Hardware Support (top)

We are proud to support a variety of hardware, including desktop computers, laptops, printers, scanners, and a variety of phone devices, such as Android, Blackberrys, and iPhones.

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.

Hardware Support

We are proud to support a variety of hardware, including desktop computers, laptops, printers, scanners, and a variety of phone devices, such as Android, Blackberrys, and iPhones.

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.

Desktop Computers

We provide computer hardware support for CGIS affiliates, and are happy to assist departments and research centers in the procurement, management, and troubleshooting of Desktop and Laptop computers. We are trained to service PC and Macintosh computers.

To better service the CGIS community, we can order parts and accessories for nearly any PC or Mac using Harvard University billing codes. This service ensures prompt response and convenient billing for purchases made by departments or research centers.

Part of maintaining a healthy computing environment involves replacing obsolete equipment. We currently recommend a 4-year replacement cycle for all computers purchased by CGIS departments and resources. This policy is in synch with the Harvard University depreciation schedule for computer hardware. At the end of your computer's lifecycle, we can assist in helping to properly dispose of your CPU, monitor, and accessories in a safe and environmentally friendly manner.

Recommended Desktops and Laptops

We are happy to assist affiliates with all steps of the hardware purchasing and ordering process. Types of hardware that we support include (but are not limited to) printers, desktop and laptop computers, handheld devices, and printers.

If you would like assistance with purchasing hardware of any type, please contact us.

We recommend Dell Optiplex 980 desktop PCs with Windows XP service pack 3 operating system. Optiplex systems are designed for use in a networked office environment. In our experience, we are satisfied with Dell's quality, price, and support.

For laptop computers, we recommend both Dell Latitude and IBM Thinkpad computers. Each offers a wide variety of laptops to fit your specific needs. Due to Harvard laptop security standards, all laptop computers are required to have PGP full disk encryption installed. To accomidate the processing power required by PGP, we recommend new laptops be purchased with at least 2 GB of RAM, and an Intel i5 processor or greater.

We also recommend MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro computers.

For individuals planning on traveling abroad, special computing considerations may need to be considered. For more information, or to receive a customized recommendation on a computer purchase, please contact us.

Printers

We provide direct hardware and warranty support for most office printers. This includes interacting with printer manufacturers to fix broken or malfunctioning printers, as well as assistance with a variety of every-day configuration and usage problems. Some of the more common issues we assist with include:

    Configuring printers on the Harvard network
    Setting up and installing new printers
    Diagnosing and resolving print quality issues
    Clearing paper jams

In addition to support available directly from us, many common printer problems can be solved by working through our Printing How-to pages. If you are a CGIS affiliate and need help with a printing problem, please contact us.

Recommended Printers

We recommend HP LaserJet printers.  In our experience, we are satisfied with the HP printers' quality and reliability. It also is easy to obtain support and repair service for HP printers when needed.

HP LaserJet P2055dn

The HP LaserJet P2055dn is a great choice for small work groups that need a high-volume, versatile printer. With the P2055dn, many users can printer over the CGIS network at the same time. With such features as duplex printing and plentiful memory, this printer is a good fit for most CGIS departments. Features include:

    Printing rates up to 35 pages per minute
    128 MB RAM, expandable to 384
    Automatic two-sided printing, networking


HP LaserJet P4015dn

The HP LaserJet P4015dn is a great network printer for larger work groups that need a high-volume printer. With the P4015dn, many users can print over the CGIS network at the same time, giving whole departments the ability to print professional-looking documents. Useful capabilities of this printer include:

    Printing rates up to 52 pages per minute
    128 MB RAM, expandable to 640
    Network ready

Hardware Policies

Hardware policies and procedures are designed to provide optimal service to all users, both staff and faculty, in a cost effective manner.

We recommend that departments and centers cycle their systems after four years.  If the system is older than four years, the department or center can try to extend the warranty of the system through the vendor or manufacturer, or can try to place the systems where there is less traffic and minimal computing need.

We are happy to work with departments and centers to create an inventory to track their computers and give recommendations on when to cycle their systems.