that indicates current functionality. It is usually located on the frame of the monitor itself, near the on/off and adjustment buttons. If the light is yellow, the monitor is in standby mode. If the monitor light is green, it is ready to receive video images from the computer. Double check all connections and make sure the power is on to both the desktop and monitor. Monitors that do not "wake up" when the computer keyboard is typed on (the light stays yellow) may be malfunctioning. Monitors that do wake up (the light turns green) are functioning but not receiving video from the desktop computer.

See Also:
Software Distribution (software updates for your computer)
Connecting to the campus network (troubleshooting how to get connected to the network)