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These FAQs are split into several sections:

In General

What is a network directory service?

A network directory service runs behind the scenes and is what you use when you:

  • Log on to the network
  • Create, save, retrieve and update your files, both shared and personal
  • Access your applications
  • Print your files
  • Manage your desktop such as favourites, shortcuts etc
  • Change your password

I received a prompt while using Internet Explorer telling me there is an ActiveX control. I have tried to accept it but nothing happened.

You may receive a prompt when visiting certain websites using Internet Explorer telling you an ActiveX control has been blocked. You will not be able to enable this for security purposes. If you need access to the particular website for work purposes please contact the Service Desk. The Desktop Services Team will assess the risk posed by installing the ActiveX and will install it if deemed appropriate.

Why can’t I delete files from an external hard disk drive?

This is a limitation of Windows and is due to not having permissions on the files you want to delete. This only affects NTFS formatted hard disk drives. Please contact the Service Desk for assistance.

Why does Outlook take a long time to sync my mailbox the first time I open it?

When you first open outlook it will cache a copy of your mailbox locally. NOTE: If you have a large mailbox this can take some time. This is done to improve the speed of access to your email. Once your mailbox has cached Windows Search will then build an index of the items. Windows Search indexes your mailbox to improve searching speed.

When I plug in a USB memory stick I receive a message saying it cannot install due to lack of administrator rights.

The standard windows image for CONNECT machines has a majority of known device drivers; however some devices use non-standard drivers. It is advised that you contact the Service Desk who will arrange for the device drivers to be installed for you.

Why can’t I use Run As on files stored on my Desktop?

Your Desktop is redirected to your home drive so other accounts do not have access. To work round this, the file needs to be copied to a local drive for example: C:\temp

Make sure you copy the files to a sub folder of C: (in this example temp) as you will not have access to save to the root.

How do I print?

Please see our printers guide for help with setting up and managing printers.

Why do I get a security alert when opening a database in Microsoft Access 2010?

The file has to be in a ‘Trusted Location’

Files which sit outside of these locations will need to have their locations set as ‘trusted’. To set a file as a trusted location, in the application go to Office button, application name Options, Trust Centre, Trust Centre Settings, Trusted Locations, Add New Location, and follow the prompts.

Why can’t I drag icons from the start menu into the quick launch bar?

You are not able to move items from the start menu as this affects all users of the computer.

However, it is possible to accomplish the task and still work within the security restrictions.

 -              Right click on the icon that you would like to put in the quick launch bar

-              Choose 'Send to..' -> 'Desktop' (this will copy the icon and paste it to the desktop)

-              Select the icon that was pasted to the desktop and drag it to the quick launch bar

Why do I have to press ctrl-alt-del to get to the login prompt?

This is a standard Microsoft domain behaviour and is a security measure.

What is the 'a' icon in my System tray?

This is called Altiris Client Services. This program is for systems management tasks like collecting information on software installed on computers, installing service packs and patching the computer with security patches eg Flash player.

What is the magnifying glass icon in my System tray?

This is the icon for the Windows search service. Windows search will automatically index your email to allow faster searching. You can snooze indexing by right clicking on the magnifying glass.

What is the computer glass icon in my System tray?

This is called Carbon Copy.
You will only see this icon when a member of IT Services has connected to your computer to share your screen to assist with a problem.

Before this icon appears you will receive a popup prompt asking you to accept a remote connection. 
If you haven’t asked someone from IT Services for assistance and we haven’t informed you we will be remote connecting you should deny access.

Windows search is different from the previous version, how do I use this?

Windows Search 4.0 has a number of new features and enhancements, as per following:

1. Documents email, media files are now searchable from windows search, these are selected from along the top of the main page, so depending on what you need you can search by context or you can search everything.

2. By default everything will be selected, it is advised that you select the relevant context.

If you wish you can select the classic search style by selecting the “Click here to use Search Companion” option at the bottom of the right hand panel

Why isn't TSM installed on my CONNECT workstation?

CONNECT workstations do not come with the TSM Client installed and it is recommended that, wherever possible, staff store files on the network servers rather than on the drive of their local machine. There are a number of reasons, including:

  1. Faster and less disruptive replacements of PCs (either scheduled or as a result of a hardware or software failure).
  2. Less risk to data in the case of hardware failure
  3. Facilitates staff moving between computers within or between departments
  4. Facilitates access to information

Your 'My Documents' folder is stored as part of your home or H: drive, on the CONNECT network servers. All files stored on CONNECT servers are automatically backed up overnight.

If you still need to have the TSM client installed to back up your local hard drive, considering that your My Documents folder is already being backed up, then please contact the Service Desk

How do I register for the CONNECT Password Manager?

Please follow the steps in the attached document:

CONNECT Password Manager  (1,756kb)

How do I unlock my account or reset my password?

Please follow the steps in the attached document: Unlock your account or reset your password  (1,477kb)

Why doesn’t my computer remember my user ID at the login prompt?

For security reasons the login prompt is not populated with the last logged in user’s username.

I have received an email saying I am approaching my Home drive quota. I have looked for large files as directed in the email but I can't find where they are?

When files are deleted from your Documents folder they are moved to the Recycle Bin but are still available to be restored. These files still count towards your Quota. If you right click your Recycle Bin and choose Empty Recycle Bin from the menu this will reduce the size of your H drive.


Logging In

 How do I get a password for CONNECT?

Your line manager should complete our new user request form. Your CONNECT password will be generated when your new account is created. It will be a ‘use once’ password as the system will ‘force’ you to change it when you first log on.

 Is it the same as my Nexus password?

No, the CONNECT password is independent of your Nexus password.

How often will I be asked to change my CONNECT password?

Most people will be asked to change their CONNECT password once a year. A small number of Departments have a more frequent password change enforced, your line manager should be able to inform you if this is the case.

What rules must I follow when choosing a new CONNECT password?

Unless your Department opts for stronger rules, you will follow the defaults which include

  • a minimum length of 8 characters
  • a mix of uppercase and lower case English letters, digits 0-9, non-alphabetic characters
  • CONNECT will remember the last 24 passwords you have used and won't allow their re-use

What if I forget my CONNECT password?

You can securely reset a forgotten CONNECT password online. You will be able to register for the service when you first login to CONNECT, by setting up security questions. If you forget your password you can click the password change icon on the login screen. The CONNECT password manager system will ask you for your security answers, and if sucessful, allow you to reset your password. This saves you having to contact the Sevice Desk.

Admin Rights

Please see out requests page for further details and a link to the HEAT service management tool to request administrator rights for your computer.


File access and Printing


I've lost a file what do I do?

If you know the name of the file, and you think it might have been moved, you can search for it using the search box at the top right hand side of windows explorer.

If you can't find the file and need to restore a recent version right click the folder the file was in and choose "Restore previous versions" as shown in the picture below.

If you are not able to find the file by searching or using previous versions please contact the Service Desk. Please let us know the original path and name of the file so it can be restored from backup.

Will ‘My Documents’ folder be private?  Will others be able to see contents if it is stored on a network file store?

Only yourself and those IT Services staff with system supervisor access will be able to see the existence of your ‘My Documents (Documents) folder’ or its contents. There will be a policy setting out the circumstances under which IT Services staff would view your My Documents folder or access its contents. Also, these types of folder will not be stored in any sort of departmental grouping. All ‘My Documents’ folders will be stored completely separately to Group folders in a dedicated part of the system.

Will I be able to save anything to my local PC?    

Yes, you will still be able to save files to your local PC. However, this practice is strongly discouraged because:

  • Adequate provision of network file store is provided for both data that you share with others, and for data that you wish to remain viewable to only you.
  • Storing files on the CONNECT network drives will ensure you are able to access the data whilst working at another CONNECT desktop
  • Files stored on the network storage will be backed up daily as part of the service.
  • If we  re-build or replace your machine any files stored locally on the PC will be lost.

How can I share files with another CONNECT department?

The CONNECT file storage service includes the set up of an Inter-departmental drive mapped as the I: drive. This is in addition to the departmental shared drive which will be mapped as the O: drive. IT Services uses security groups to control access to data.

If you need to share files with another department please contact the Sevice Desk to request this.

If I can share files across departments using a common filing folder, how can I be sure the files are secure and only accessed by those who should view content?

Folders can only be accessed by people who are a member of a particular Security Group. Membership of that Security Group can only be authorised by the nominated owner of the folder. If you are not a member of the Security Group then the system will not allow you access to the folder.

Will I be able to use any printer?

Access to additional printers will depend on whether the owner of the printer has restricted the access to it.

 How do I find my closest printer?

The printers will be physically labelled with a simple unique number. On the system, printers will have a description of where they are located and what capabilities they have. For example, a printer’s unique name could be P0001, and that number will be on a label stuck on the printer. On the system, when you need to select a printer to print to, you will see it described something like:

P0001-BBC Second Floor-Office 2.01-Colour

Where P0001 is the printer name, BBC relates to the building name, Second Floor Office 2.01 relates to the location in the building, and Colour to its capabilities.

How can I set a printer as the default?

Go to Start --> Devices and Printers -->Right Click the printer of choice and left click Set as Default Printer


Desktops and Applications

Can I change how my desktop looks?

 Yes you can change the colour scheme and add your own desktop backdrop.

Can I install additional applications?

A range of site licensed and free to use applications are available to install on the Oxford Applications Installer menu. This can be accessed via Start>All Programs.

You can also request installation of additional software by contacting the Service Desk NOTE: certain software requires a license to be purchased and proof of license is required before installation.


Remote access

How can I access CONNECT drives from home?

There are three methods of gaining remote access to CONNECT


1. CONNECT Remote Desktop Service

UAS staff can request access to this service. Please see the Remote Desktop Service pages for more information.

2. Remote Desktop Session

This service should only be used when a software application you require is only available on your work PC.

You will be required to submit an RFC (1) in order to request access to this service.

3. Mapping Network Drive

This is recommended if you require access to your files on your Home drive ‘H:’, or a shared departmental drive (e.g. ‘G:’ drive, ‘O:’ drive or ‘Q:’).

This service is available to both Managed and Unmanaged users.

Remote Access Guidelines

Users connected to Cisco VPN Service must treat their connection as though they were in their office. Users must never leave their device unattended
whilst connected to the Remote Access Service.  Users must be particularly aware when using a personal device (e.g. home PC) and consider particular applications
running whilst connected to the Remote Access Service, e.g. Peer to Peer (P2P) software. Any P2P applications left running will therefore be running over the University network
and subject to University IT regulations*.

Users mapping network drives must also consider the risk in accessing their work files from home or away from the office.  Any files that are saved locally to personal devices and subsequently uploaded to University drives,
present a security risk and the potential, if infected, to compromise University data.

Please note: While connected to Cisco VPN, all your internet traffic goes via the University of Oxford network.

It is the responsibility of the user to ensure antivirus and personal firewall software is installed and up-to- date, as well as ensuring security patches are applied to personal devices, before
accessing the
 service. Failure to do so may result in access being removed.

IT Services is not responsible for the support of non- IT Services equipment. Support is only offered for University Managed desktops and laptops and does not include personally-owned
equipment- e.g. home PCs, Broadband Hub, Broadband Telephone lines. The IT Services Desktop Support Team will not be able to assist with any technical issues relating to staff’s own  equipment, network or internet connections.

All requests for Remote Desktop Access must be submitted via an RFC (1). Any requests not supported by your Line Manager will not be accepted. 


Pre requisites for Remote Access Service

In order to access the Remote Access , users are required to do the following:

  1. Ensure that any antivirus software and security patches are up-to-date
  2. Register for CONNECT Password Manager
  3. Read and acknowledge the relevant policies. Use of University IT Systems acknowledges acceptance of these policies (2)
  4. Register for a Remote Access account (3)
  5. Setup  the Cisco VPN client (3)


How to gain access

If you would like to use either option 1 or 2 above, Remote Access Service or Mapping Network Drive from home, contact the Service Desk




(3) You can register for this via the IT Services self-registration page. You may also download the client from this site. See



Written by IT Services. Latest revision 17 January 2019