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Helpdesk FAQ

Q: What should I bring to the Walk-in Help Desk if I am having issues with my computer?

A: If you are bringing in a laptop all that is required is your laptop and your laptop power cord. If you are bringing in a desktop computer please only bring the tower.

Q: Why do I need to bring my power cord?

A: The Help Desk cannot diagnose a laptop without a power cord, even if the battery is fully charged. The programs used to repair computers at the Help Desk are very battery-intensive. If the battery dies while we are working on your laptop, it can result in further corruption of your system.

Q: Why can't you work on my computer if there is a hardware issue?

A: Technicians at the Help Desk are not certified by hardware vendors to replace parts on your computer. If your computer has a hardware issue, it will need to be fixed before the Help Desk can work on your computer.

Q: What is the best way to back up my data and files?

A: The best thing to do is to get an external hard drive. If you have a Mac, Time Machine works great. If you have a Windows computer, we recommend connecting the drive and dragging your files over from your User folder. Your external drive may come with its own backup software. We do not recommend that you use this software as people often have trouble restoring their files when using such programs.

Q: How can I minimize the risk of hard drive failure?

A: If you carry your laptop with you, remember to wait for it to go to sleep or shut down(wait until you hear the fan turn off) before packing it. You should also make sure to not leave your laptop on a bed or other place that will block the fan and cause it to overheat.

Q: My computer gets viruses all the time, what can I do?

A: Some easy steps to avoid viruses include not watching TV online on any non-reputable sites, not using peer-to-peer file sharing services, and making sure you have the required BC McAfee anti-virus software installed. Virus infections can result in the loss of BC network privileges. For more tips on protecting your computer visit:

Q: What does "rebuilding" a computer mean?

A: When a computer is rebuilt, it is totally wiped clean of all data. The operating system is then 'rebuilt' allowing technicians to install the necessary software for studies at Boston College.

Q: When is rebuilding a computer necessary?

A: Rebuilding is often the fastest and best way to get a computer working properly again.

The Walk-In Help Desk will rebuild for the following reasons:

  •     Security network suspensions
  •     ODSD copyright violations
  •     Virus/malware that cannot be removed with anti-virus or anti-malware software
  •     Faculty/staff/student request

Q: What do I need to do to have my computer rebuilt?

A: Before coming to the Help Desk, back up all your data (documents, music, pictures, etc.) to an external hard drive. If you do not feel comfortable backing your data up personally, Help Desk technicians can assist you with backing up your computer. Learn more at:

Please Bring:

  • Your laptop or desktop
  • Your laptop AC adapter (power cord)
  • If you have a Mac, you must bring your OS x install disks. This is in accordance with Apple's licensing terms and no exceptions can be made.