Frequently Asked Questions

USITS Home » Frequently Asked Questions

Before launch, these will be integrated into the wiki and this link will be removed.

What is my Context?

Context applies to two issues: Who you are, and where your ID resides in the tree. For instance, if you were to introduce one friend to another, you might say, "this is Joe Shmoe, from Tempe, Arizona; and this is Samantha Bloom, from Erie, Indiana." Once you've introduced the two people, they will most likely recognize each other as Joe and Samantha (i.e., Common names).

When you first login to the VPSA tree (when you use your Novell ID to gain access the network), it's like introducing two people. You can't just login with your Common Name. The network needs to know your context (where your ID resides). This is because two people could have the same Common Name, if they don't exist in the same container (For example: Sheila from C&C, and Sheila in the MU). When USITS issues you a Novell ID and password, you are receiving an ID that exists only in YOUR department container. In essence, your name and location, so that when you login the server knows exactly who you are.

i.e., Jsarrett is a common name
jsarrett.USITS.P1.VPSA is the whole name (the common name plus their location in the tree)

So that you don't have to remember your whole name (the Common Name and Context) we configure the context into your machine. After that, when you log in you are sending the server your Common Name, plus the context that was setup at your machine.

Back to top

What are User Accounts?

User accounts can be standardized within a department/container, or highly individualized. Most regular/standard accounts give the user rights to printers in their area/department, access to a shared directory, a personal directory, and often times special groups.

Back to top

What is a Shared Directory?

Most departments have "shared directories." Shared directories usually have names reflective of the department name, i.e., Sdshare (Student Development Shared Directory). All people who work in SD can put in, make changes to, and access documents in this common area.

Back to top

What is a Home Directory?

A home directory is a location for the user to store non-public files for themselves. The name of the directory will reflect the users ID, i.e., Jsarrett. Both shared and personal directories are stored on the server.

Back to top

What are Groups?

Groups are Netware objects that give their members access to certain files or directories. For instance, the SDGroup gives it's members access to the department shared directory "SD shared." The "Budget" group gives it's members access to Budget information that Nancy makes available to the BOM's and Administrative Associates. No one is given access to the Budget directory without Nancy's express permission.

Back to top

What are Templates?

A template is a pattern. We use templates to create a standard setup for a new employee, based on information we receive from the department. A template has all of the base information in it; should the user have a home directory? Should they have access to the shared directory? How much space will they need? Are there any trustees for the accounts (i.e., RLAdmin). A department can have as many templates as needed. For example, a standard setup for all new department employees and a second template for new employees who will be working in a separate area.

Back to top

What needs to be set up for a New Employee?

Everything begins with the HR new hire paperwork. The supervisor's priority is to submit the HPR to Human Resources. Within three days of having entered the HPR into the HRMS system, the new employee will be active in the Computer Accounts database. Once active in the Computer Accounts database, the new employee can self-subscribe for an ASURite account. The new employee can self-subscribe at the Computing Commons or use the website at:

Remember, ASUrite ID's are FOREVER. Tell your new people to be sure to pick something they like as they will never be able to change it!

Ready to ask for those accounts? Remember that a person cannot request any computer accounts for themselves. Requests for new accounts (or to terminate accounts) MUST come from the supervisor!! This is an important security measure.

  1. Novell LAN Account:
    Send the new employee's full name, title, office telephone number and ASUrite id to USITS-Q via email. Tell us what the employee should have access to, or if your department has templates, which one to use. Their new account will be the same as their ASURite ID.
  2. Outlook Account:
    Send the new employee's full name, ASU ID number (usually their social security number) and ASURite ID to USITS-Q. We will request an Outlook account from IT. IT absolutely will NOT create an id without the ASURite ID (it's not our fault, really!). If the employee believes they have an ASURite ID, but doesn't remember what it is, they can call Computer accounts at 5-1211 and that office will tell them what the ID is.
  3. Mainframe Access:
    Complete an "Request for Computer Access" form. The latest version of the form can be obtained off the web at: Be sure to print and complete both sides/pages of the form. Take the form to the Computer Accounts office in the Computing Commons, or mail it to Computer Accounts, mail code 0101. Be sure that the employee and supervisor have signed in the appropriate areas. Keep in mind that to access ANY of the mainframe services (SIS, Advantage, HRMS) requires an ACCESS CARD. Access cards may be transferred from a former employee to a new employee. New Access cards can be obtained form Computer Accounts, purchase information is on side 2 of the "Request for Computer Access" form (section 3f).

Back to top

What needs to be done when an employee is terminated?

When a SA employee terminates, many things can occur in regard to their computer accounts.

VPSA Novell Netware account:
First, we can always disable the user's account. That leaves the account intact, the home directory intact, and all of it's access, but no one can log in. This option is particularly useful with generic accounts, such as when a new employee (for example a student worker) is expected to replace the former employee within a short time.

Second, we can delete the account. The user is gone, and is not returning. The account is not generic and there aren't any files in the home directory the department will need. We delete both the user and their home directory (never shared directories).

Third, we can rename the account. Occasionally, a position experiences frequent turns over, or the ID of the former user was never deleted and now a new employee is using that account and is already accessing it's home directory. In this case, everything remains the same, we just rename the account and it's home directory to match the ASURite ID of the new employee.

Finally, we can move the account. When employees change jobs within Student Affairs, we don't have to delete their existing account and create a new one. We can move their ID into their new department. The home directory is completely unaffected.

Terminating Legacy/Mainframe Access:
Access to mainframe applications (HRMS, SIS, Advantage, etc.) should be cancelled immediately. Submit a completed "Request for Access to Computing Facilities" to cancel access and write DELETE ACCOUNTS across the top of the signed form.. If the employee is moving to a new department, the new office should arrange for new access for the employee.

ASURite ID's and Terminated Employees:
Faculty and staff ASUrite accounts are suspended when the employee is terminated. Since Outlook accounts are based on the ASUrite ID's, Outlook becomes unavailable as well. Student accounts are suspended for any student who is not registered for at least one credit hour. Graduating students can keep their ASURite accounts active for up to one year by contacting That includes Pine e-mail, as well as other access.

Back to top

My computer's broken, how do I get help?

The preferred method for requesting USITS help is to send an email note to USITS-Q outlining the problem you are experiencing, your name, your department name and location, and your phone number. If your computer makes emailing impossible, feel free to call us at 5-3497. We are staffed from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and we have voice mail.

Back to top

I don't see my personal directory?
It says my Personal Address Book is unavailable in Outlook?
I can't print?

Most often, the above problems are the result of not being logged in. It is possible to log in successfully and then lose the connection, without warning, if there are connectivity problems.

What to do?!? To make sure you are logged in, close all applications (saving your work as usual). Next, begin the normal shut down process. You can either RESTART the computer, (making sure you log in) OR, if the option is available to you in the Shut down menu, you can select "Close all programs and log in as a different user." This is the faster option.

Back to top

Can you tell me my password?

In a word, No. When an account is created, we assign it a temporary password, for which the user has three logins in which to select a new password for themselves. WE DO NOT know what password the user selects, we can however see when the password expires. That's how we know a user just changed it (passwords change every 90 days). A password is a security key to users files, we don't want to know it! It's for the user alone to know. IF a user does forget their password, we go through the same process as for a new user: we give them a temporary password and they have three chances to change it.

Back to top

I'm out of space!

Call USITS. A standard user in Student Affairs has "space" in 3 places: 1) their hard drive "c:", 2) the Novell Network; "g:" or "p:" drives for personal files and shared "s:" drives, 3) Outlook space on the Mainex server. When a user contacts USITS about a space issue we will first determine (amongst the three above choices) where they are low on space. If it's on the local hard drive, the user can delete files or applications to free up space. If it's on the Network, USITS can increase the users space allocation (again deleting old and unused files will also help). An increase in space on the network is effective immediately. The user does not need to reboot. If it's in Outlook, the user will have to free up space for themselves. IT (Information Technology) will not increase space allocations, no matter how much the user begs, cries, pleads, or even threatens.

Back to top

How much space do I have in Outlook?

If you are using Outlook 98, you can left click once on either the Outlook Today icon in the Outlook bar, OR on the Outlook Today - [Mailbox - yourname] in the Folder list. From the shortcut menu presented select the last item: Properties. In the Mailbox dialog box click on the Folder Size. button located near the lower middle of the box and wait. If you're using a lot of space this could take a few moments.

The first place to look is at the Folder Size (Fld + SubFld): The maximum space available to each user is 20,000K (kilobytes). Users start receiving space messages when they have 16,000K in use. If the number is dangerously high, users should look at the space use of individual folders. Space can be created by deleting items in these folders (and then emptying the Deleted Items folder) or moving items to their Personal folder (which stores files in their Network personal directory in a file called Archive.pst). Once a user is out of space, they will no longer be able to send or receive mail!!

Back to top

Wow, the Journal is eating up all my space. I don't use the Journal!

Somewhere along the line, you must have activated the Journal function. Journal tracks work that a user does according to parameters the user selects. If you don't use it, turn it off as it WILL eventually use up all of your Outlook space. 1) Click on the Journal icon in the Outlook Bar or on the Journal folder in the Folder List 2) Click on the "View" menu 3) Select "Current View" 4) Select "Entry List" 5) Click on the "Edit" menu 6) Select "Select All" 7) Use the delete key (this will delete all items) 8) Empty the "deleted Items" folder.

KEEP IN MIND, that any items you store in your Outlook Personal Folders are actually stored in your personal folder on our Novell Network. If you get error messages while trying to move files into the Personal Folders, call USITS. We will increase your space.

Back to top

Can I get an Outlook account for my student worker?

Yes, just send the student's name, ASU ID number and ASURite ID to USITS-Q. We will request an account from IT and then have a USITS technician configure the account at the users computer. REMEMBER to notify USITS whenever one of these students terminates, it is incumbent on USITS to cancel Outlook accounts for student workers as soon as they terminate.

Back to top

Can we get a generic Outlook account to use in our office?

Sorry, no. IT is looking at ways to make this possible, but right now accounts are based on ASURite ID's, which of course require real people.

Back to top

Can I check my Outlook email at home?

Yes, you can access your email account from home through the World Wide Web using a web browser. Boot up your web browser (i.e., Netscape Navigator or Internet Explorer) and enter the URL, Follow the directions on the screen. You will need your ASURite ID and password. You will not have the full functionality at home that you have at your office computer, but you will be able to open and send mail, and access your public folders.

Back to top

My password expired, what now?

Your Novell Netware password, along with your Novell Netware ID allows you to access the SA network. By default, these passwords expire every 90 days. When a password expires, the user will be notified by messages on their computer screen that the password has expired and that the user has 3 more (grace) logins within which to change it. If the password is not changed during one of those logins, the user will be LOCKED OUT. The only option at that point is to call the USITS office at 5-3497 and have the account unlocked and the number of grace logins reset.

Back to top

What's this Windows password?

Along with the Netware password, Windows has it's own password. During a normal login process the user will not see the Windows password request. This is because we have synchronized the Netware password with the Windows password. In effect, we fool the PC into thinking that the carriage return/enter keystroke that the user depresses after entering their password is the Windows password (pretty cagey huh!) Things run smoothly, until the Netware password expires, then the Windows issue pops up.

Back to top

Exactly how do I change those passwords?

When a user is prompted by their PC; "Your password has expired. Do you want to change your password?" The user should reply "Yes." Enter the new password, which must be at least 6 characters long, with no spaces. It can be any combination of letters and numbers. It will have to be typed in a second time as well, to confirm it. Next, it asks the user to change the Windows password. This is the tricky part. ALL FIELDS SHOULD BE EMPTY. If there are ***** (asterisks) in any fields relevant to changing the Windows password, they should be deleted. Click on OK. The user should receive a message "The Windows password has been successfully changed." If this fails, USITS will send out a technician to resynchronize the two passwords.

Back to top

What about my Outlook password?

Outlook passwords never expire and the user will never be prompted to change their password. However, as a security matter, it is prudent to regularly change the password. The Outlook password can be changed at the site. Be sure to read and follow all instructions.

Back to top

Why is the server down?

The server is rarely down except for regularly scheduled maintenance. The third Saturday of each month is reserved for these network maintenance tasks. Users will receive a message when they log into the network for 3 days PRIOR to maintenance Saturday. We reserve 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. during which time users may not be able to access their personal folders, print to network printers or access some applications. Users may be able to access the mainframe (HRMS, SIS, Advantage) by booting up their computers (no network login will be available) then accessing a DOS prompt. At the DOS prompt type in MF (for mainframe) and the user should be able to work normally (except for printing).

On occasion, connectivity between the buildings has been a problem. This means that your machine in the MU, DRS, SH and at other sites is working fine; our network server (located in the SSV building) is working fine, but there is a problem with wiring, switches or routers between those two points. Thus, problems accessing the server can arise. IT is responsible for the physical connectivity on campus and USITS works closely with IT whenever such problems arise.

Back to top