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School of Medicine Technology Services

SOMTech, Administrative and Academic Systems,
and Educational Technologies

SOMTech, Administrative and Academic Systems, and Educational Technologies

Frequently asked questions

Why is it that SOMTech does not support new operating systems when they are released?

When most operating systems are initially released, it is believe that most of the bugs have been worked out. The vendor is willing to deal with the remaining issues which are found by the commercial users. This is not the commercial environment where that is excusable. Potential loss of data or an application working irratically in production is not acceptable in the enterprise environment. Security provisions must be met with any new operating system, also. The operating systems have to be tested in this environment with existing applications. This allows potential issues to come to light and to be remediated hopefully through workarounds or by the vendor.

SOMTech usually does not support an operating system until the first update is released.

I have access to cloud storage through my personal accounts. Can I use this?

Cloud storage (DropBox, SkyDrive, iCloud, Google Drive, Amazon Cloud Drive, and etc.) through personal accounts is not recommended. This is fine for your personal data as long as you are comfortable with accepting a third party has some access to this data (whether for maintenance or their protection). However, data involving PHI (protected health information) or PII (Personally Identifiable Information) stored on these services could increase the potential for loss as a security breach. Therefore, it advised that no VCU-related data be uploaded to these services.

It is best to consult and work with the IT group to get the access and storage needed to mitigate the potential for loss. The School of Medicine has storage for the users which need it as well as measures in place to back up such data.

What do you recommend for new computer systems and hardware?

In general, we recommend Dell computers and Hewlett Packard printers. For more information on recommended products, visit computer purchasing recommendations.

What should I do when I receive a new computer?

Please submit an online service request Opens a new window or call (804) 828-2227 so that Technology Services can set up your new computer. This ensures compliance with the School of Medicine’s computer security standards.

Where can I find VCU’s official computer and network use policies?

Visit policies and guidelines Opens a new window.

What virus protection software does VCU provide?

Sophos. You can download Sophos from the VCU Technology Services website Opens a new window. You will need your eID and password to conduct the download.

How do I protect my computer from security threats?

You can protect your computer from security threats if you:

  • Install Sophos Anti-Virus with all the current virus definitions.
  • Use a strong password. Strong passwords have at least one capital letter, one number and should be at least eight characters in length.
  • Make sure that no user account has a blank password.
  • Disable the guest account.
  • Enable your Windows firewall.
  • Enable Windows updates and specify a time when your computer will be on to receive the updates.

What function does the Active Directory serve?

Active Directory help users by providing a secure connection to data storage. Users who are set up on Active Directory can share data over the network without issues associated with peer-to-peer networking.

Generally, users have two or more drives mapped on these network clients. They have a home directory, which only they can access for personal data storage. They also have at least one other drive that is shared among members of their department. If users store data on their shared drives, then data recovery is a non-issue when their computers are inaccessible.

How do I access email through my iPad/iPhone?

You must first enable your myVCUmail account for IMAP access. To do this, login to your myVCUmail account either from http://mymail.vcu.edu or via the myVCU Portal using your VCU eID and password. The VCU IMAP access will enable automatically. Now log out and begin configuring your IMAP client of choice. Make sure you have a strong wireless signal. A strong signal will help alleviate a number of potential issues.*

  • Click here for instructions on how to use VCU IMAP with mobile devices.

*Potential issues
Weak wireless signal can cause problems with IMAP connections. However, you may have to check the settings for the servers as both should be using SSL.

  • From the home page, select the Settings icon.
  • Select Mail > Contacts and Calendars.
  • Select the account that you just created (most likely named after your email address).
  • Scroll down and select Advanced.
  • Scroll down.
    • SSL should be on.
    • Authentication should be set to Password.
    • The Server Port should be 993.
  • Select your name in the top left corner to go back to the account page.
  • Select SMTP with the outgoing server name in it.
  • Select the Primary Server which should be: cedar.vcu.edu.
    • Check to make sure SSL is on.
    • Authentication should be set to Password.
    • The Server Port should be 465.

How do I access VCU Wi-Fi through my iPad/iPhone?

  • Tap on the Settings icon.
  • Tap on Wi-Fi.
  • The device will scan for networks in the area.
  • Tap on the VCU SafeNet Wireless network.
  • Enter your information.
  • Username: VCU eID
  • Password: VCU password
  • Tap on Continue.
  • Accept the certification.
  • If authentication is successful, you will see a check beside the connection.
  • You should be able to connect to this network on either campus.
  • Your account information will be kept as long as the certificate is current.

How do I request an Active Directory account for someone in my department?

Active Directory accounts (aka RAMS accounts) are automatically created once you establish your eid password. To set your eid password, go to http://go.vcu.edu/eIDFinder . If an account still has not been created or if share drive access needs to be requested, please have a supervisor or administrator submit a ticket to SOM Security at http://go.vcu.edu/SOMTicket Opens a new window.

I need to place an IP request for a new printer or new computer. What should I do?

Please submit a service ticket Opens a new window or call (804) 828-2227. A technician will come to your location, note the pertinent data and submit an IP service request to VCUNet on your behalf. When the IP address is assigned, the technician will make the necessary configuration changes to the devices.

I need an extra network connection in my office. What do I do?

First, you need to contact your fiscal technician/administrator for approval. Then you will have to fill out a networking service request using this online service request form Opens a new window.

Where can I learn about licensing software?

You can purchase licenses for Adobe or other products via VCU Procurement Services Opens a new window.

My SPSS, JMP and SAS licenses will expire soon. How do I renew my software licenses?

Visit VCU Technology Services’ Software Registration and Authorization Opens a new window. Make sure the software drop down box shows the correct software package renewal and select the number of licenses you need. You will then receive an email with the serial number and authorization code. Follow the instructions in the email to renew your license. Please submit an online service request Opens a new window if you need help.

When I open an Internet shortcut on my desktop, the page loads in my current open Internet Explorer window. Can I fix this?

Yes, you can! Complete the following steps:

  • Open Internet Explorer.
  • Click Tools > Internet Options.
  • Click the Advanced tab.
  • Look under Browsing and remove the check mark next to Reuse Windows for Launching Shortcuts.
  • Click Apply.
  • Click OK.