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Balliol ICT: Frequently Asked Questions

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1. My email

2. My College account

3. My computer

4. When do I expire?

5. How do I get rid of a computer I no longer need?

1 My email

General: Only University IT Services (ITSS) can make changes to your email account. The Balliol Computing Department has no powers over email.

1.1 Forgotten email password

There is an online form which requires you to answer a security question to allow you to reset your email password. New users will have set up a security question/answer when they first activate their account. Existing users are encouraged to set these up — use the link above.

In the event of the user having forgotten or never set their security question/answer pair, the ITSS Help Centre will issue a rescue code. This will enable the user to set a new security question/answer pair and hence reset their password. Rescue codes will be provided only as follows:

  • To the user in person at the Help Centre ITSS (13 Banbury Road, Monday-Friday, 8.3020.30) on production of photo ID (preferably University Card)
  • To the user by internal post to any address we have registered for them. ITSS will do this on request of the user, e.g. help@​it.​ox.​ac.​uk, or (2)73200

1.2 Changing your email password

You can use the online form. Shut down your normal email reading program whilst you do this; otherwise the system can get confused. You cannot change your password from within other mail programs, despite them having a screen or button saying ‘change password’.

1.3 Forwarding email

Many people already use another email account, and rather than check a number of accounts the mail arriving at one account can be forwarded to another where the mail is combined. If mail is forwarded it does not stay in Nexus but passes through directly to the designated account. Forwarding can be set here.

1.4 Vacation messaging

You can get Office 365 to send a message back to correspondents whilst it stashes the email in a folder. For example, ‘I am in Paris until the 25 June — in an emergency ring 07979 123456’. Use the Out of Office Assistant in the ‘Office 365’ web interface.

1.5 Changing your email address

Balliol EXTREMELY STRONGLY DISCOURAGES changing your email address. ITSS will allow a straightforward English forename to be requested by people of Chinese or similar origin where it is common practice to use an English forename for informal contacts within this country. This is a replacement email address and not a second one. Consequently you need to tell everyone of your new email address, change your subscription to mail lists …

The ICT Department can ask ITSS to assign ‘role aliases’, e.g. ‘jcr.welfare@balliol’; this is a favour from both parties (in addition to your standard email address). Irrespective of the role alias, the sent emails will have the individual’s standard email address as the return address, not the role alias.

2 My College account


  • Your login is the same as for your Nexus email account. If you forget your password, see 1.1 above.
  • Please note we are very unlikely to remember a conversation in the quad, as we may well be stopped six or seven times on the way back to the office — please use email.
  • If you report a problem, please give as much detail as you can — the exact error message, which program you were using and on which machine (they are all numbered).

2.1 I cannot log on to my College account

First check you have remembered your username correctly. Check that the Caps Lock key is not active when you type your password. See 1.1 above.

2.2 Can I log on to my College account from outside Oxford?


2.3 I think that I have been overcharged for printing. What can I do?

Login to Papercut where you can view your recent print jobs and request a partial refund for that particular job. You must enter in a valid reason for requesting a refund, else College reserves the right to deny the refund request. We generally make an adjustment to the charge depending on where the error lies.

2.4 A printer is jammed

On the Broad Street site, contact the ICT Department.

At Holywell Manor, contact a member of the Lodge staff in the first instance, then the ICT Department.

2.5 A printer has run out of paper or is printing faintly

(Note the ‘Toner Low’ message on printers is to be ignored: it is a marketing ploy by the printer manufacturer! Only when physically faint printing occurs is the toner low.)

At the Broad Street site, contact the JCR computing officer in the first instance, then the ICT Department. In the evenings the Balliol Lodge can issue extra packs of paper.

At Holywell Manor, fresh paper can be obtained from the Holywell Lodge. If the toner has expired take the empty cartridge to the Lodge to swap for a new one. The ordering of toner and paper is handled by Holywell. The ICT Department does not hold spare toner cartridges. Installation instructions are in the box — primarily note that there is a tape you have to pull out before installation!

2.6 A computer has died, there is a smell of burning, water is pouring through the ceiling …

Contact the ICT Department, or in the case of a crisis the Lodge. Give full details where possible.

3 My computer

General: Your machine is your responsibility. The ICT Department will help you to connect to the network, but can only give further assistance if time permits. All work done on Members’ machines is at the owner’s risk.

3.1 How do I connect my machine to the College network?

Read the pages on the use of the network. Full details of the requirements and process are there.

3.2 I have to set up my network connection but it does not work

Contact the ICT Department, who will ask you to bring your machine to us.

3.3 I think my network point is dead

Take your computer to a known working network point (e.g. next door) or bring a working networked machine (e.g. a friend’s portable) to your network point and see if it works. This will immediately diagnose whether it is a connection fault (e.g. the cable back to the network hub, or the settings on the hub) or a problem in your computer. If your computer does not work on the network, check its cable to the wall and also that the settings in the Network Control Panel (Start/Settings/Control Panel) are set to Automatic IP). If there is evidence of bad cabling or you need assistance with your Network set-up, contact the ICT Department.

3.4 When my computer starts up it says ‘IP conflict’

This should not happen. Copy down the error message and especially the number of the form 00:80:8D:34:2E:23 it quotes, and send an email containing it to the ICT Department.

3.5 When my computer starts up it says ‘Your computer name is already in use on the network’

This is not serious; your computer will continue to work. To resolve it, go to the System Control Panel and click on the Computer name tab. In the upper box you can assign a name which is used in some circumstances. It will probably say something general like OEMCOMPUTER. Change this to something unique like your name.

3.6 My computer has died

The ICT Department does not repair students’ own computers. There are shops around Oxford offering repair services (e.g. PCWorld, PC Doctor). If we have time we will attempt to assist you in giving a diagnosis and if possible a quick repair. 

3.7 My ***** program has died

The ICT Department does not repair students’ own computers. If the department has time we will attempt to assist you — we may be able to effect a cure. We will not become involved in any software of whose origins we are uncertain (e.g. pirate stuff).

3.8 Can you repair my computer?

The ICT Department does not repair students’ own computers. We will not undertake to do any hardware repairs to computers (e.g. we will not buy parts for you), but may assist you in diagnosis and fitting parts if we have time. We can assist with software ‘repairs’ at our discretion.

3.9 Can I have a copy of … ?

We will only distribute software which is site-licensed to students. Please do not offend us by asking for copies of commercial software. Site-licensed software, e.g. Sophos, can be obtained through the Self-Registration site under the ‘software’ item in the left column.

3.10 Can I get computers or software more cheaply through College?

Simply: no. We do not get VAT off, or special deals.

3.11 Does College have any spare computers?

In special circumstances we may have hardware that we can lend students in dire need for a limited time till they replace their own computer. Hardware is second hand and generally several years old but functional to fill the gap. Loans are made on a 2 week basis. Failure to return the equipment on time will lead to fines and eventually full replacement cost of the laptop (circa £550).

3.12 I cannot get MyChat, Games, Webcam … programs to work from Balliol

Balliol uses firewalls to protect its computers within College from outside attack. A consequence of the firewalls is that some Internet programs will not operate, including the ones listed above. Where legitimate access to an academic source is being blocked, we will try to facilitate access; realise, however, that there are constraints on what can be achieved.

4 When do I expire?

4.1 University (Office365) email accounts

See the ITSS information for the detail.

Email expires at the expiry date on your University Card or when graduates supplicate, but if you have set up forwarding that will operate for a further two months. Forwarding must have been set up before the expiry date, as your account becomes inaccessible then.

4.2 Balliol student computer accounts

These expire when your University Card expires. Access to Balliol systems, and buildings will cease on the day your card expires.

4.3 Network use

Network use expires around 1 August EACH YEAR and must be renewed annually. Graduates’ network use expires annually as above, or earlier if they are given leave to supplicate.

5. How do I get rid of a computer I no longer need?

Under the WEEE directive (waste electrical and electronic equipment) it is no longer legal to dispose of electronic equipment into bins; it must be taken to a certified waste disposal operator or returned to the reseller. The ICT Department have suppliers who are able to take old electronic equipment free of charge. They will either recycle the equipment or recycle it for further use. If the latter, all data is removed and low level formats done on the disks (the ICT Department would still recommend that all data is removed from the computer before it is left). Consequently:

  • The ICT Department are able to dispose of your waste computer equipment for you. Please ensure all information is removed from the computer, then drop it by the ICT Office. While the ICT Department do their best to ensure all data is removed from the computer before it is sent to recycling, they will not be held responsible for any data left on the computer by its previous owner.
  • The ICT Department are happy to take donations of computers no longer required. These generally get converted to student emergency-use computers.