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Northwest College

Computing Services

Residence Hall FAQs

For Hall Residents at NWC

I need to store my files. Where do I do it and how?

The best place to store your files is on the H Drive. There is a tutorial HERE explaining how to use the H Drive.

My internet connection is not working or my computer is not working. What do I do?

1) Check to see if you have the proper cable connected between the wall jack and your computer's network port. If you do not have a cable or need the correct type, it can be obtained by asking your RD or RA.

2) Make sure you are not plugged into the computer jack with a phone cable.

3) Make sure you did not plug your computer into the phone jack.

4) Look at the back of your computer; see if there are any lights on where the network cable plugs into your computer.

5) Make sure your internet connection is not set for a modem access connection to the internet. You need LAN access. This can be checked by:

  • Clicking on the Internet Explorer icon,
  • Click on Tools,
  • Click on Internet Options,
  • Click on the Connections tab,
  • If anything is in the Dial-up and Virtual Private Network settings box, highlight it and then click on remove. Next click on the setup button on the top right and follow the Setup Wizard as directed.

6) If, after trying the steps listed above, you still cannot access the internet, call your RD or RA.

My computer is running very slow, what can i do to fix it?

Note: Before performing maintenance on your PC, you should be sure that all data you want kept is backed up.

**You're probably going to want to print this off; you'll be restarting a lot**

Sudden Slowdown

If your computer has experienced a sudden change in performance, you might want to try a System Restore to a date prior to the problem. Click on START > ALL PROGRAMS > ACCESSORIES > SYSTEM TOOLS > SYSTEM RESTORE and then select Restore My Computer to an Earlier Time. Pick a date prior to the problem.

Note: A System Restore does not affect your data, only programs and settings. But you still should always have your data backed up before performing any major system maintenance.

First Check Running Processes - With no programs running, the first thing to do is check the Task Manager for CPU usage and Processes running (access Task Manager by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Delete). You may spot the problem right off the bat. If the CPU Usage (bottom center of the window) is pinned at 100%, check the process list to see if you can find what is causing the problem. Disregard the System Idle Process figure which it is often at 70-90%.

If you find one process that is at 100%, you can try to disable that process and see if things improve. Disabling a process is only valid until you restart your computer. I would suggest you search Google for the process name to find out what it is before disabling it. At the bottom right of the window you will see a box that shows the total number of processes running. This number will vary depending on your exact computer configuration but here is a general guideline.

  • 23-30 Processes - Fairly Clean Installation of Windows XP with few extras
  • 30-40 Processes - XP Computer with several extras such as Printer, Scanner and CD or DVD writer
  • 40-55 Processes - is usually too many or an indication that you have too many programs running in the background such as AOL, MSN Messenger or other programs. This may affect the performance of your computer
  • 55+ Processes - Too many for most installations, but again depends on your exact system and installed hardware and software.

Example:
  1. P4 Computer setup for online gaming ONLY with no extras has 23-25 processes running.
  2. Laptop running Windows XP Pro normally has about 29-31 processes running. It has CA E-Trust Antivirus, SpyBot, Ad-Aware, Office 2003, Act! 2005, Corel Draw, Access 97 and Access 2003, Wireless PCMCIA Card, USB Mouse.
  3. Desktop running Windows XP Pro with dual monitors and DVD Writer has about 49-52 processes running. It has AVG antivirus, AOL, Office 2003, Wordperfect Office, Act!2005, Quickbooks Pro, Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrator, Epson Scanner, Minolta Color Laser, Casio Label maker, Kodak Camera Dock, SpyBot, Ad-Aware and Microsoft AntiAdware Beta.
  4. Windows XP Home Computer that just came in for service, complaining that it is running slow with a lot of pop-ups. 84 processes running.
Note: Installed Firewalls, Antivirus Software, Spyware tools/blockers, system maintenance tools, ink monitors and printer utilities will all add to the number of processes running. Also, background operations such as windows and antivirus updates will increase process numbers while they are running.

A good place to start for curing a slow PC is to check for virus and/or spyware problems. These instructions are specifically for Windows XP although they would be similar for other operating systems.

NOTE: If your computer does not contain a large amount of data and you have very few programs installed, you might find it easier to just perform a complete restore and just wipe everything out and start over, but you will lose everything you have saved on the computer and will have to reinstall any programs that you added since you first set it up.

  1. Scan Hard Drive for Errors - Open My Computer and RIGHT Click on your C Drive, LEFT click on Properties, LEFT Click on the TOOLS Tab, Select ERROR CHECKING, Check the box for Automatically Fix File Errors, Click OK. This will tell you that you must restart the computer to scan the drive. Repeat this step for other drive letters, if you have more that one hard drive.

  2. Run Disk CleanUp - To delete all temporary files Click on START > ALL PROGRAMS > ACCESSORIES > DISK CLEANUP.

  3. Backup all your important data - Depending on the programs that you have installed, you may have a backup program or simply copy your data to an external hard drive or other networked computer. You could even use Microsoft Backup which is part of XP Pro or install it from the XP Home CD. I often use Microsoft Files and Settings Transfer Wizard to make a backup of my data and settings. Here are a few things you may want to backup:
    1. All Documents and Spreadsheets
    2. All Quicken or financial program data
    3. E-Mail and Address books
    4. Photos
    5. Music
    6. Favorites and bookmarks if you want them.
    7. Anything else you don't want to lose.
    8. NOTE: Scan your backup data for viruses before restoring it to your computer.

  4. Install and Update Tools - You will need some tools. All of these are FREE. Even though you may have just downloaded some of these programs, you MUST run update on each one before continuing. You need to install and update all of these before starting, but don't run the actual scans just yet.

    For brief tutorials on using these programs, click on the name below:
    1. Run update on your antivirus software. If you don't have antivirus software, a good program to use is AVG Antivirus.
    2. Download, Install and Update Spybot Search and Destroy.
    3. Download, Install and Update Lavasoft Ad-Aware.
    4. Download, Install and update Microsoft Windows AntiSpyware (Beta), you can download this directly from Microsoft.com.
  5. Uninstall any programs that you don't use or need
    1. Look down through your list of programs installed on your computer. START > ALL PROGRAMS.
    2. Check to see if there is an uninstall selection for any programs that you want to remove. If not write the name down to be used later. After you uninstall a program, restart your computer.
    3. Go to START > CONTROL PANEL > ADD OR REMOVE PROGRAMS and look down through this list of programs installed on your computer. You can click on the individual programs to see when you last used them. If you are not sure about any of the listings, leave them or perform a Google Search for the name to find out what they are before uninstalling. I, personally, would remove any programs that have anything to do with searching such as "Search Assist" and "Search Optimizers" for many of these are forms of spyware. I would also remove any "Rebate" type programs as well as weather and time programs. Again, it is best to restart your computer after each removal. Again, if you can't verify what the program is, then you are best off leaving it alone.
  6. Disconnect your computer from your network and internet connection - This can be done by simply removing the Ethernet and/or phone line from the back of your computer.
  7. Turn OFF System Restore - RIGHT Click on MY COMPUTER > Select PROPERTIES > Select SYSTEM RESTORE tab > Check box for TURN OFF SYSTEM RESTORE > OK
  8. Restart into Safe Mode - by continuously tapping the F8 key during startup and selecting safe mode from the menu.
  9. Run a complete Virus Scan - This process will depend on which antivirus software you are using. If you are using AVG Antivirus, click here for instructions.
  10. Run Microsoft AntiSpyware Scanner. Click here for instructions.
  11. Run Lavasoft Ad-Aware Scanner. Click here for instructions.
  12. Run SpyBot Search and Destroy Scanner. Click here for instructions.
  13. If you run into some stubborn problems found by any of the above scanners that can not be removed, you may have to scan again. If that does not work you may have to research the problem and remove them manually. With the nastiest spyware, that might not even work. In that case you have to reformat the computer to remove it.
  14. Restart Computer - Restart computer to normal mode (don't tap F8 Key)
  15. Turn System Restore Back ON - Uncheck box in step 7
  16. Run Disk Defragmenter - Click on START > ALL PROGRAMS > ACCESSORIES > SYSTEM TOOLS > DISK DEFRAGMENTER
  17. Check Startup Programs - Click on START > RUN > Type in "msconfig" (no quotes) > OK > Select the STARTUP tab > Uncheck any item you do not want to automatically load when the computer starts. You can always go back and recheck any items that you need.
  18. Turn off your computer
  19. Reconnect your Network, phone or Internet Connection - Reverse step 6
  20. Restart your Computer
If this does not fix your problems or you do not wish to go through this involved set of steps, you could always perform a complete factory restore/recovery. This may be the best option especially if you don't have a lot of programs and data on your computer. KEEP IN MIND THAT YOU WILL LOSE ALL YOUR DATA AND ANY PROGRAMS AND UPDATES THAT YOU HAVE INSTALLED SINCE YOU PURCHASED YOUR COMPUTER. To perform a factory restore/recovery, use the CDs that came with your computer (should say something like "Reinstallation CD" on it).

If you restore your computer to factory defaults:
  • Remember that you will have to reupdate your computer to keep yourself secure. Do this by running Windows Update (Start>All Programs>Windows Update).

  • Be sure to install Service Pack 2 from the Windows Update website. This service pack greatly reduces that amount of spyware that gets loaded on your machine by informing you when something is trying to install itself without your permission.

How do I tell if I am on the list of blocked IP addresses by Computing Services?

Call Computing Services at 307.754.6080 or email us.  Users on this list must run a virus scan and a spyware cleaner. A cd has been given to your RD that has some of these utilities.

How do I contact someone for help?

First contact your RA or RD and have them run all the proper tests to determine the problem or clean your machine. If you are still having problems call 754-6080 and explain the problem in detail.

How do I find my IP address?

If you are using a Macintosh, don't use these instructions.

Step1. Click Start in the lower left corner of the computer.

Step2. Click run.

Step3. Type "cmd" and hit enter. (If CMD gives you an error, use "command" instead). A black DOS screen should pop up on your monitor.

Step4. In the black screen type "ipconfig" and hit enter. Some information should come up on the screen.

Step5. There should be a line that says "IP Address" with a number like the following example (IP Address.........:192.168.101.5)

Step 6. You have now found your IP Address.

How do I keep my computer from having the internet shut off?

1. Keep your antivirus up to date.

2. Use Windows Update to keep your computer up to date.

3. Use a free program like Spybot or Adware to keep spyware off of your computer.

What kind of maintance should I do on my computer?

You should have your Automatic Updates and virus definitions set to check automatically and install automatically. You should run Adaware every once in a while to get the garbage off of your machine. The timing on that depends on how often you use the internet.

I am having problems with my phone, I need help, what do I do?

See the "Residence Hall Phones " page.

My computer is broken. Who can I contact to fix it?

There are people in Computing Services that are willing to work on student's computers during off hours.  Computing Services staff will not work on students machines during normal working hours.  We do charge a fee of $50 an hour (parts not included) to work on the machines with a 1/2 hour minimum.  We reserve the right to work on as many or as few machines as we choose.   For help from Computing Services you can contact:   Sam Rodriguez at 6085, Jory Yates at 6086, or Bruce Floyd at 6082.   You may also contact Wyoming Internet Resources here in Powell.   In Cody there is Colter Bay Computers, Blue Orbit Computers, and Computer Connections.

Contact

Casey Dearcorn
Computing Services Director

Office: MB105
Phone: 307-754-6080

Northwest College
Northwest College

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