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Walk-in Helpdesk Services



Typical Wait Time*

Activation Device to be activated, power cord 5 - 10 Minutes
Wireless Troubleshooting Wireless device, power cord if laptop 15 - 30 Minutes
Hard Drive Testing Laptop, power cord 2 - 3 Hours
Virus Scan Laptop, power cord 4 - 6 Hours
BC Software Laptop, power cord 20 Minutes - 1 Hour
File Transfer Laptop, power cord, external hard drive 2 - 6 Hours
Operating System Support Laptop, power cord 2 - 4 Hours
Rebuild Laptop, power cord, external hard drive 1 - 2 Days

* Times may vary;  we'll do our best to give you an accurate estimate. Users may sign out their machines for more time consuming processes and we will call when the service is complete.




All devices need to be activated on the BC network before they will be able to access the internet. Users can activate their own devices by navigating to If you need assistance with activation you may bring any device you need activated to the Walk-in Helpdesk and we will activate them for you.

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Wireless Troubleshooting

If you are having trouble connecting to the wireless network on an activated device, the Walk-in Helpdesk will be able to diagnose the cause and assist you in reconnecting to the network. Most of the causes of this issue are easily and quickly repaired, though in some cases the fix may require purchasing additional hardware. Although most of the time these issues can be diagnosed and repaired very quickly, sometimes the process is more time consuming and so we do require that users provide a power cord regardless of how much the battery is charged.

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Hard Drive Testing

If your device has been performing slowly or making strange sounds, you may have a hard drive issue. We have a variety of programs that can evaluate the health of a drive, and we can provide recommendations in the case where a user should purchase a replacement hard drive. These tests can take several hours for larger drives, and so we require a power cord regardless of how much the battery is charged.

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Virus Scan

Common signs of infection include general slowness, ads and popups, and new programs appearing on your computer. If you notice any of these on your own device you should bring your computer and power cord to the Walk-in Helpdesk for testing. We will run a suite of anti-malware and anti-virus programs to ensure that your device is clean and safe to use. This process typically takes several hours and so we require users to provide a power cord regardless of how much the battery is charged.

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BC Software

Boston College provides licenses for various software to students, faculty, and staff. Users may download this software themselves from the software page. If you require assistance installing or using BC software you can bring your device and power cord to the Walk-in Helpdesk and we can install the software for you and provide support. We also provide limited support for non-BC software on a case by case basis. Because software installation and support can sometimes be a lengthy process, we require that users provide a power card regardless of how much the battery is charged.

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File Transfer

The Walk-in Helpdesk has a variety of programs for transferring files between devices. Even if you are not able to use your computer we are often (but not always) able to recover your files. In order to recover or transfer your files we will require the device that currently has the files on it, the power cord for the device, and external media to put your files on. We recommend that users bring either another computer or an external hard drive to use as the external media, and recommend against flash drives as they are unreliable and typically have very little storage space. If users do not have any external media we are able to offer assistance in purchasing an external media. Please note, the Walk-in Helpdesk does not have any external media for use, users must provide their own.

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Operating System Support

The Walk-in Helpdesk staff is familiar with and can provide support for Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems. Because the support may take a few hours we require that users provide a power cord regardless of how much the battery is charged.

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All students, faculty, and staff of Boston College are allowed one license of the Windows operating system. When a Windows machine is rebuilt, the hard drive is wiped completely and a fresh copy of the Windows operating system is installed. Instances in which users should have their machine rebuilt include certain severe virus infections, corrupt operating system, and for specific programs and functionality. We recommend that users do not rebuild because of things such as general slowness, as users only receive one free rebuild. Additionally, users are responsible for backing up their data to external media before the rebuild is performed, and the Walk-in Helpdesk can assist with this step as well. Mac users may use their Windows license to Bootcamp their Mac, which means that the device is able to boot either to the Mac or Windows OS. This is typically only done when users need access to the Windows OS to use certain programs. Rebuilding is a time consuming and system-intensive process that cannot be interrupted, and so we require that users provide a power cord regardless of how much the battery is charged.

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