Desktop FAQs

Help! My Macintosh or PC froze! »

You may be running a program that clashes with another program. Try rebooting the computer and running the program again. If the problem still persists, perhaps there is a hardware problem. Contact our Penn Chemistry Computing Help Desk for assistance.

Help! My Macintosh won't start up! »

Something on your hard disk could be corrupt. Penn Chemistry Computing has a copy of DiskWarrior 3.0 that you can use to see if the problem can be repaired, but there are no guarantees. If your data is valuable, please be sure to back up your data periodically. If none of the software tools can help, you can try using a data recovery service, but this is something you will have to pay for.

Help! My PC won't start up! »

Something on your hard disk could be corrupt. See Tony Baruffi for help on this.

Help! I need to reformat my Mac or PC! »

Penn Chemistry Computing Help Desk can help with this. We do not guarantee the preservation of data. The onus is on you to keep backups of your data once you bring your machine to us for assistance. We can only help on a best effort basis. If you have experience reformatting your machine, we can lend you copies of the system software, but you must return the copies to us within the same day. You must have a license to run the operating system you request from us. If not, you can purchase a copy of Windows XP or OS X from the Penn Computer Connection.

I bought a new Mac and the first thing it asked me when I turned it on is if I had any old data and applications from my previous Mac to transfer. Does this function work well? »

It's not foolproof, but from our experience, we'd say 99% of my data and applications moved over without a hitch. The total transfer time for an almost-filled 60GB hard disk is about two hours. You will certainly save a lot of time doing your data and applications transfer using Apple's built-in method.

Where can I get free software? »

If you mean the free stuff you are entitled to as part of Penn, then click here. Not all of it is free.

If you mean pirated software, sorry, but we can't help with that. We do not recommend downloading or trading illegal copies of software to save money. This is a foolish way to do your business and the consequences could be pretty bad in the future.

What is the best program to edit pictures? »

Adobe Photoshop. You can buy this for either Macs or PCs. The Penn Computer Connection has special prices for this and other software products. There are smaller applications that do a subset of the things Photoshop does, but you will find yourself eventually gravitating towards Photoshop for all your picture editing needs.

What is a reliable source for purchasing memory for my computer? »

Crucial Technologies. Penn Chemistry Computing uses them almost exclusively.

Why should I buy my Mac, Dell, or IBM from the Penn Computer Connection? »

In the case of Macs, Penn Computer Connection discounts them for Penn employees and includes a three-year AppleCare warranty as part of the package. Pretty sweet deal if you ask me. No, I don't get kickbacks from Penn Computer Connection. In the case of Dells and IBMs, ask the Penn Computer Connection people if an extended warranty like the one included with Macs, is also included with Dells and IBMs. If it isn't, it is probably in your best interest to buy an extended warranty that covers the motherboard and video display.

How do I set up my Mac or PC for networking? »

Go to our Networking Support page for help.

Which is better nowadays, Macs or PCs? »

The debate lives on...

How do I secure my Mac, PC, or Linux box? »

Refer to the ISC document here.

Still have a question not answered here? Contact the help@chem support staff.