Print this article Edit this article

Domain PC Benefits

When ECN's User and Desktop Services (UDS) group provides pricing and specifications for new computer purchases, some faculty and staff ask about how ECN handles administrative privileges on computers in our environment.

Of paramount importance to us is the preservation and accessibility of your files -- the original data you create during your work and research. ECN has created a support scheme designed to preserve your data.

For most faculty and staff, we recommend using a standard ECN Domain computer as your primary computer. A laptop, of course, remains a valid choice when the need exists. (Please note that special policies apply for those who handle sensitive or restricted information and/or intellectual property.)

If you are considering a laptop, consider that it forms a large single point of failure.  Consider having a good backup plan in case of needed repairs or other downtime. People don't often think of things like a forgotten charging cable as downtime, so plan ahead.


Our shared-administrator PC support scheme

When having administrative privileges on a computer is essential to your work, we do offer the option of granting administrative access to their PC. This is not something to be undertaken lightly. You may ask for a local account for this purpose.

Our software troubleshooting service for such machines is frequently (and necessarily) limited to erasing the PC's hard drive and reinstalling the Windows operating system and applications.

We strongly recommend that you store no data locally on such a PC (except perhaps the limited files you might need for a particular trip). If you use a laptop mostly as a tool for remotely accessing a domain desktop PC, it limits your exposure if the laptop were to be lost, stolen, or broken (either its software or hardware).

For machines purchased through ECN, we do provide hardware troubleshooting service. We will contact the manufacturer, arranging for replacement parts and/or on-site parts installation services, as needed. We offer this service only for the specific laptop models and  recommended desktop computer models which ECN recommends.

ECN does not provide installation services for any Linux-based operating system on "off domain" computers. If your work requires administrative privileges on a Linux PC, you will be responsible for downloading and installing the Linux distribution which you prefer.

Please carefully consider these aspects of using such computers:
  • The data files you create are not automatically backed up; ECN will not be able to assist with data recovery in the event of data loss, whether through hardware failure, human error, or any other cause.  ECN strongly recommends that you store essential data in a location which is backed up automatically. (If you choose to save data locally on a computer, please ask us for ideas on how to safeguard it. One option is to manually connect to an ECN network server to store your data.)
  • You do not run updates/upgrades to ECN-installed software without checking with us first:
  • You will only install software that you have a legal right to - this includes shareware; which must be paid for past the trial period.
  • ECN's software troubleshooting services may be limited to erasing the computer's hard drive and reinstalling to a known good state. (As noted above, these services are available only for ECN-recommended models.)
  • ECN reserves the right to disconnect computers and devices causing issues.

Contact us to discuss your specific needs.


Last Modified: Mar 3, 2021 2:35 pm US/Eastern
Created: Sep 14, 2010 2:31 pm GMT-4 by admin