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Digital IT

End user computing

The End-User Computing service provides PCs* and software for various purposes across the University; It also includes help and support for PC users, provision of the personal network storage (‘F-drive’) and assistance with desktop PC relocation.

* 'PC' means any Windows laptop, Windows desktop, Surface Pro or Apple Mac personal computer device.

PCs available to University Members

Every member of the University whose role requires it has access to University personal computing facilities. Please be aware that anyone wishing to access a University PC must have a University IT account. When an IT account is created for you, you will be provided with an IT account username and a password; these will need to be supplied whenever you start a session on (i.e., when you login to) a University PC. For more information, see University IT Accounts.  

This page gives an overview of the various types of PC facility available to University members. If you are a member of University staff needing information on how to acquire PCs, please browse the remaining expanding sections in this site area.

All students have access to Open Access PC Suites, which are located in library spaces and other learning spaces across the campuses. Open Access PC suites are managed by the Library Team… see the PC availability page. Where their programme content requires it, students also have access to specialist PC facilities within their schools; for example, PCs with professional media editing software installed on them.

Students should also be aware that the Library offers a laptop loan service.

Postgraduate students: Depending on their subject matter, postgraduate students may have PCs allocated for their exclusive use. Postgraduate PCs are allocated by individual schools; if you are a postgraduate student and you have questions about PC allocation, you need to contact your tutor or school office.

Staff (including temporary/agency): Where their role requires it, a University staff member will either have a PC allocated for their exclusive use, or they will be given access to a shared or a ‘functional-use’ PC such as one for use on a reception desk. Staff PCs are typically organized by line managers or departmental administrators. In addition, all University staff may use the Open Access PC suites, which are located in library spaces and other learning spaces across the campuses. Open Access PC suites are managed by the Library Team… see the PC availability page.

Other University members (Associates): University members such as visiting academics, external examiners and other associates, are eligible to use Open Access PC suites if their role is likely to require PC access. Additional PC facilities may be made available to Associate members by their sponsors (University of Salford staff members who oversee their engagement with the University) if this can be justified.

General help and support is available for assisting University members (students, staff, Associates) with the use of University PCs and installed utility software such as Microsoft Office. Review the list below, and make your best selection:

For Students

General Getting Started guide (covers most IT-related topics of interest to students)

User guides (Provided by The Library. Follow  the link, the select the ‘Computing’ tab)

IT Drop-In Desk

For All Users

Open-access PC locations/availability (Available to all University members having  on-campus PC access)

What to do if you come across a PC Fault

Security and Regulations

If you need assistance with general usage of any University PC (e.g., logging in, finding or saving files/documents, using Microsoft Office), or you suspect there’s a fault, you may contact the ITS Service Desk. If you phone them during University business hours, they are often able to resolve your issue while you are on the phone.

PC faults—open-access suites, labs and other learning spaces

Most PCs in these areas are automatically monitored for faults via the data network. This monitoring will identify faults with the main unit, but not usually with installed software applications or peripherals such as monitor and keyboard. ITS Technicians will respond to any faults detected automatically;  however if you as a user suspect a fault with an Open Access PC, Lab PC or other learning space PC, please do notify the ITS Service Desk, who will ensure a Technician is dispatched as soon as possible.

Faults with PCs assigned to individuals or University business functions

These are  not automatically monitored; any faults will therefore need to be reported to the ITS Service Desk by the user. Unless the issue can be resolved remotely, a Technician will be dispatched. Note that  it can take up to 2 business days to recover from a critical PC fault;  users should, where possible, identify an alternative PC they can use in the meantime.

A PC is allocated to each member of University staff (or jobshare) whose role requires it. ‘Staff’ includes University direct employees and those contracted through a third party (e.g., an agency). PCs allocated to staff are of a standard specification. Ordinarily, a desktop PC is allocated  to  a member of staff, though a laptop can be issued if the role requires mobility.

Standard desktop PC specification

Standard laptop PC specification

Typically, staff PCs only need to be requested for new starters, whereafter their allocated PC will be refreshed automatically when it reaches a certain age. Requests for staff PCs should normally come from Line Managers or departmental administration colleagues. If you need to request one or more PCs  for  allocation to individual staff (as their primary device), please contact the ITS Service Desk to log your request. Note that the cost of PCs for staff allocation is met from a central fund; it is not charged to the requesting department.

Additional Peripherals: The basic peripherals (monitor, keyboard, mouse) are supplied as part of the standard PC specification; however additional peripherals can be supplied separately - refer to the list of available peripherals.

Nonstandard Staff PC Requirements: If you need staff PCs whose specifications differ from the standard, this can be accommodated though a written justification will be required as part of the Requesting process. If you need to acquire a nonstandard PC for staff, contact the ITS Service Desk to log your request. The cost of a nonstandard staff PC is normally met from a central fund, however the request is subject to approval, based on the justification provided.

Note that Apple® devices are regarded as nonstandard PCs; hovever see the specification for Apple PC devices typically supplied by IT Services.

Staff needing multiple PCs: A PC cannot be allocated to a member of staff if one has already been allocated.  If your department has a member of staff who needs access to a second PC, you will need to request a PC for Team or Functional Use.

PC upgrades: If a member of staff has a situation where their allocated PC is underperforming, they should log an Incident (fault) with the ITS Service Desk,  who will arrange for a Technician to visit and assess the problem. If there is a genuine requirement for an upgrade (as opposed to a repair) this will be arranged without charge to the department. ‘Upgrade’ usually entails an increase in memory (‘RAM’) capacity rather than a complete swap-out of the device, though the device would be exchanged if that proved more economical.

If a member of staff plans to acquire software which they believe their allocated PC will not support, keep in mind that their current PC’s capability will be assessed as part of the software request process.

Software installed on Staff PCs: The University is licenced to deploy certain ‘utility’ software products on any University-owned PCs, by way of site  licences. In particular, Microsoft Office products are deployed on University PCs as standard. Depending on the PC’s purpose, further site-licenced products may be included as standard—see software included with standard staff PCs. Certain other site-licenced products  may be obtained via the ‘Application Explorer’, which is accessed by double-clicking on the ‘Application Explorer’ icon on PC desktops.

PC disk image refresh: For staff PCs, there is no automatic process to reinstall the disk image periodically; however a self-service reimage process exists and is updated with a new disk image every 12 months.

Information for University staff responsible for setting up, expanding or coordinating PC facilities

If you are setting up a PC suite, or a multi-PC facility in a teaching space or lab, please contact the ITS Service Desk who will register your requirement as a project request.

Teaching Space Standard Hardware specification

PCs in this category usually have a range of specialist software products installed on them for learning purposes. Furthermore, software titles are frequently added to and removed from the catalogue of products that are installed on PCs in this category. For those reasons, these PCs have a new disk image loaded onto them every summer.

Site-licenced software

The University is licenced to deploy certain ‘utility’ software products on any University-owned PCs, by way of site licences. In particular, Microsoft Office products are deployed on University PCs as standard. Depending on the PC’s purpose, further site-licenced products may be included as standard.

Information for School staff who coordinate PC collections for postgraduate use

If you require one or more additional PCs for allocation to postgraduate students, please contact the ITS Service Desk who will register your requirement as a project request.

Postgraduate PC Hardware specification

Additional Peripherals: The basic peripherals (monitor, keyboard, mouse) are supplied as part of the  Postgraduate PC specification; however additional peripherals can be supplied separately - refer to the list of available peripherals.

For PCs in this category, there is no automatic process to reinstall the disk image periodically; however a self-service re-image process exists and is updated with a new disk image every 12 months.

Site-licenced software

The University is licenced to deploy certain ‘utility’ software products on any University-owned PCs, by way of site licences. In particular, Microsoft Office products are deployed on University PCs as standard. Depending on the PC’s purpose, further site-licenced products may be included as standard. Certain other site-licenced products may be obtained via the ‘Application Explorer’, which is accessed by double-clicking on the ‘Application Explorer’ icon on PC desktops.

Information for teams requiring PCs for research or commercial purposes

If you need one or more additional PCs for use by a research project or a commercial function, please contact the ITS Service Desk to log your request.

Although PCs in this category are not bound to any particular specification, it may be worth reviewing the following specifications, which are frequently used for supplying University staff PCs:

Additional Peripherals: The basic peripherals (monitor, keyboard, mouse) are normally supplied as part of a PC package; however additional peripherals can be supplied separately - refer to the list of available peripherals.

For PCs in this category, there is no automatic process to reinstall the disk image periodically; however a self-service reimage process exists and is updated with a new disk image every 12 months.

Site-licenced software

The University is licenced to deploy certain ‘utility’ software products on any University-owned PCs, by way of site licences. In particular, Microsoft Office products are deployed on University PCs as standard. Depending on the PC’s purpose, further site-licenced products may be included as standard. Certain other site-licenced products may be obtained via the ‘Application Explorer’, which is accessed by double-clicking on the ‘Application Explorer’ icon on PC desktops.

Information for departments requiring additional PCs for team/functional use

A PC in this category is allocated to a business function rather than to an individual member of staff or job-share. It will often be shared by multiple members of a team. Example: a PC on a reception desk that is staffed via a rota.

If you need one or more additional PCs for use in this way, please contact the ITS Service Desk to log your request.

Although PCs in this category are not bound to any particular specification, it may be worth reviewing the following specifications, which are frequently used for supplying University staff PCs:

Additional Peripherals: The basic peripherals (monitor, keyboard, mouse) are normally supplied as part of a PC package; however additional peripherals can be supplied separately - refer to the list of available peripherals.

For PCs in this category, there is no automatic process to reinstall the disk image periodically; however a self-service reimage process exists and is updated with a new disk image every 12 months.

Site-licenced software

The University is licenced to deploy certain ‘utility’ software products on any University-owned PCs, by way of site licences. In particular, Microsoft Office products are deployed on University PCs as standard. Depending on the PC’s purpose, further site-licenced products may be included as standard. Certain other site-licenced products may be obtained via the ‘Application Explorer’, which is accessed by double-clicking on the ‘Application Explorer’ icon on PC desktops.

This service is available only to University staff.

There are a limited number of iPad tablets available for loan to University staff. To reserve one, simply contact the ITS Service Desk.

These are available on a first-come-first-served basis; the further in advance you reserve one, the more likely are you to be successful. Single units can be requested at short notice; however, the loan of larger quantities requires one week’s notice.

Before you borrow an iPad, please familiarize yourself with the conditions of loan.

University departments wishing to purchase tablet devices must do so via IT Services. Each tablet purchase request should be submitted via the ITS Service Desk along with a business justification and a departmental budget code.

Information for staff requiring the deployment/rollout of software products across multiple PCs

Where software needs to be deployed or ‘rolled out’ across a set of PCs or for a defined set of users, this can be done in any of/a combination of the following ways:

  1. It is added to the disk image that is used to configure the given set of PCs, so that it becomes available on the PCs when they are next refreshed with the latest image (‘re-imaged’).
  2. It is installed ‘ad hoc’ on each of the given set of PCs.
  3. Provided the software is available via a cloud service provider, it can be made available to a defined set of users, normally without any form of installation on University PCs.

For further information, select from the links below:

Adding software products to disk images for academic departments

Lists of software products currently included in each disk image/location:

Ad hoc software installations
Cloud products/Software-as-a-Service
Licence and Maintenance Agreement Purchase
Freeware

Students

Much of the software recommended to students for their coursework can be downloaded to their personal laptop or desktop, free-of-charge, from the Student Software Portal. If you have been advised that you can obtain software via the University, but you cannot find it on this portal, please contact your tutor in the first instance. Note that the software advertised on the portal is also installed on University PCs in appropriate locations.

Staff

In general, single-user/single PC licences for software products should be requested via the IT Service Desk, but please note that much of the commonly-used software needed by staff (for which the University holds a site licence) is either already installed on staff PCs, or can be self-installed via the Application Explorer—this can be opened by double-clicking on the ‘Application Explorer’ icon on the Windows Desktop.

Cloud products/Software-as-a-Service
Licence and Maintenance Agreement Purchase
Freeware

Applies only to University Staff

If an individual, team or department needs to relocate to another workspace within the University campus, their Building Manager—or the Estates & Property Services Help Desk —should be contacted to arrange transportation of physical items, including PCs and phones.

In addition, you will need to fill out a copy of the Standard Moves Form and submit it via the IT Service Desk. We can then ensure your new location has enough data points in the right places, so that you are able to use phones and PCs without delay when you arrive there.

At the point where their IT account is created, students, staff and some Associate members (including agency staff) are allocated a 1-Gigabyte quota of secure, personal document/file storage, which is backed-up daily. This storage area is reachable via the University campus data network, so it can be accessed from any University PC connected to the network, or from off-campus.

From an on-campus Windows PC, this storage appears as your ‘F’ drive; from a MAC, the name of the drive is simply your login username. From off-campus, your personal storage area is accessed via the Remote Access Portal

Restoring deleted or overwritten files/documents

If you have mistakenly deleted or overwritten a document/file in your personal storage area, you can usually get it back (i.e. restore it); however, you will need to contact the IT Service Desk to request this. It can take up to two business days to restore a deleted or overwritten item. You will need to specify as much information as possible about the lost item, including all or part if its name, and its former folder location.

Quota extensions (Staff only)

Your personal storage area quota is 1Gigabyte by default. Ordinarily, IT Services are unable to increase this quota, though an increase may be possible by exception (at least temporarily) if there is an adequate business justification. If you believe you have a sound business reason to increase your quota, please email this, as part of your request, to the IT Service Desk.

Students should note that, for the duration of their study, they have access to Microsoft One Drive. This is a ‘cloud-based’ area of file/document storage, offering considerably more space than the personal storage described above. For details, see the Office365 Service Description.