Technology Hints

The College of Arts and Sciences provides self-help tips to follow in case of a technical problem before submitting a technology support request. For software application support contact the Western Michigan University Help Desk located in the Office of Information Technology.

Hands working on a computerEquipment

  • If you must move equipment, always have all equipment turned off before disconnecting and connecting any piece of the equipment.
  • If a piece of equipment (CD-ROM, printer) is not working note any error messages. Shutdown (turn off) all attached hardware (e.g., computer, monitor, local printer) and check for any loose cables. Wait 30 seconds and turn everything back on.

Using applications

  • Remember to save often. Saving every completed page or at least every 30 minutes is a good idea.
  • If an application (Word, Excel, Firefox, Acrobat) keeps quitting or is not working, note any error messages and what you were doing when the crash occurred. Restart the computer and try again. 

Systems and networks

  • If you are unable to connect to the network (e.g., Firefox, Safari, Internet Explorer, file server, GoWMU, Banner), note any error messages. Try some of the other network programs or programs which use the network. If unable to connect with anything there may be a problem with the original service. Ask other users if they are having the same problem. If other users are not experiencing the same problem, check for loose cables to your machine. Restart your computer.
  • Be patient. Allow the program to start before you double click a second time. Two versions of the same program trying to start at the same time can lead to errors opening both.

Office of Information Technology resources