Support & Troubleshooting - Desktop Computer

Make sure that the computer is plugged in and all power bars are turned on. The computer may not boot properly if there is a USB Memory Stick or CD-ROM in the drive. Hold the round power button for a few seconds and it should illuminate with a green light.

Check the desktop monitor power switch and cable as this may make it appear as if the desktop computer is non-responsive.

If the green light turns on and the screen is working but nothing appears, there may be a problem with the computer power supply. Hold the power button for 10 seconds to reset the machine.

If there is no green light despite repeatedly pressing the power button the computer, check that the rest of the equipment in the desk is getting power. The circuit breaker may have tripped, or one of the power bars might be reset.

If all these steps fail to get the computer started, a temporary cart may be used until a technician can resolve the issue.

Does the desktop monitor have a light visible on its power button?

If the monitor has a light indicating it is turned on, try restarting the desktop computer by holding the power button for 10 seconds, then pressing it once briefly. The amber light should switch to green when the display receives a signal. If it does not change color, check the VGA cable is properly connected to the amplifier box, and that the amplifier is connected to power and the back of the PC. It is not uncommon for the amplifiers to be unplugged to free up outlets for laptop power.

If not, check to ensure that the display is plugged in and the power cord is firmly connected behind the screen. Locate the power switch on the bottom right edge of the screen and switch it off for a few seconds, then back on. Confirm that other equipment in the desk is getting power.

If the desktop computer is set to a high resolution or refresh rate, the message ‘out of range’ will appear on the LCD monitor.

After a period of time, the desktop computer will activate the screensaver and then the ACPI power save mode. This will cause the LCD screen to go into standby mode until the computer gets some input from the keyboard or mouse. Check to see if the machine is responsive by pressing the ‘Caps Lock’ key. If the keyboard caps light does not respond, then the computer has likely crashed and must be rebooted.

Classroom computers are set up to log in to the ULETH domain. This is the same network that is available in the computer labs, study center, and at email stations. Your normal university username and password should be used. Your username is usually firsname.lastname and your password is your 9 digit university identification number INCLUDING preceding zeros. Ensure the domain is set to ULETH.

If you have changed your password using the online account management tool these changes will be reflected on all campus networks. If you need to reset your password, you will need to contact the Solution Centre.

If you get the error message ‘Domain ULETH is not available’, it is usually an indication that the network connection to the PC has been interrupted. Make sure the Ethernet cable is firmly connected and that all power bars and network switches are plugged in and operational. It is not uncommon for users to unplug network switches to get access to additional electrical outlets. If the network is properly connected and you still get this message, the domain controller server may be temporarily unavailable. Check the server status page and contact server support to report the problem if necessary.

Note that though it is possible to login to multiple machines on the ULETH network, it is not advisable since it can lead to profile corruption and slow network performance.

During periods of peak network activity (between classes, early morning and around noon), it is normal for login times to increase. For users with large profiles login may take up to two or more minutes. Classroom computers are normally slightly slower when accessing network resources than lab machines.

In most cases, long login times can be attributed to the user account. Try logging in with the guest account to determine if the problem is specific to that machine. If performance is still poor then there may be a problem with the computer or network switch. Complete a help desk request for that room.

If your user account is excessively slow, you can resolve the problem by decreasing the size of your profile. Through normal use your account can collect a lot of ‘application data’ settings that will follow you from machine to machine. Cleaning your profile will clear all Internet bookmarks, desktop settings, email preferences, and other user-specific settings.

Pressing the power button on the front of the computer once will initiate the shutdown process. This does not happen immediately since the machine will attempt to logout and synchronize your account information to the network first. Depending on the size of your account and the time of day, it can take up to two or more minutes for this process to complete.

Forcing the computer to shut down by holding the power button or unplugging the unit can cause your account to become corrupt and also render the machine unusable. Only use forced shutdown when the machine has stopped responding for three or more minutes. (Use the caps lock key to confirm if the machine is responsive) The power button on the front of the computer will force reset if held down for 10 seconds.

Applications that have stopped responding can cause the computer to hang for a period of time during shutdown. If the projector control software is in the process of warming or cooling the projector it can delay the time required to logout.

It is not necessary to shut down the computer when you are finished using it. Computers and projectors left running for an extended period of time will be shut down remotely over the network.

The classroom computers have been configured to have the same software that is available in the computer labs. The only exception to this rule is special packages with limited licensing. Most commonly used application can be found under ‘Class Software’ in the start menu. Common media players, plug-ins, and the CODECs are installed to provide support for many different file types.

If you have a software package that you would like installed on the classroom computer, a formal request along with proof of licensing must be submitted in a help desk request one week prior to the required date. At the beginning of the semester, several classrooms are customized to include course-specific software.

The ‘My Documents’ folder, as well as a number of other resources on the desktop are only available from the computer’s home domain. Most faculty members are logging into the ULETH domain, which means their My Documents, Shared files, etc… will only be accessible by other ULETH machines. If you know the IP address of your computer or fully qualified UNC name, it is possible to map a network drive to access those files. Generally, the best way to make files available between the office and classroom computers is to use your personal drive (P:\).

Other options include: class web space, WebCT file storage, class fileserver share, email file transfer, CDROM, and USB flash drive.

CD-R disks that are recorded using DirectCD or DLA format are supported. If you have started recording a CD but have not closed the session, the drive will probably not be able to read properly. In this case, take the disk to the computer labs and have the proctor close any open sessions before attempting to use the disk in a classroom.

Certain brands of recordable CD (especially re-writable) are not compatible with the Dell CD-ROM drives installed in the classrooms. Brands that work well include Maxell, Fuji, Kodak, Sony, and Memorex. Brands that are not reliable include Certified Data, Nexxtech, and Pacific Digital.

The classroom computers are preloaded with a wide variety of media players and CODECs. Since there are new formats being created daily and update versions of these CODECs, you may not always have the software you need to play media on the classroom machines. Always test your presentation material in advance.
The following players along with all the default CODECs are installed: Apple QuickTime, Real Player, and Windows Media Player.

If you have access to the Internet, it is possible for all three of these applications to download updated CODECs when they are required. You may need administrator access to install the updates. If you require a specific update or media player, please submit a help desk request one week in advance.

One common problem when using Apple QuickTime formats in PowerPoint: The MacOS version of QuickTime contains CODECs that are not available in the PC version. If you are compressing your videos on a Macintosh, make sure that you use Sorenson, Cinepak, or MPEG2 encoding to prevent this problem.

Classroom computers are subject to the same firewall restrictions as all other computers on campus (with the exception of reznet). If you have included streaming media in your presentation material you should test it before your presentation and have backup material available in case it is not available.

When you link to a video file or Internet resource from within a presentation, it only includes the address of the resource. The address is subject to change at any time and may also contain session identifiers that will expire before you plan to present your material. For this reason it is always a good idea to have a copy of the material available on your machine instead.

Streaming video and audio is also subject to the same restrictions mentioned above (with regards to CODECs and compression formats). You may need administrator access or help updating the computer to include newer or more obscure CODECs.

If the media is being served on a non-standard port, you may not be able to access it from behind the University firewall.

Third party or Windows firewall software may interfere with access to certain network resources. If you are unsure how to configure your firewall please contact the help desk for assistance. Although it is not advisable, you can temporarily disable your firewall if necessary.

Wireless mouse control is only available in certain rooms. If the projector supports wireless mouse function, you will see a small black receiver located near the desktop computer. The projector remote must be pointed at this receiver when in use.

Wireless mouse control is only available in certain rooms. If the projector supports wireless mouse function, you will see a small black receiver located near the desktop computer. The projector remote must be pointed at this receiver when in use.

The left mouse button is located on the bottom of the remote.

The right mouse button is located near the directional control pad.

On Sharp remotes the small mode switch at the bottom of the remote must be set to ‘mouse’.

If the NEC remotes are unresponsive, press the ‘PRJ’ button once to set the control pad to mouse mode.

To determine if the remote has sufficient battery to operate as a mouse, test the laser pointer function. If the laser illuminates the mouse function should work as well.

The wireless remote has about 10 meter range but must be pointed within 20 degrees of the receiver in order to work properly. Make sure there are no obstructions between the remote and the receiver box.