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Scope and Priorities for 

Desktop Computer Support

13 Jul 2004

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Following are guidelines for normal services offered by SLAC's local administrators for desktop computers.  If you need services outside the areas defined below, or you need work done that cannot wait in the queue, you need to provide an account number to be charged for work done on overtime (if there is support personnel available).

Hours of Support and Priorities

Hours of support: Normal service hours are Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. (Mechanical Design Intergraph CAD support is available from 8am-4pm).  Please read this on how to get help.

Off-hour emergency service can be gotten by dialing the SCS Help Line (650 926-4357), and asking for critical page of the on-call staff.

Priorities (critical, normal):

The troublecalls are easily logged and those on duty dispatched if you submit a web troublecall. We highly recommend you use these procedures.

We try to respond to critical/urgent troublecalls within 1/2 an hour during business hours (if this is a web troublecall, the primary solver will respond).  If you do not get a response by that time, please phone the HelpDesk at x4357.

We try to respond to normal troublecalls from 4-8 hours during business hours (if this is a web troublecall, the primary solver will respond).

Priority is given to:

The user's primary workstation is given priority (for users who have multiple workstations). In particular, workstations being used off-site are not priority.  Systems with non-standard  PC hardware and non-standard software configurations are not priorities.


Support Procedures amongst different computing groups

Once a user has submitted a troublecall, it is the responsibility of the different computing groups at SLAC to hand-off the troublecall to the correct solver, or to get help from other groups needed to solve a troublecall.  i.e., the user normally should not be asked to re-submit another call to another department.

Since there are many computing support groups at SLAC (e.g., HelpDesk, SCS unix-admin, SCS desktop-admin, SCS Networking, MCC, SSRL, MDCAD, PeopleSoft, etc.), it is far easier for the computing professionals to contact each other than to put the users into such a situation.

When a critical/urgent troublecall is handed-off, please make sure that the recipient solver is paged and that he/she confirms receipt by answering the page.


Operating Systems Supported

Note: Macintosh is no longer supported by SCS.  The departments and users are responsible for the total cost of maintaining the Macintosh, keeping up with anti-virus software, etc.


Hardware Supported

Please see your local administrator for assistance on purchases.

Because the integration and support of networked Personal Computers in the Lab computing environment can be extremely complex, supported hardware configurations have been developed that are the only PC configurations guaranteed to work with the SLAC's standard Windows software and standard Installation of Linux at SLAC.

Non-standard hardware and software chosen by users  may not work properly in the SLAC's computing environment.  Also, requests for non-standard system support is handled on a best-effort basis at substantial increased cost, and will not be priority.

Pre-arranged agreements make it easy for SLAC to purchase and support the standard Dell desktop and laptop configurations listed.  There is on-site warranty repairs also available for these supported configurations, and they will be given priority.

Software Supported

For Windows, the file system supported is NTFS. For security reasons, this is the recommended file system on Windows computers.  Dual boot systems, etc. are not supported and will be low on the priority for troublecalls.

When the new workstation arrives, for Windows SCS will install the standard software configuration, and for Linux the Installation of Linux at SLAC.


Scheduling New Workstation Purchase, Networking and Installation, Scheduling Re-location of a Workstation

You need to discuss the requirements for, and purchase of, a new workstation with your local administrator approximately six weeks before you need it operable.

Activating a network tap in the new location takes approximately two weeks, and pulling a new network cable (if this is needed) takes approximately one month.


System Administrator/Root Privileges

System administrator/Root privileges for workstations are for local administrators, SCS administrators, and a few department power users who take on the responsibility of helping other users. Due to the complexity of the operating systems, it is necessary to limit the customization of individual workstations.  

For users who have administrative/root privilege with the agreement of their department support personnel, please make sure no user data is on the local C drive.  If there is trouble with the workstation, then the support personnel  may spend only a little time troubleshooting before re-installing the entire workstation to reset to a known condition, and to get the system back up quickly.

For users who insist on having system administrator/root privileges, against the policy of their department support personnel, support may be limited to consultation only.