You’re in the labs, its 3am in the morning and you need help! Here are some simple tips that can help you recover from disaster if it strikes.
Computers are evil. They make your life easier, they create a dependency, and then, just when you need them most, they let you down! They can catch a virus, or just plain crash, leaving you looking forward to another few hours spent retyping your assignment. But it doesn't have to be this way.
Here are a few tips and tricks for keeping a computer's more malicious tendencies at bay. The following user guide is designed to give you some simple Workarounds to get you out of some of those problems that you may encounter in the GATCF labs:
What to do if your disk gets stuck? How to handle a frozen computer? Solutions for login problems. Handy shortcut key commands? How to email and FTP files to yourself. To name just a few ...
I can't promise that you'll never need the assistance of InfoHelp again, but if you follow the advice here, you can avoid some potentially stressful situations and maybe even save yourself some time in the process.
My student card won’t let me into the computer labs!
Visit InfoHelp in the Library Building who will be able to check the card and see if it is damaged and needs to be replaced. If not, then they will refer you to the Security Control Office where they can manually grant your card access to the building
I can’t get out of the computer labs!
If you find yourself alone & trapped in the computer labs, call the Security Office on 15555 (Townsville) or 21293 (Cairns) to have a security officer dispatched to let you out.
I’ve forgotten my password?
Take your student card to InfoHelp to get a new password. If you are unable to visit in person, contact InfoHelp on 15500.
I can’t login to the computers in the lab?
Try another computer, or another lab.
Try restarting the machine and logging in again.
On a Dell PC:
Click on the Shutdown Options icon on the Shutdown button (bottom right corner) and choose the Restart option.
On an Apple iMac:
Choose the Restart option from the main login screen.
Finally, check that you have a valid password. Most JCU systems will not accept password longer than 16 characters or less than 8. If your password is longer, or shorter, than this you may need to change it. You also cannot have passwords that contain certain characters. For more information on changing passwords see the Changing your Password guide.
Help! My computer has frozen...
If you’re using an Dell PC
Press CTRL+ALT+DEL at the same time and select Task Manager.
When the Task List window comes up choose the Applications tab and highlight any applications that are not running
Click on the End Task button.
If this fails to work
Press CTRL+ALT+DEL and select the Log Off option.
You can restart the PC from the login screen - red Shutdown Button, bottom right hand corner
Reboot the machine by pressing the Power button (found at the front of the PC, identified by a button with a green light on it).
Warning! - Both of these options will result in the loss of any unsaved data.
If you’re using an Apple iMac, try these keystroke commands:
Command key - full stop key: quits the operation in progress
Command key - Option key - Esc key: forces the program to quit
Reboot the machine by pressing the Reset button (located on the back left-hand side of the iMac, identified by a button with a white power symbol on it).
Warning! - The last three options will result in the loss of any unsaved data.
I can’t save my document to disk?
This problem can have several causes.
Your disk is full - use another disk or open up Windows Explorer and delete some files and then save your document. On an iMac double click on the disk icon & drag files to the trash.
Never try saving to more than one location while working on a document. Always save to the location from where you opened the document from in the first place. If you want to make a back-up do so from Windows Explorer after you have finished working on it.
You get the dreaded can’t access the I:\ message. This happens when:
There is a problem with the disk or the disk drive - you need to visit InfoHelp
The computer is having a bad turn - if all else fails you will need to shutdown & restart the machine to clear the problem.
These last two will result in the loss of any unsaved data. See How to avoid losing data for tips on preventing this.
How to avoid losing data.
For a stuck CD wait a little while first - CD's are much slower to respond than other portable storage media.
On the DELL-PC's, if the disk does not eject then power the machine off and on (button at the front of the computer box) - this resets the drive. This will allow you to eject your disk and to continue working with the CD-RW drive.
As a last resort only you can try the paperclip trick. This will work, but it means that the machine will need to be rebooted in order to reset the CD-RW drive for use.
Find/beg/borrow a paperclip and straighten it out.
There is a small hole next to, or on the CD slot.
Carefully insert the end of the paperclip into the small hole and press firmly to release the disk.
If this doesn’t work then call InfoHelp on 15500 or email firstname.lastname@example.org and state which lab (building and room number) and machine (numbers are located on the side) the disk is stuck in.
If your CD is stuck in an iMac doing a shutdown & restart (hold down the Apple key - Ctrl key - Power button at the same time) on the machine should auto-eject the disk. Remember to save your work to your 'homes' drive first; otherwise you will lose any unsaved data.
Note: Your disk will not be retrieved immediately. A trained technician checks each lab once a day and lost and found is either handed to InfoHelp or the Student Association. Priority is given to these reported problems, so please call InfoHelp and report the problem to us if you wish to have it resolved.
If the document is large you can save it to Temp Drive (E:\) (Temp storage on an iMac). Be aware that the temp storage areas are wiped clean every morning around 3am.
Save the document to your 'homes' I:\ drive. (see below)
If you can’t do this try to copy & paste your document into the body of an email message (only works if your document is text).
You could try to FTP the file to your home directory. (see below)
Finally try printing the file out - a hard copy is better than no copy at all.
How to save to 'homes' I:\ Drive
The I:\ drive is like your own 10mb (maximum limit) USB disk on the Central Server. You can save files to it from any GATCF lab machine, and then open them up again at a later date from another GATCF machine (or any machine with Internet access - see later). To do that follow the instructions found on the JCU Homes Drive Guide.
How do I e-mail a document to myself?
Start by saving the file to a USB or CD. If this isn’t possible then save it to the 'homes' I:\ drive (see above) or Temp storage.
Open up a web browser and type in the location bar: https://mail.jcu.edu.au/
Press the Enter key.
Log into Webmail using your full JCU email address and password.
Click on compose and start composing a message as normal then click on the Browse.. button next to the attachment field.
Find the file you want to attach and then press the Open button.
Click on the Add button and then send the message as normal.
For more information on email at JCU go to:
How do I FTP from the Labs?
Information and instructions on using FTP at JCU can be found on the How to Access your Homes Drive guide.
I Think I’ve got a Virus!
Worried that you may have a file on your USB or CD that has been infected with a virus? Don’t. All Dell-PC and Apple iMac lab machines have virus protection software installed on them, which is very good at detecting and cleaning infected files.
For more information on Computer Viruses go to:
If you need computer assistance contact InfoHelp 15500 – or email us at email@example.com and provide us with your name, student number / username, Machine Hostname, contact details and a brief description of your query and/or problem. If we need to contact you to resolve the problem we will. If not then the problem will be resolved as soon as possible.
Alternatively you may find some useful information on our website at: