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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Why can't I have admin rights on my computer?

    The risks of inadvertently loading malware and spyware are everyday threats to university computer systems.  As malicious programs can be accidentally installed without explicit user permission, it is a security best practice to generally run without “local admin rights” on computers.   As desktop security continues to be an important element in protecting all campus data resources, IITS is no longer deploying local administrative privileges on Windows 10 computers as a standard operating practice.

    In order to not impede the ability to conduct research or perform other work related tasks, faculty and staff can request local admin access by logging a ticket through the Faculty/Staff Help Desk.  When the service request is complete, users will continue to generally run without administrative level privileges, but will have the ability to invoke an Admin account by entering special credentials as needed. 

    To log a ticket, please email the HelpDesk or call 760.750.4790 Monday through Thursday, 7am to 7pm and Friday, 8am to 5pm.

  • When is my computer due for refresh?

    Your refresh computer has a colored sticker indicating its refresh cycle (example: Refresh 28).  For desktops, the sticker is located on the tower and for laptops, it is located on the laptop cover.  Once you have identified the refresh cycle, you may reference the posted Refresh Schedule to find out when your refresh is due.
  • My computer is due for refresh this year. When can I expect my refresh to be completed?

    Roughly a quarter of the computers on campus are refreshed each year.  The bulk campus refresh order arrives at the beginning of each new fiscal year.  Tenure-track faculty computers as well as labs and classrooms are refreshed during the summer months.  Staff refreshes begin in October and run through February.  Miscelleaneous use stations and student stations are refreshed toward the end of the fiscal year. 

    Your refresh will occur automatically.  You do not need to fill out any forms to initiate the process.  Once your refresh comes up in the queue, IITS will prepare your system and a tech will reach out to you to start the scheduling process. 

    Your department manager has already approved your refresh configuration selection and any costs involved prior to IITS placing the bulk buy order.  Any changes to the refresh selection approved by your manager will need to go through an approval process.

  • I submitted a new computer order. When can I expect my new computer to arrive?

    IITS' normal processing time to prepare and install a new computer is two weeks (give or take) depending on the volume of requests in the queue.  Peak volume for new computer requests occur prior to the beginning of each semester.  Computers for new hires where the position has no existing computer will take priority.  When IITS is provided extremely short notice for new hire computer requests, we make every effort to accomodate when possible.  If existing appointments cannot be rescheduled, IITS will provide a loaner laptop for your new hire until the install can be scheduled.

    The campus' Information Management Steering Committee (IMSC) has established the following procedure for new computer requests effective October 25, 2018.  IITS' two-week turn around time will not begin until all required approvals are received.  This may result in a delay in the deployment process:

    Requests for new computer resources represent a fiscal comittment on behalf of CSUSM funds.  This is true of the intial purchase, ongoing support, and future refresh of equipment.  All refresh computer requests, as well as one-time computer purchase requests, must be approved within their own division prior to any action being taken by IITS to deploy equipment.  The only exception will  be for computers ordered for a staff or faculty member's primary work station. 

    Users will submit a refresh computer request through the refresh order webpage and furnish the information requested.  Once the order is submitted, IITS will route requests for eSignature via the Department Chair/Manager, Dean/AVP, and Provost/VP.  All requests approved at the VP level will be released to IITS staff for processing. 

  • Why are refresh computer costs so expensive?

    IITS provides enterprise-level systems that are of greater quality than consumer grade computers.  These systems are built, designed, and sourced to accomodate business needs and operations.  They are built using consistent components which are guaranteed for part replacements.  In addition, these systems are purchased with multi-year warranties along with security software which contribute to the per unit cost.

    IITS does not markup or charegback equipment at higher costs. 

     

  • Refresh monitors seem expensive. Can I purchase my own monitors elsewhere?

    IITS purchases business class monitors that include higher resolution, an LED lit screen and the larger models include a built in speaker.  They also include a warranty that matches the length of our computer refresh cycle.  These monitors are driver friendly, meaning that Dell purposefully develops drivers than can be injected into the campus' customized operating system.  This allows for firmware updated to be deployed via normal patching.  The monitors are easy to source and procure and allow the campus to have a "standard" so that IITS is able to turn-around service issues quickly.  While consumer grade monitors may appear to save money up front, they don't offer the same quality and are costly in terms of replacement and troubleshooting efforts.  
  • What if I want to change configurations or refresh my computer early?

    The campus runs on a 4-year refresh cycle coinciding with the hardware warranty.  Users are required to keep their current refresh computer for the entire 4-year period barring extenuating circumstances. 

    If you are considering a change in your configuration prior to the end of your normal refresh cycle, if the change is approved, your department will incur new costs for the hardware in the year the equipment is deployed.  For employees eligible for the campus hardware allocation, in addition to any upgrade costs due, the department will not be granted the full hardware allocation from campus and will be required to share this cost determined by the number of months remaining on the current refresh system.  For self-support units, auxiliary organizations and general fund computer not eligible for the allocation, the full amount of the hardware cost will be due.

    Consideration for early refresh will require a written business justification from your manager and/or department chair prior to approval by IITS. 

  • My computer is not due for refresh but I am experiencing hardware issues. What do I do?

    Your computer is guaranteed to perform at a satisfactory level during the entire 4-year refresh cycle.  Unexpected hardware issues do occur from time to time.  If at any point during the 4-year cycle you begin to experience issues with your computer, the first step is to contact the Help Desk for a service call.  If the Help Desk is unable to satisfactorily remedy the hardware issue, your computer will be replaced with another computer of the same configuration and refresh cycle. 

    If your computer is very close to its refresh schedule and an early refresh is the desired outcome, IITS may recommend that your computer be refreshed early depending on stock availabity.  The department will incur all costs associated with new hardware deployed according to the posted refresh pricing schedule for early refresh.

    Early refresh requests for hardware issues will not be considered if the user has not contacted the Help Desk to log a service call.

  • Do I have to refresh my computer according to the campus refresh schedule?

     Yes.  In order to remain in compliance with CSU policy and industry security guidelines, systems no longer supported by the manufacturer are not suitable for use on the campus.

  • Why can't one-time purchase computers remain on the campus wired network after year 4?

    When a computer enters year five ( 5) of its usable life, manufacturers begin to drop support for current Windows and Mac OS updates which brings us out of compliance with respect to information security.  In addition, the system is no longer serviceable and the warranties have expired. 
  • May I choose a configuration other than the 5 configurations offered?

     IITS is required to identify standard configurations in order to secure optimal pricing, and to allow for consistent sourcing of components from the vendor.  In addition, standard configurations allow for IITS to provide consistent turn-around time for repairs and maintenance.

    Most campus users do not require systems configured at a higher specification level than the standard offering.  If you feel you may need an exception, please contact Nick Duarte for review. If approved, the item must be special ordered and the upgraded cost must be funded by the requesting department.  All upgraded configurations require a written business justification from your manager and/or department chair.

  • Why has the MacBook Air option been discontinued?

     The MacBook Air was launched in 2008 and has long been a staple in Apple's product offering.  It is anticipated that this model will be phased out as Apple has made no advancements or updates to this platform for several years.  It is also incompatible with current docking solutions used with new Mac systems using the Thunderbolt 3 port.

     

  • What are my options for Apple Displays?

    Apple discontinued the Thunderbolt Display in 2016 and have not introduced a replacement monitor to date.  Effective FY1617, new hires requesting a Mac laptop configuration did not have the option of a Thunderbolt display.  

    As a result, IITS has identified a PC docking solution that will allow for a single Dell monitor that is only compatible with Apple MacBooks outfitted with the Thunderbolt 3 (Type C) port which were introduced in 2017 (Refresh 27 and above).   This solution requires the use of a wireless Apple keyboard and mouse.  This set-up is not available with dual monitors as the dock can only handle one monitor when used with a Mac.  Users desiring two monitors may opt to upgrade the PC monitor to the 34" ultrawide for an additional fee.   The external PC monitor solution is not available for MacBook Airs or Mac desktops.

    At the time of refresh, existing Mac users may move to the new PC dock and monitor solution but also have the option of keeping their existing Thunderbolt display until the display no longer functions.  Be advised that  IITS has exhausted nearly all its inventory of both new and used Apple displays and very few are coming back to stock from refreshes.  As such, if your Apple display dies, you will be required to convert to the PC dock and monitor solution outlined above.

    A special configuration is required for MacBook Pro users keeping their existing Thunderbolt displays as the latest models require a special adapter, wireless Apple keyboard and mouse.  The cost for the additional adapter is reflected in the posted refresh charges.   An optional power cord and charge cable for traveling may also be ordered for an additional cost.  This special configuration is not a reliable solution, though many Mac users have not experienced any  issues.

  • What computers are eligible for the campus hardware and software allocation?

    Each general fund staff member is eligible for a hardware and support allocation from campus for their primary staff computer.  The department is responsible for any hardware cost that exceeds the campus allocation for upgraded configuration selections at the time of install or refresh according to the posted Refresh Pricing Schedule (Table 1).  General fund tenure-track faculty complements are covered under a separate program and colleges are not required to reimburse IITS for the upgraded configuration cost.

    General fund computers not eligible for the campus hardware and software allocation include additional staff computers, miscelleaneous use stations and student stations.

    All computer hardware and support costs for auxiliary organizations, sponsored projects and self-support units (to include self-support tenure-track faculty), must be fully reimbursed to IITS according to the Refresh Pricing Schedule (Table 2).

  • May I keep my 2nd monitor at refresh?

     No.  Equipment deployed with your current refresh is part of an entire complement of equipment that should be replaced every 4 years to remain current and align with risk and sustainability reccomendations.
  • Can I buy my old refresh computer from the University?

    No.  State requirements do not allow the sale of State computer resources to private individuals.  
  • Why do I have to turn in my old refresh computer?

     In order to remain in-line with CSU security policies, IITS is unable to offer the continued use of older computers on campus.  Older refresh systems are no longer supported by the manufacturer and no longer receive the necessary security patches, driver updates, warranty support, and are not compatible with modern releases of Windows and Mac operating systems.
  • Can I keep my old computer for home use?

     No.  IITS is unable to offer systems for home office use as older systems are no longer supported by the manufacturer and no longer receive the necessary security patches, driver updates, warranty support, and are not compatible with modern releases of Windows and Mac operating systems.
  • May I purchase an iPad at a consumer location (outside of Telephone Services)?

    Please consult with your administrative coordinator.  If a ProCard is used, the AC must place the order and obtain IITS written approval for Proucrement reconciliation.  If the iPad will require monthly cellular service and the charges will be through on eof the University cellular accounts, the purchase must be placed by Telephone Services.  Telephone Services is only permitted to work with your department AC to establish new cellular service.
  • What is the difference between the different iPad models?

    The difference between the various iPad models are the operating systems, speeds and features available.  For a complete list, visit the Apple website.  For assistant in choosing a model that fits your particular needs, please contact Telephone Services.
  • Can I keep my old iPad or Cell Phone for personal use?

    No.  iPads and cell phones purchased with State, auxiliary, self-support, professional development or sponsored proejct funds are the property of the State of California (or CSUSM and its auxiliaries).  iPads or cell phones purchased with any of these fund types are not personal property.  When an employee (faculty or staff) leaves campus employment, or no longer has a need for the device, the device MUST be returned to the user's department or to Telephone Services.  
  • May I purchase an iPad or cell phone for personal use with the campus vendor discounts?

    While the campus cell phone and iPad vendors offer special discounts to the University based on cellular line volumes, these discounts are not available to personal consumers or individual employees.  University staff may check the Perks at Work webpage which lists all the various State employee discounts and offers available to you.  A CSUSM employee ID is all that is needed to access your account.
  • Why does my cellular device keep telling me I'm out of iCloud storage?

    Every user has 5GB of iCloud storage to start with.  Once that storage is full, a user will need to access their iCloud acocunt and individually purchase more iCloud storage.  The monthly cost for additional iCloud storage varies based on amount of storage needed and it is usually covered by the employee's personal funds.  Departments may reach an agreement with employees to cover the additional storage cost.  
  • Why does Telphone Services need the serial #for my iPad or cellular device?

    Telephone Services is required to track all iPad and cellular devices purchase with State, auxiliary, self-support, professional development or sponsored project funds.  Tracking serial #'s assists Telephone Services in collection of cellular equipment when a user leaves University employment or needs to change their cellular device.  It also assists University information security personnel in the even the device is lost or stolen.  
  • Why is my iPhone not charging or shutting down randomly?

    iPhones that are older than an iPhone 7 (any model prior to the iPhone 7 release), are being phased out by Apple because the older devices can no longer keep up with the newest iOS versions.  Unfortunately, the only way to fix this is to replace your iPhone equipment with a newer model.