Backup & Recovery

Keeping a good backup routine can spare you from unpleasant and sometimes costly computer problems. A computer's hard drive (the part that stores your data) is one of the least reliable parts in your computer, which makes it extremely important to keep a backup of your important files. While the Unversity highly recommends backups be completed, they are not required. 

The University provides an automated backup solution called CrashPlan ProE for all desktop and laptop machines. CrashPlan provides a secure Cloud storage backup that requires...
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Confidential Data

Confidential Data

It is your responsibility to follow Harvard's policies on data security while working with our systems.

Be aware that data that contains information about students or is related to Harvard's business and operations can be classified as confidential and require special handling. In addition, private data that could be associated, even indirectly, with a specific individual usually is considered high-risk confidential information; such data can be stored and processed only on specially designated computer systems.

Please refer to http://security.harvard.... Read more about Confidential Data

Connecting to the Harvard Network

All computers must be registered for use before they are able to connect to the Harvard network. The registration process differs based on the type of connection you are trying to access.

Registering a Computer for Wired Network Access

We recommend our users to use wired network connection if it's possible in the office or location where you're working, you will have a faster and stable connection within CGIS. Wired networking connections must be registered manually for network access. If you are a staff or...

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Desktop Services

We strive to provide prompt, high-quality service to the graduate students, staff, and faculty within the CGIS community. We are available to assist you Monday through Friday, between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM (EST). We can help you with any technical and software challenges associated with your computer, tablet, printer, phone or handheld device. Services that we provide include, but are not limited to:

   Virus protection and removal
   Local and networked printing support
   Back up and disaster recovery assistance...

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Disposing Of Systems, Portable Storage, and Media

Disposing of Systems, Portable Storage, and Media

Whenever a system, storage device, or storage procedure is disposed of, assigned to another client, or repurposed, it must be cleaned to eliminate Harvard confidential information (HCI) data.

To remove data securely from your laptop or desktop use one of the following applications, depending on your system:

    PCs - Use PGP Shredder
    Macs - Use PGP Shredder or SecureErase

Note: Deleting your files and or reformatting the hard drive will not be sufficient for this process.... Read more about Disposing Of Systems, Portable Storage, and Media

Handheld Devices (top)

We provide support on a variety of handheld devices for CGIS affiliates. This includes under-warranty hardware support, as well as software and configuration issues, such as:

    Email configuration
    Calendar set up
    Network set up on Harvard wireless networks

Platforms we support include Blackberry, Android, and Apple iphone handhelds. The specific calendar, email, and network configurations that are available differ from device to device, so please contact us prior to purchasing a device to discuss what software and...

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Hardware and Software Overview

Hardware & Software - Overview

We are happy to assist with a variety software and hardware issues, including installation, troubleshooting, and purchasing (through GovConnection and UIS Enterprise Licensing).

Support for hardware and software is available Monday through Friday, between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM (EST). If your problem cannot be resolved in-house, we will work with the vendor or manufacturer and try to resolve the issue in a timely manner.

Although repair of malfunctioning hardware can only be guaranteed for hardware and devices which are still under warranty... Read more about Hardware and Software Overview

Hardware Support (top)


We are proud to support a variety of hardware, including desktop computers, laptops, Harvard VOIP phones, printers, scanners, and a variety of smart phones and tablets.

If you experience computing problems that you suspect are hardware related, please contact us. A support technician can assist you with hardware troubleshooting, in-warranty support requests, or hardware replacement purchasing if needed.


Printing Overview

Printing - Overview

We install, troubleshoot, maintain, and recycle printers for all affiliates. We support many brands and models of printers and are happy to assist with your printing needs.

Please note that wireless networking of printers is not supported on the Harvard network. This feature requires services that are best suited to home networks and cannot be used on campus. 

If you would like a printer installed or are experiencing printing trouble please contact us.

RCE Support

The Research Computing Environment provides free, remote, persistent access to a powerful cluster of servers to use statisticial software and perform other research computing tasks. Our User Services team is ready to help you create an account or help you if you have any problems using the RCE.  Please contact us via email

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safe computing

Practicing Safe Computing

One form of attack that is growing rapidly is the use of social engineering to infect your computer, or to gather sensitive information from you. These attacks can take the form of fake websites that prompt you to input sensitive data, or even emails from people posing as your IT support that ask for your password. To avoid being taken advantage of by these attacks, be sure not to give personal information to any websites with which you are unfamiliar. Also never give out your password, under any circumstances. We will never send you email asking for your...

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Secure Systems

The Desktop Support group supports clients in setting up and maintaining systems that are secure for use with confidential information. Consistent with University policy, all University laptops and all desktop systems with access to file services must be configured securely.

For laptop and desktop systems, the following are required:

  • A password protected screen saver, which activates in 15 minutes or less (as set by Casper or LANDesk, where available)
  • Complex passwords, which have a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters, and are at...
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Server Hosting

For basic research our RCE accounts include access to resources suitable for most purposes. If you have recurring or continual needs for greater resources than are available through our standard service offerings, we might be able to pursue another solution where additional resources are allocated to your research. Final approval is subject to our review of requested resources against available resources. Please see Research Computing Environment for a complete description of the RCE.

In addition, we can assist with the acquisition and deployment of...
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